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Chapter 51

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Present – Mike – At the hotel

While I'm taking a long hot shower I hear my mobile phone ringing – shit, whoever they are can wait until I'm fucking done! That damn flashbang got shit in places on me I didn't even know I had. When I catch that bastard Ben, he will pay. I know methods of torture he's never even heard of.

I finally finish removing all the shit off me, dry off but still get the towels dirty as hell (I guess I missed some places), get into my new wheelchair, roll out into the suite and check my phone. Hot damn! The call was from the Creech Air Force base commander and perhaps that drone finally picked up Ben and his cohort's heat signature. I call him back and declare, "Commander, I hope you have some good news for me!"

He answers, "We're not sure yet Sir, but our drone did detect two unidentified tangos leaving the cabin area and we tracked them to some trees."

Because I've convinced myself that I might have to do everything by myself I question, "Commander, what else have you done about this?"

He answers, "Nothing as yet Sir since your last orders were to find the tangos."

I smack my head and ask, "So you didn't call the captain yet to inform him of the tangos?"

He covers his ass, "Certainly not, not until I talk to you. So what are your orders Sir?"

Once again I contemplate just blowing Ben's ass to hell but decide the time is not yet right so I order, "Commander, contact the Captain immediately and let him know the location of the tangos. Keep surveilling the tangos and if the tangos attempt to escape then terminate them."

There's a short pause and the commander clarifies the orders, "Sir, I want to make sure I understand your order. We are to continue surveillance on the tangos unless they attempt escape then we are weapons free. I need to remind you Sir that this is American soil."

I choose my words carefully to cover my ass, "Commander that is correct. These two tangos are a viable threat to America. Already tonight they have attacked the camp, destroyed military property and fired at me. They are enemy combatants and cannot be allowed to escape. Now you have your orders."

He replies, "Yes Sir." Then he hangs up the phone.

I call the Captain and have to wait because he's on another call (I assume it's the Commander). He comes on the line and I question him, "Captain, did you hear from the drone Commander at Creech."

The captain answers, "Yes Sir I did and he notified me that his drone finally picked up our tangos. We have their position and are preparing a squad to intercept them."

I think for a moment and advise caution, "Captain, do not underestimate these two tangos. I want your squad to go in hot and go in heavy."

The captain assures me, "Don't worry Sir, we're all pissed as hell at them and are ready for some retribution. They won't know what hit them."

Present – Stacy and Samantha – Hiding out

Yeah, the last place we are going to be is where we are expected to be. Ben taught me this in our time together - don't become predictable and never let your enemy know where you're going to be, especially where you're going to sleep. Samantha and I slip out of our camp, make it past our guards (who are going to catch some hell about this tomorrow) and head for some trees.

Thank God Samantha stops whining about this change in plans. I hadn't realized what a pain in the ass it was when someone whined so much. However, I did realize how incredibly patient Ben was with me, because every time Samantha whines she reminds me of myself when I was with Ben. No wonder he took the hell off and left me – hell, I drove him away with my whining.

We're all settled in for the night, I just begin to drift off to sleep when, talk about whining, Samantha whispers, "Stacy, are there bears up here?"

Her question reminds me of a joke Ben played on me and I decide it's time to use that bit of Ben's training so I respond, "Yeah, but they're the little cute black bears not the huge man eating grizzly bears."

I anxiously wait and just like me she asks, "You mean sort of like a teddy bear?"

I work to control my voice because if I laugh now it will give it away. I answer, "Not really, they are sort of like teddy bears on steroids. They can get as big as 500 pounds with huge teeth and claws. But unless you do one certain thing, you don't really have to worry about them."

Samantha stutters, "Sta ... Sta ... Stacy what is that one thing?"

I have her now so I spring the same trap on her that Ben used on me, "Well, Ben said because the bears love sweet things, you should never brush your teeth before going to sleep. He said that he did it once and woke up with a bear licking his mouth."

I can hear the amazement in her voice when she questions, "Stacy are you sure about this? A b- b-bear was frenching Ben?"

I fight back the giggles and reply, "Hey, I'm just repeating what Ben told me. Don't tell me you brushed your teeth before you came out here?"

Samantha's voice shows extreme concern when she answers, "Of course I did - I brush my teeth every night. Shoot, what am I supposed to do now?"

I can't control it anymore and begin to giggle. Then Samantha figures it out and really whines, "Stacy, I can't believe you did that to me and even worse, I can't believe I fell for it."

If I ever hope to get some rest, I need to put her mind at ease so I relent, "Samantha there are a few bears in the Rocky Mountains but with all the people here and all the explosions tonight they are long gone."

I wonder if my joke backfired when Samantha asks, "Stacy, are you really sure about this because you've already lied to me once tonight?"

I yawn and confirm, "Yes Samantha, this is the truth, now go to sleep."

I'm almost asleep when I hear Samantha whine, "Oh shoot!"

I yawn and ask, "Samantha what the hell is wrong now?"

I can't believe it when she says...

I do not like this night at all! I really want to be back in my warm and safe tent, away from the bears and all the other animals that come out at night. I'm all settled into my bag, which is very warm then it happens and I complain. Stacy asks what's wrong and I respond to Stacy's question, "I need to make pee."

Stacy yawns and answers, "Well go make pee. I'm not stopping you but I'm not coming with you to hold your hand."

I grumble as I unzip my bag, slide out into the cold night air, pick up my boots and shake the hell out of them in case a snake or something crawled inside one of them, put my boots on and ask, "Stacy, where should I make pee?"

Stacy grumbles her answer, "I don't care just as long as it's far enough away that I don't have to smell it tonight or step in it tomorrow morning."

I remember something else and ask, "Stacy do you have any paper???"

I can't fucking believe it! Samantha came out here without toilet paper. Then I remember that I did that one time with Ben (the bastard made me use leaves to wipe with but at least he showed me some really soft leaves from what he called a toilet paper plant1). After that Ben told me to keep part of a roll in one of the many pockets on my BDU's.

1 Verbascum thapsus (great mullein or common mullein) is a species of mullein native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and introduced in the Americas and Australia. In western United States residents commonly refer to mullein as "cowboy toilet paper".

I want to swear but instead I patiently instruct her, "The first time I did this Ben made me wipe with leaves so you're lucky I don't make you do the same. Come over here, I have some in the lower right pants pocket on my BDUs. Tomorrow you need to make sure to put about half a roll in your lower right pants pocket because you never know when you're going to need it...

Samantha comes beside me and squats close to me, I hand her some TP then she says...

Stacy makes me feel bad for forgetting to bring TP, she gives me some of hers (instead of making me use nasty leaves) so I say, "Thank you so much Stacy and thank you for being so patient with me. Please let me know tomorrow what else I need to carry in my pockets."

I move to what I'm sure is far enough away, take down my pants and then it's like we're in the middle of a battle!!!

Present – Ben – At the cabin in the bunker

I wake up with a hell of a start after having a terrible dream: Buttercup, I mean Jens, was being forced to marry Prince Humperdink, I mean fucking Mike. I was trying to get to the chapel to stop it but it didn't look like I was going to make it in time.

Wait, where the fuck am I? Oh yeah now I remember, I'm at the cabin in one of my bunkers.

I fully remember everything when Destiny expresses her concern, "Ben are you okay? You kept repeating no, no, no while you were sleeping."

I look at my Luminox. Shit it's close to ten – hell, I slept about 4 hours which is good for me so I finally answer, "I'm fine I just had a bad dream."

Destiny surprises me when she apologizes, "I'm sorry that's my fault since I didn't hang the dream catchers this morning before we went to sleep."

I derisively snort, "Like those would have done any good!"

Destiny laughs her peculiar (but starting to sound familiar) laugh and counters, "You will see when I hang them tonight. You will not have a bad dream when we sleep here tonight."

I flip on the lights and inform her, "Well, we might not be sleeping here tonight anyway. Now it's time to get to work, but first are you hungry?"

Destiny unbraids her hair, begins to comb it out and I think to myself, great now there will be hair in here everywhere.

Destiny glares at me and states, "Yes I'm hungry, I'm almost always hungry. And that's not a nice thing to be thinking about me since it's the wrong time of the year for me to be shedding my hair."

I forgot that she somehow hears what I think. I unfortunately laugh and taunt, "What are you some sort of dog?"

I've never seen Destiny so upset when she complains, "Now that's just insulting! You apologize to me immediately."

I think for a moment and realize I really stuck my foot in my mouth this time: I did call her a dog. I profusely apologize, "Destiny, I'm sorry and I didn't mean you were a dog, it's just that – well damn – talking about shedding your hair – listen, just please forgive and forget what I said."

Destiny looks at me out of the corner of her eye and says, "Only if you will forgive me for not hanging the dream catchers this morning."

I make sure not to think about anything weird as I say, "It's a deal. Now let me start some MREs heating then I have plan B to work on for the drone and I need to prepare one other surprise for the greenies."

I pull out a couple MREs begin heating them, open up my pack and remove plan B. I move over to the work bench, take another device from underneath it and begin hooking things up.

Destiny comes over and asks, "Ben, what exactly are you doing? And by the way, did you forget about the song you had playing all night?"

I swear, "Son of a bitch, thank you for reminding me, I did forget it."

I switch off the transmission of the song and we begin to listen to the comm chatter.

Destiny laughs when the first thing we hear is, "Damn, I'm glad that fucking song ended - it's been on all night long."

Then it continues, "If that SOB does that tonight I'm going to kill him – I'd like to take that song of his and shove it up his ass. Hey speaking about ass, did you see the pictures of Samantha Stevens' ass from the raid last night? I can't believe we caught her with her pants down."

I look at Destiny and ask, "Do you know what the hell they are talking about?"

She seems to go into one of her trances as I continue to prepare the MREs. She comes out of it and answers, "Apparently Samantha and Stacy didn't sleep in their tents last night for some reason I don't understand. The drone picked them up leaving the area, the officers thought it was us and the greenies mounted an operation against them."

I smile at Destiny and proudly answer, "I totally understand what Stacy did because I trained her. Stacy must have felt a threat to her safety so she did exactly what I trained her to do - to make sure your adversary doesn't know where you're sleeping."

I finishing doctoring the MREs, hand Destiny her meal and apologize, "Sorry, I don't have any breakfast MREs so this will have to do."

She takes a bite of it, smiles and states, "This is really good, what is it?"

I smile and reply, "You're lucky you got the lemon pepper tuna, it's one of my favorites."

Destiny smiles and offers, "Then I will trade with you."

I shake my head and reply, "No, go ahead and enjoy it since mine is really good too, it's the Asian beef strips."

Watching her eat her MRE reminds me of how many damn times I'd made MREs for virtually everyone: Jack, Jens, Stacy and many others who we shared missions with. I finish my MRE and say, "Well there ain't no rest for the wicked - it's time to get these things setup and then raise some hell."

Destiny interrupts, "Ben, I'm still a little hungry, do you think you could make something called a Recon Cookie for us?"

I laugh and ask, "Sure, now where in the hell did you hear about Recon Cookies?"

She explains, "Ivan made them for Jen, Liz, Bernie and then he pranked someone called Maria by using salt and tabasco sauce in hers. By the way, Maria hates Ivan."

I begin making the Recon Cookies and smile knowing I had passed on my skills to at least one child. So even though I could never have children at least a little of my legacy would continue. I silently laugh about Ivan pranking Maria - that kid was a handful. I hand Destiny her Recon Cookie and say, "Abbondanza."

She smiles and replies, "Grazie."

I gulp down mine and go back to work.

Destiny looks over my shoulder and continues with the questions, "Ben, what are those devices???"

I hold up the smaller device, the one I took out of my pack and answer her, "This is plan B and if it works as advertised, it will jam the GPS signals which the drone uses. Without the GPS signals the drone will either crash, be forced to land, or leave the area. If it does work it will also play hell with the navigation of the helicopters."

I hook it up to a couple of wires, find the power lead that's required from my battery bank and connect it. The lights go through what appears to be a startup sequence then it settles down to a red light.

Destiny continues with the questions but I don't really mind since it's nice instructing someone again, "What are the wires you connected to the GPS jammer?"

I smile at her and answer, "Remember the perimeter warning system I told you about? Those are wires that connect to it. Even though it's not perfect, I'm using it as an antenna to transmit things, like the comm channel music last night. This way the greenies won't be able to localize the signal and find this bunker."

I cross my fingers (figuratively) and say, "Well, let's see if this works."

I press the button on the front panel and the red light turns green. I look at Destiny and say, "Well this should be working now, let's see what the comm channel chatter says."

We don't hear anything on the comm channel so I begin to work on the other device I pulled out from under the bench. Before she can ask I tell Destiny, "This is an electronic warfare module I purchased for over $10,000. We're going to use it for spectrum warfare."

Destiny looks at it and questions, "Ben, what's spectrum warfare?"

I begin to connect the device and define my terms, "Spectrum warfare is seizing control of all the electromagnetic radiation that makes wireless communication possible. Last night's ploy of using the music to jam the comm channels was a stopgap measure. When I turn this on all communication, even cellular phones, in this area will be stopped. But I want to make sure the GPS jammer is working first so that's why we're listening to the comm channel."

We finally hear what I hoped to hear, chatter from a Chinook coming in to land. The pilot complains, "I don't know what the hell's going on, but I lost all GPS on this area about a klick back."

The base responds, "We know about the problem. It started a few minutes ago and caused the drone to crash."

I look at Destiny and say, "Now that the drone is gone, we have some work to do."

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