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Chapter 55

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Present - Destiny and Ben - At the cabin in the bunker

I am not happy at all when Ben tells me about his plans for the day, especially what he's going to do with the empty little tabasco bottles from the MREs. He needs a distraction until I can come up with another plan to slow down his desire to kill the Special Forces so I question, "Ben, why don't you connect to Jens and see how she's doing for the day?"

Ben looks at me and gives me a different answer than I hoped for, "I will once I get this taken care of, but it can't be for long because we have serious work to do."

I begin to think about ways to keep Ben from killing the Special Forces while he continues to work on his tabasco bottles...

I'm damn sure that Destiny is trying to slow up my work so that I can't get busy and take care of some greenies today. I know she's worried I'm going to kill some of them, however what she doesn't know is I've already figured out if I do kill any of them, it will just make them more of a pain in the ass than they already are. But I'm sure as hell not going to admit that to her.

I finish with the tabasco bottles, look at Destiny and say, "Okay, let's see how Jens is doing."

I connect and immediately disconnect! Destiny immediately looks at me and asks, "Ben what's wrong?"

I answer...

Present - Jens - In the equipment room

I began to swear! "Son of a fricken fracken." I see Ivan and change what I want to say, then continue, "Son of a fricken fracken gun!"

Both Liz and Maria look confused as hell and Liz questions, "Jens, what the heck is wrong."

I'm embarrassed as hell but gulp and confess, "Liz, Ben connected to me right as the morphine was affecting me. He felt how I craved the morphine and I was immediately disconnected."

Maria scoffs and confronts me, "Jens, I'm still not sure about this connecting with Ben bull..." she looks at Ivan and wisely changes her words, " ... bull-hockey. And what's this craved morphine bull-hockey, I thought you were never addicted to morphine?"

I realize that one of my deep, dark secrets is out in the open so I confess, "Guys, I hate to tell you this, but I got addicted to morphine when I was a teenager. I had some pretty severe burns and my nurse provided it to me based on the doctor's orders. And ... well, the rest of the story would be how I kicked the habit. But even now, after not having it since my injuries in Germany, I still crave it. I know I should have told you immediately but the hunger is..."

Maria interrupts, "Speaking from experience, the hunger is a demon that continually bites us in the ahh - I mean rear."

I am shocked as I look at Maria and she confesses...

Present - Maria - In the equipment room

If my Princess boss is coming clean, I need to confess too. I inform everyone, "Jens and Liz, I was also addicted to morphine. So Jens, that's how I totally understand your feelings. When I was giving you the injection, I wanted to also give myself an injection."

Jens looks at me and says, "Geez, I knew you drank perhaps too much but I didn't know about the morphine."

I am shocked she knows about the drinking, blink a few times, and ask, "How did you know about the drinking?"

Jens grins at me and answers, "Maria, vodka, even good vodka which you didn't drink because you drank crappy vodka, still leaves a telltale scent on your breath. Many times your breath smelled like a distillery!"

Ivan interjects, "I not sure if crap is a good or bad word."

Hells bells, I've about had my fill of Ivan's politically correct grammar! We have been walking on eggshells around him and I'm tired of it. I figuratively bite my tongue as I suggest, "Ivan, crap is an okay word and much better than what I wanted to use."

He answers, "I will ask mama if I ever see her again." Then hells fricken bells, he begins to cry.

I make a decision...

Present - Ben and Destiny - At the cabin in the bunker

I immediately disconnect from Jens, Destiny asks me what's wrong, I glare at her and explain, "Well, connecting to Jens wasn't such a bright idea, she was stoned."

The last thing I ever thought I would see or feel was a stoned Jens. Destiny tries to mitigate the situation by saying "Ben she must have had extreme pain to let herself take drugs."

I continue my glare and correct that impression, "Well, if it was just being used for the pain it is one thing, but I could sense that she really enjoyed the feeling - no that's not right, she craved the feeling. Now it's time to stop wasting time and give the greenies the hell they deserve."

Destiny warns...

Well, I didn't get any time to determine some way to keep Ben from killing the Special Forces so I decide to advise caution, "Ben, remember you don't want to kill any of the Special Forces or Mike."

Ben derisively laughs and says, "Destiny, don't worry about the greenies since I have no plans on killing them, however I plan on putting the hurt on a few of them and if they happen to die it won't be my fault. However, as I told you before, Mike is a different story because he is hostis humani generis."

Destiny looks puzzled and questions, "What the hell is that?"

I choose this fine opportunity to sarcastically tease her and then answer her question, "I thought you were well read: That's Latin for 'enemy of the human race'."

Destiny threatens me, "Ben, I refuse to help you if you're going to kill Mike."

I nod my head and tease, "That response is just like the crunchy granola chick you are and that's fine with me because I will move much faster if I don't have to take care of your ass."

Destiny begins to argue, "I can take care of my..."

I am tired as hell of her bullshit so I interrupt, "Well I'm leaving. You can stay here all day if you want."

I make sure the area is clear of patrols, open the door to the bunker and just as I assumed, Destiny follows me outside and asks, "What's first?"

I grin at her and answer, "First, we need to place the tabasco bottles so we don't accidentally blow ourselves up."

She continues with the questions, "So, did you learn this in Iraq or Afghanistan?"

Her question reminds me exactly of the time we found the makings of these in a bomb factory in the sandbox and I answer, "Fighting those fuckers was like fighting an army of bearded dickhead MacGyvers! They took the humble tabasco bottle, former mainstay of our MREs, and twisted them to their evil purposes just like I did. They filled it with a sensitive chemical that set off the main charge when crushed by a vehicle driving over it - or could even be triggered by an errant boot step. Like most IEDs, the problem is placing them without blowing yourself to hell. So do you have any insight as to where we should place these."

Destiny surprises the hell out of me with what she does next...

Present - Jens - In the equipment room

Ivan begins to cry and I feel sorry for the poor kid. I look at Liz and ask, "Liz, please bring Ivan to me so I can hold and hug him."

Liz asks, "Jens, are you sure since it could hurt you?"

I smile at Liz and answer, "If it does then it does; please bring him here."

She brings Ivan over to me, lays him on my chest and she's right, it hurts like hell! But it doesn't hurt nearly as much as Ben finding out about my addiction to morphine. Yeah, I know that when he connected to me he immediately understood that the drug wasn't just for pain, it was satisfying what I thought was a long gone craving.

Ivan blubbers, "I want my mama!"

I try my best to comfort him, "Ivan, I know they are trying to rescue us and as soon as they do, then you will have your mama."

We hear a hell of a very strange noise and I ask, "What the hell was that - it came from the tunnels?"

Maria takes command, "Liz and Bernie arm yourselves while I go and see what the hell is going on out there."

I continue to comfort Ivan and command, "Make sure you bring me a pistol."

Maria leaves after giving me a pistol. Liz takes one side of the door, Bernie takes the other and we wait. Then we hear and feel a series of small explosions...

Present - Mike - At the cabin

Son of a bitch, we hear more explosions! That can only mean Ben is at work undertaking some more nefarious evil. The captain runs up and I demand, "What the hell is going on?"

The captain answers, "Sir, I have no idea because without our communications we are effectively cut off from the patrols. However, I assume that the tangos have placed more traps."

That reminds me so I interrogate, "Just what are you doing about fixing communications?"

He gives me a sheepish look and answers, "Sir, we have our best EW people working on this and they are unable to do anything."

I yell at him, "Well why don't you request some EW specialists from Fort Carson?"

He looks at the ground and answers, "Sir, I've already done that. We discovered that when a helicopter travelled about a mile from the cabin all communications were restored until they again came close to the cabin. So EW assistance should be here later today."

I continue, "So captain, why did you come up here in the first place?"

He smiles and replies, "Two reasons Sir, first some of my men..."

I interrupt and correct his obvious mistake, "Don't you mean my men?"

He continues, "Sorry Sir, some of your men have sustained injures which will require them spending time in the CSH."

I interrogate, "What the hell has the tango done to them?"

He answers, "They stepped on boards with nails in them which penetrated their boots and entered their feet. One of the men said they are called, 'welcome mats for bears'. Other of your men are there because they can't hear after triggering the flash bangs. Then there was some sort of IED we have never seen before which injured your men's legs."

I ask request further clarification, "Captain, do we need to requisition more men for this mission?"

The captain answers, "No Sir, we still have more than enough men for this mission."

A soldier runs up, salutes and states, "Sir, good news. We now have access to the tunnels."

I yell an order, "Captain, we need to take all the people in the tunnels captive and place them in the stockade with the other enemy combatants. We especially need to capture Jennifer Donaldson who is the ringleader of the enemy combatants."

He states, "Yes Sir, I will take direct command of this situation." Then he leaves.

I get a strange feeling like I'm being watched and then son of a fucking bitch...

Present - Jack – Taken prisoner

Hell yes that's sweet music to my old ears!

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