Fiction – Ruth’s Story #36 The beginning of the storm within the barricade on Lake City Way
I am startled by the glass windows and doors in front of the restaurant shattering, obviously by a concussion grenade.
Several of the formal soldiers in full battle rattle storm in with the green lasers on their M4 carbines flickering around the room. Nikola among them in full battle rattle, carrying (I note with surprise) a folded stock suppressed AKS-74U-UBN with the BS-1 “Tishina” 30mm suppressed grenade launcher attached underneath the barrel of the stubby “Krinkov” assault rifle.
One of the barricade members starts to rise to my left at the end of the table and Nikola swings to his right immediately covering the fool. “Nyet!”
The individual wisely sits back down in a hurry, so much so that I thought he might fall out of his chair.
I notice when Nikola turns to his right and covers the barricade individual that he wears a large frame 3rd generation Glock pistol on the left side of his LBV.
Seeing Nikola in his full Spetsnaz outfit is impressive, but I was not aware that he had another weapon other than his ‘Threadcutter.”
“Easy Nikola, what is going on?” Jamal seems mildly perturbed like he has gum stuck to his shoe.
Jamal is interrupted by the Asian youths clearing our dirty dishes away. The young Asian girl offers refills of hot water for tea and I gladly accept. The youths act like nothing is going on walking around the 11 soldiers (counting Nikola) standing with M4 carbines pointed.
During the momentary period of silence, the Asian youths refill water and tea as required, and also give out orange-flavored fortune cookies. During this surreal event the soldiers continue to point weapons at the barricade members and I remain sitting on Pete’s chest with my hair pin jabbed in his left tear duct that a fine thread of blood dribbles down his face.
My pistol is still jammed under Pete’s chin hard enough to be uncomfortable. If he turns his head away from the pistol in my right hand he will spear himself on the hair pin in my left hand.
Pete’s eyes are wide with fear and he gulps several times. I can feel his pounding heart hammering against my thighs, and his labored breathing pressing against my ass. While I am fairly light, weighing around 100 pounds, sitting as I am on his chest up against his beer gut is not comfortable at all for him and compresses his chest which makes drawing full breaths difficult.
A crash from the back of the restaurant punctuated with the unmistakable short stucco rattle of a very close sub machine gun causes everyone to look up. Pete tenses a minute underneath me and I slowly shake my head no at him. Pete settles down immediately.
Laurel (Sutton) comes striding in carrying a MP5 SD with its stock folded and big fat smoking suppressor. Out of his Ghillie suit, I realize how tall and lanky Sutton is; easily standing 6’ 7” or so. Sutton dressed in full battle rattle wearing and wearing an Eberlestock gun carrying back pack of some fashion which sticks above his back.
When the young Asian girl replaces my empty tea-pot on the table with a fresh full one, I ask her quietly if it would be possible for me to get some of the tea to take with me. She smiles at me and whispers that she will see what she can do.
Walking past Sutton into the back of the restaurant, the young girl returns to the back. I look at Sutton and Nikola. “What the fuck is going on here?”
Nikola speaks first followed almost immediately by Sutton. “The food was liberally sprinkled with something to make us sick. Not sure what it is but many soldiers puking right now.”
Sutton pretty much says the same thing except he said “barking at the earthworms” an American soldier idiom for forceful vomiting, often after an alcoholic binge.
“That was not chicken you ate either.” I dread Sutton’s next words, because I am sure I am going to be sick all over Pete if he tells me I ate a small piece of a person. “That dark meat was actually dog, I think Saint Bernard or Doberman.”
Jamal rises, and now he does look really pissed. He crams his head-gear upon his head and surveys the room. “How long before onset of sickness and what did they put in our food so I can get an antidote made.”
I lean against Pete getting my face really close to his. “Pete you heard Jamal. Tell me what you fed our crew now or I will get it out of you in a very painful manner that you will not likely survive.”
Pete swallows a large lump. “Ipecac syrup – the food was heavily laced with ipecac syrup.” Pete squawks loudly to anyone listening.
“Well that is just great.” Jamal does not seem all that happy and still looks ready to explode to me.
“So what do we do?” Nguen asks quietly.
“What are our options, Doc?” I ask.
“There is no antidote for ipecac syrup; the afflicted are going to have to tough it out. It looks as if we are going to be staying the night anyway. Sutton how is Sam and Randy?”
“Both are green as the grass and have their heads buried in pails when I left them.”
Jamal looks at Nikola. “How did you learn of this?”
“Went to get radio, saw several soldiers puking guts up, figured something was wrong.” Nikola accompanies this little tid bit of information with a shrug.
“Nikola and Sutton take the troops that are not affected and divide them up. I want a security detachment on the convoy immediately and a sweep team to search this barricade starting …I will let you know.”
Sutton looks around the room. “I already placed a security detachment on the convoy, vehicle weapons are manned and both of our towed artillery pieces are manned and ready. The two teams I have front and rear of this restaurant are going to be the search teams.”
“Sutton anyone that is not us is considered suspect or hostile. Start bagging and tagging Baghdad style. Stack them in the street in front of the restaurant. Separate men from women and children from anyone. Be firm but gentle, however any resistance shall be put down immediately. Sam’s SOS and ask questions later order still stands.”
Sutton looks around the room. “Alright you heard the Colonel. Break out the quick zips, the pillow cases and start baggin’ and taggin’ suspects. Get the restaurant secured, we will assemble at the colonel’s vee dub in 30 minutes.”
The men move seamlessly obviously experienced at this procedure. Sutton comes over and puts about a size 14 boot on Pete’s neck. “You and me are going to have a little parlay. Ruth you want in?”
“Sure” I tell Sutton who drops his MP5 to hang on its single point sling from his LBV. From his back he pulls a large thick white plastic zip strip. “Roll over Pete, hands in the middle of your back. If you give us any trouble I can promise you will regret it.”
Sutton nods at me and I lift off of Pete, replacing my weapons. While Sutton zips Pete’s hands together in the center of his back, (I hear Pete grimace at the tight binding pressure of the plastic tie) I see the Asian youths are marched out of the back of the restaurant, their hands secured behind them by plastic ties.
As the pretty Asian girl passes by she smiles at me, and I smile back. As the children pass I notice that while their hands are secured the ties are not nearly as tight as they could be.
A soldier marches the old Asian man out now minus his head-gear. The left side of his smok is splattered in blood which does not appear to be his. He seems angry but defiant. As they pass, the older Asian man sees Pete lying on the floor. “I told you, you stupid son of a bitch, that Karma is a mother fucker!”
I set my chair up right and pour myself some more tea. The tea has cooled now but it is still very good. It is not until my second sip of tea that I realize there is a soaked piece of paper in the bottom of my cup.
Emptying the cup by drinking all of the tea out of it, I pull out the small wet piece of paper, unfolding it to read the neat words written in pencil.