The big ending for diffrent people, plays out diffrent ways for new begining.
| The Back Story;
This ties up the Daughters of Odin series. When Air Dave's story ends, that's where Asgardareia begins. Introduced here is my first wife, Asexy. I vaguely remember meeting her this time, most of what I know comes from Atomic Blonde and Mortician who filled in the blanks. I ran into her again about two months after I was discharged from the hospital while on another assignment. No, sparks didn't fly, it was a marriage of convenience at first.
Now if you have read Part 2, Captain Bonnie Parker's Stunt Double is noted as an ex-wife. Very true. She started out Best Man at the wedding, a unique situation in 1987...It made the back page of the Stars&Stripes. Then became our surrogate due to a fertility issue, then after Asexy was killed in action, we tried a go at it.
Air Dave eventually retired from the Air Force, married a woman he met in Sicily. We speak rarely to each other, too many bad memories. The narrative's focus is on Air Dave. However, it is also a story about all of 'us'.
As note on wives; Go kosher.
21 May 1988, over the English Channel.
"Bail out!" Pilot ordered as he and Co-Pilot fought the steering yokes.
The Stratotanker rocked and pitched violently. The vibration began to crack the instrument glass on Flight Engineer's panels. At this point, nobody had time or the wherewithal to silence the orchestra of alarms and buzzers.
"Who's going to hold the plane? We don't have auto-pilot!" Co-Pilot yelled as the dashboard smoked and then caught fire.
"I will!" Pilot ordered. "I'll hold on as long as I can!"
With that the cockpit crew left, including the First AFN cameraman. Air Dave was the last one out and when he got to the bottom of the ladder into the cargo hold, he watched Crew Master throw a self-inflating raft out the door...and then dive out after it.
Boom Operator was running up the gangway with a fire extinguisher in his hands beating back flaming jet-fuel vapor that cascaded across the overhead. He dropped the fire extinguisher, ripped off his respirator, threw that out the door and jumped.
The second AFN cameraman was assisting Boom Operator on fire control, he threw his fire extinguisher out the door, dropped his respirator to the floor and then leaped.
"I'm covering it!" the First AFN cameraman yelled to Dave. "I'll go after you!"
Air Dave stopped for a moment. He turned around and went back into the cockpit, took Co-Pilot's seat and grabbed the shuttering steering yokes. The Second AFN Cameraman recorded it by kneeling on the ladder.
"I told you to bail out!" Pilot yelled. "We don't have auto-pilot!"
"We're going together!" Air Dave yelled.
"I order you to leave! Why aren't you leaving!"
"I learned with my time in Black Flag with Army Special Operations never! And I mean NEVER! Leave your dead or wounded behind no matter what!" Air Dave yelled back. "We're leaving together no matter how this ends! Period!"
"Did your cousin teach you that!" Pilot yelled. "You're still disobeying the last order given! Follow the last order given! They teach that too! Bail out!"
In a flash of inspiration Air Dave grabbed the leg straps of the co-pilot's seat tied them off to the steering yoke.
"There! We have auto-pilot!" he yelled and leaped from his seat. He grabbed Pilot and barked, "You're coming with me!"
"It will never hold! Why are you disobeying an order! Save yourself!" Pilot barked still holding the steering yokes.
"Because sometimes a General has to disobey the Emperor for the greater good!"
"Did your cousin the Acting Captain say that?" Pilot yelled as the plane leveled out mysteriously.
"Yeah...And he was quoting Sun-tzu!" Air Dave bellowed and then knocked Pilot out with a hook shot. He then dragged him down the ladder, muscled him to his feet and aimed him backwards out the door. As he pushed, he pulled the ripcord.
"Damn! That worked!" the Second AFN Cameraman shouted. "Now you jump so I can!"
"You're next!" Air Dave shouted and grabbed him.
"Hey! Air Dave's last!" the First AFN Cameraman yelled as he watched his partner's chute open.
He hung onto the side of the first yellow raft thrown out the door. The second one was empty as both were big enough for the crew. All had their water wings deployed.
"He's too low!" Boom Operated shouted. "He'll never make it...."
"I'll swim over and give a hand with Pilot...I don't want to watch this..." the First AFN Cameraman muttered as he did just that.
"No! Look!" Boom Operator shouted and then point. "He's doing the crash and burn bail out!"
"He'll get stuck on the tail assembly!" Co-Pilot yelled as he watched dumbstruck.
Air Dave turned around in the doorway, back first. He pulled his ripcord and let the parachute open laterally. It cleared the tail assembly and pulled him out the door. Parachutes need four hundred feet to work properly. One hundred feet to open, and three hundred feet to slow down.
Air Dave bailed at closer to three hundred feet than four.
"Air Dave! Air Dave!" the crew shouted from the raft. "Good going you steely eyed missile man!"
"What happened?" First AFN Cameraman yelled.
Second AFN Cameraman and he had linked up and were swimming, slowly and awkwardly with the unconscious Pilot a fair distance away. Both jerked when the Stratotanker crashed and were lucky to have been missed by ejected debris.
"Hold on!" Boom Operator yelled as they broke out the raft's white paddles and began rowing. "We're coming!"
They pulled Pilot into the raft and stretched him out on the deck. Part of the crew is hanging in the water or in the second raft. Co-Pilot is fumbled with the first aid kit, and after applying a sphygmomanometer and running the stethoscope over Pilot, he exhaled helplessly.
"I didn't get very far in medical school..." he explained while dejectedly shrugging. "That said he needs a hospital...If we were there, I'd have an EKG done and consult with a cardiologist...Only thing I can do is apply oxygen from one of the spheres."
Somebody rummaged through the first aid kits for the oxygen as Co-Pilot leafed through the manual. All this was recorded by First AFN Cameraman. They had no sooner put a mask on Pilot and opened the valve from one of the two grapefruit sized green spheres of oxygen as someone shouted 'Hey there's a boat!'
A fishing vessel flying the Union Jack chugged to a stop by the rafts. An older man came to the railing on the side, peered over and smiled. "Ah...Yanks...I see Jerry got you too...I'm Geoffrey Bobo captain of this vessel and I assume you need assistance..."
"Oh, dear!" his wife gaped as she walked over to the railing. "So many...Well at least they're they arrived in time for lunch...I hope I have enough!"
As she scurried off, she began crying over the fact they were 'so ragged' and shouted 'Where are the blankets? They'll catch the death of them they're so wet!'
"Don't worry old chaps," Geoffrey giggled as he gazed over the great abyss. "We called it into to the coast watchers...They're sending a boat out...That being said, afterwards...Why don't we all get together at this pub I know...The One-Eyed Boar...Great place for single men to meet birds. The ale's cheap too..."
"Dad, I don't think they're up for it," his son exclaimed wondering exactly where his father happened to be. From his perspective, he wasn't standing on the boat's deck. "What's the date?"
"It's May 1944...I just met your mother at the One-eyed Boar...You know that...Now get hoping Jerry probably has U-boat lurking about...Germans are sneaky bastards."
"Dad, it's May 1988...Your wars over..." Pickles replied with effort. The look on his face is almost as blank as his father's is.
"Nonsense...They never really end," Geoffrey shrugged it off as he unfastened a chain across the gangway and dropped a rope ladder over the side. "They're strapping men of the highest quality...They just had a bad day at work...A cold ale and a warm piece of leg is all they need to get over it..."
He then laughed as he smacked Pickles' shoulder.
"Don't worry you'll walk better once your injury clears up..." Asexy his psych-nurse said forcing a smile. She walked with Stone leaning on her much smaller frame. They were walking off the anesthetic from his surgery. He had a shunt inserted into the side of his head.
"Which injury? The head or the broken ribs..." he muttered as he wobbled. "Why is the wall bubbly?"
"You got hit low..." she kindly said then looked away.
"The only thing I got hit with is a straight catheter..." Stone replied. "Can I take this plastic thing off my face? What's this plastic thing for?"
"So, your face doesn't droop because of the traumatic brain injury..." she replied as they turned around and began walking to the other side of the room.
"So gorgeous, you have a name?" Stone asked as he looked Asexy over. He was bored and figured why not?
"In few days that'll go away..." she smiled sadly.
"The way you're interested in women...We'll be like your sisters...You have sisters?"
"Four...Two are still alive..." he answered as they turned around again. "Instead of walking in circles let's stroll outside...You got cute ears..."
"What?" Asexy chirped then giggled. "I'm been told allot of things but that...."
"They're pointy like an Elf's..." he said while tickling one. He then checked her out and laid it on thick.
"You think I have cute ears?" she laughed and began to relax. "Do you remember what you did to get here? Just asking..."
"Not really..." he shrugged. He then thought for a moment before saying, "Things are really watery...I'm not sure who I am...I know I have four sisters but I don't remember their names...Just faces...Two died but I don't remember how..."
They turned around and began walking in the opposite direction. She kept giggling, so he kept talking. The session came to an end when they were interrupted by Mortician. She sternly stared at Asexy.
"I'm his cousin and a certified field surgeon," she barked. "How's he doing?"
"He's an octopus..." she giggled and pushed his hand off her lower back. "He's going in tomorrow for an arthroscopic on his left knee. They calling in a specialist from Berlin...And he refuses to accept he's been castrated..."
"No, you're wrong..." Stone giggled.
"It doesn't make you less of a man..." Mortician sympathetically told him.
"Yeah it would," Stone replied laughing. He then pointed toward Asexy, "It make me like her."
Asexy then muttered lowly, "You have no idea how close you are to the truth of that..."
He would later learn that Asexy had a gynecological situation that put her through menopause when she was twelve years old. Sexuality for her was an academic subject.
"Look you're wrong..." Stone said and flashed them.
Both screamed, covered their faces and turned away. As for him he looked down and proudly announced, "You've achieved fame! You finally scared somebody...A Blue Ribbon for you...you monster!"
Stone then found it strange that two assumed medical professionals would react as such. He also found it odd they avoided evidence of their mistake. He told himself later that, in a clearer mind he would've handled it differently. Later that's exactly what it took.
"Do you know who I am?" Mortician asked him out of the blue.
"No...But I think I should," Stone answered honestly. "I'm scared of you somehow...Did you know my sisters?"
"Yes," Mortician replied softening. She then named them.
"The names are familiar but I can't place them..." Stone shrugged.
"Did you have pets growing up?" Asexy asked as she continued to walk with him.
"Beagles...The last two were Buffy and Gipsy," he answered without hesitation. He then touched Asexy's nose and said. "Your nose is dry...Not feeling well? Grass is good for that..."
She giggled while smiling even more.
"She's putting the moves on you...She's taking advantage of you!" Mortician jealously seethed.
"What? Don't be ridiculous..." Stone replied. "She's just being friendly..."
"You don't see that as wrong?" Mortician went on. The flames from her eyes nearly melting her glasses.
"What's your problem sister?" Asexy barked staring at Mortician.
"Out in the hallway bitch," Mortician thumbed toward the door. "You go willingly or I'm dragging you out..."
Asexy's eyes widened and flames shot out of them. As for Stone, he stood there watching a pink haze float about the room in a very light and whimsical fashion. It was like something out of a Walt Disney cartoon. Before they could leave somebody came in and he took a picture of both Stone and Asexy. Months later when Captain Bonnie Parker's Stunt Double showed him that picture, he didn't recognize himself. He asked 'Who's the bozo that looks like a stoned hamster? The dame looks familiar though...How'd he get her?' It seemed that she was suspected of moonlighting for the CIA, a psychological warfare operative, playing with Army Intelligence. Whether that was true or not he never learned.
Mortician then escorted Asexy into the hallway leaving Stone standing there in the room in a daze. His cousin came back in and helped him limp back to his ICU unit, he was the only one in there. His nurse was nowhere to be seen. His cousin kept mentioning other names and places none of which he remembered. He didn't remember his mother but could name his Drill Sergeants and knew he took basic training on Ft. Sill. He didn't remember going to high school with Mortician. She said she be back the next day with Atomic Blonde.
The next day he had finished eating lunch and tried to remember who came to visit him in an hour earlier. He though he should've known her. She said she was his third cousin Animal Mother. He didn't believe her. Animal Mother was supposed to be pregnant, she was an articulated gymnast and a body sculptor...She got trophies for both. She was strong-willed if not straight out stubborn. Not a mild-mannered broken woman in a wheel chair.
A nurse came and pushed the tray away and then adjusted the bolster under his left leg and the tent over it. They were worried about the burns on the back of his calves. Then Mortician and atomic Blonde showed up.
"Well remember us now?" Mortician asked with her patented charming smile.
"Got good news for you," she smiled broadly. "The Germans gave you the Iron Cross...You know you're the third person in your family to become a knight?"
"Who were the first two?" he asked fuzzy on the subject.
"Dame Veruka The Jew and then her husband Sir Rupert...They were knighted by Sir Albert the Bear in 1208 at the Peace of Brandenburg during the Brandenburg-Pomeranian War..." Atomic Blonde bubbled over.
"Shit...Histories repeating itself..." Stone thought he then said, seriously. "What'd I do?"
"Grace..." Mortician then said. "If it wasn't for you all three of us would've been killed on multiple occasions...It's how you got here. You should be dead..."
"Ain't that lucky," he muttered as things partially cleared up. "Little Brother?"
"He's alive..." Atomic Blonde chirped jumping up and down. "He dislocated his shoulder in the impact and after shooting three Russians he carried the crew chief himself to the aid hospital..."
"Good man...Air Dave?"
"He's okay...He wasn't hurt..." Mortician interjected. "Grace, we have to tell you something. We talked to Animal Mother and we all agree...You're going to need somebody to take care of you from now on. You'll need a wife. We owe you. Choose one of us..."
"I don't want a wife," he replied lost in a swirl of madness and confusion. "It would complicate Christmas Dinner at Aunt January's. Besides, Morty your gay..."
"Trust me it won't be a problem..." she smiled disarmingly charming.
"It will be..." Stone thought and lightly chuckled at the expression on her face during the honeymoon at Niagara Falls.
"What's so funny?" Mortician asked mildly confused.
Then they heard footsteps coming down the hallway both turned and spied Asexy trotting toward the ICU. Mortician leaned over toward Atomic Blonde and said "That's the one I was telling you about..."
Both rushed Asexy. From what Stone saw, Mortician had her feet about a foot off the floor as she pinned her by the throat against the wall. Like Darth Vader did in Star Wars. Atomic Blonde was saying something about 'Save something for me I want a piece of that...'
Eventually it took five MP's to break the fight up.
Asexy got her bell rung.
Mortician dislocated her shoulder when breaking the handcuffs off her wrist while going after Asexy a second time. They eventually calmed her down by placing a 9mm to her ear.
As for Atomic Blonde, a concussion from having stick broke across her head.
As for Stone he couldn't get out of bed. He knew his cousin were different now. They weren't the same people he knew from before. If he didn't see it, he'd have never believed they'd go after someone under those circumstances with that level of violent rage. When things calmed down and he cleared up more, he had an axe to grind. He wasn't about to let 'those people' get away with what happened to Animal Mother and her baby.
He considered that a personal failure, a time for payback. One of things Mortician said is that he was fearless. That was as far from the truth as one could get. He did everything because he was a afriad of 'them' or afraid for 'them'. He was afraid to the extent he lost himself and because of fear, he did the next right thing in the face of his own mortality. He did not feel like a hero, he felt like a wounded animal. He went back for more, partially because he wanted payback, grind his axe some more. Partially because he wanted to die after all that...He took the suicide missions when he wasn't grinding his axe. He wanted 'them' to stop him.
The Daughters of Odin, the Valkyrie, choose who lives and who dies in battle. Sometimes it can be hard to know the diffrence, but what is known is there's many ways to slay a warrior.
Dedicated to the Memory of
Spec. 4 Allen-Carter, Terry
United States Army
Killed in Action
Spec. 4 Cameron, Kelly Ann
United States Army
Killed in Action