(Though not 100% necessary, it helps to read I Need a Hero Part 1, first and be familiar with the character of Keith Jones)
Abandoned Factory, unknown location
"It's dismaying that a man of your talent, boasting 11 years of meritorious military service to the nation associates with lowlife felons and encourages them go after lowlife criminals and prostitutes on the streets of Vegas."
Harold Stein stopped smiling and stepped close to Keith Jones, putting his cane under Jones's chin and forcing his face upward to look him in the eye. A dark scowl came over the elderly Jew's bearded face.
"Did you actually think kidnapping and handing over my daughter as a plaything to your henchmen would be enough of a threat to prompt to hand over the keys to my kingdom?"
He lowered the cane, shaking his head. "I'm a man of many allies and many enemies. I don't know if I should be impressed or dismayed that a common thug as yourself was brazen enough to concoct such a poorly thought scheme to take me down. Even if you succeeded, how would you also take down Alvarez or any of the other organized criminal elements in this city with more money and politicians in their deep pockets than the paltry sum your gym pays its employees?"
He nodded to his one of his men who went to the back of his Benz then came back carrying a rectangular box. Jones gasped in terror when the man opened the box and Jones saw what was inside.
"Gentleman, as a parting gift before he passes on to whatever hell is awaiting, please give Mr. Jones a demonstration of what a group of Nazi prison guards did to one of my uncles in Auschwitz when they caught him trying to escape."
The executioner approached Jones with a chainsaw in hand. As he pulled the cord and the trigger in the handle, the power tool came to life with a terrifying roar. The roar seemed to sound louder than any bomb blast Keith had heard as it descended on him.
The sound drowned out Keith's unearthly cries of agony and rage executioner dismembered his legs, his arms, and then his head. The gory body parts were dumped inside a vat of acid. Even though Keith's head had been severed from his body, it continued to howl and scream in utter madness as the liquid dissolved his face down to the bone.
Kathy shot up in bed with a scream, heart thundering, her well-endowed chest heaving with each stricken breath. She jumped to her feet and looked around. It was still the 1-bedroom apartment that she shared with her boyfriend Oscar in Reno. She collapsed back down on bed, trying to catch her breath. Brushing her blond hair out of the way, she wiped her sweaty forehead with some tissues.
That dream. Every time she was about to make some major life-changing decision, the dreams would resurface.
Keith Jones. Who was Keith Jones? Why was it that in all her dreams of this person- SHE was him? Why did she feel like those dreams were moments that she had lived through even though such a thing was impossible?
She had these dreams for as long as she could remember. The dreams seemed to grew worse, increasingly in frequency and intensity as she neared the day that she was going to ship to army basic training neared. She looked at the calendar. It was 3:53 in the morning. Thursday- April 3rd, 2003. A week before she was supposed to ship to basic training.
A light flicked on outside. "Kathy?" A voice called. The door swung open and Oscar rushed into the room, an alarmed look on his face. "I heard you scream! Are you okay?!"
He sat down by his girlfriend, wrapping his hands around her shoulders. "What is it?" She stared into his handsome, boyish face with a terrified look. On impulse, Kathy suddenly hugged him tight against her curvy figure as the two high school friends held each other in a protective embrace. Aside from her younger siblings back home in the rural town of Jasper, Kathy's boyfriend was the only one who she ever showed vulnerability to. Oscar was the only man she ever allowed to put his hands around her.
Even stranger was the fact that in some of the dreams, Oscar was there, fighting alongside her behind enemy lines. He was not the boyish youth from back in high school. He looked lean, rugged, scarred, and muscular in those dreams. He looked like a hardened warrior.
Kathy wondered if she should tell him that. No. It was craziness. Youthful fantasies. Hallucinations. She didn't want to think about it anymore. But she was afraid of going back to sleep.
"I'm scared, Oscar." She whispered breathlessly. "They were so real."
"It's okay, Kathy. I'm here. I'm here for you, babe." Oscar said soothingly as she gently stroked her silky blonde hair.
Kathy gazed at her reflection in the mirror as she finished drying her hair after a hot shower. She examined her 6 foot 2, athletic figure with its soft curves, broad shoulders, long blonde hair, toned muscles, and hard abs. She stepped onto the weighing scale- 175 pounds, the same weight she was when she was 15 years old
Nothing had changed. She was still Katherine Jones. The star athlete of Sierra High. The Nordic goddess that boys went crazy for a chance with. They were utterly beneath her notice. Most of the boys attracted to her were overly muscled thugs whose budding college athletic careers would end in a fiery wreck of alcohol, wild sex, steroids, and bankruptcy. Most women, for that matter, were also beneath her. Brainwashed by the mainstream media, they would go into tremendous, unsustainable student loans for degrees that would equip them for nothing in life. Spending what was left of their lives, bemoaning their delusional feminist beliefs. Or throwing themselves at inferior foreign men for the promise of money. Kathy had her sights set on a far higher cause than their small minds could comprehend.
She breathed in deeply to steady her nerves. "Nothing has changed." She thought to herself. "Nothing has changed." She said aloud in her low, husky voice.
"Turn back, Kathy." A ghostly male voice wheezed. The room suddenly turned bitterly cold. "Turn back. Go home."
Kathy blindly whirled about. But there was no one. The room's temperature returned to normal as she shivered.
She would not go to sleep for another two hours.
Kathy woke up next to a bare-shirted Oscar. She looked at the clock and frowned. It was 8:00 AM. She had been so exhausted that she slept for 10 hours and 24 minutes. She rarely got up later than 7:30. This was probably the first time in a year of living in Reno that she got up later than Oscar did.
But for now, she would have as much fun as she could with her boyfriend before they both shipped off to 14 weeks of infantry training at Fort Benning. She stared at Oscar's handsome sleeping face for a moment then, kissed it. Oscar stirred awake to the sight of his girlfriend's smiling face.
"Morning, angel." He smiled as he wrapped his strong arms around her, pulling her close to him as they kissed again, deeper this time. He breathed in her scent deeply. It was intoxicating. She moaned into the kiss as she ran her hand down his lean, hard abs.
As the heat grew, Oscar grabbed her wrist and positioned himself atop her as she smirked wickedly up at him.
After several rounds of intense sex, the pair ate breakfast silently without speaking. Kathy had a worried look on her face throughout, even after they both finished breakfast and washed the dishes.
Oscar walked shirtless out of the shower wearing a muscle shirt and shorts that proudly displaying his well-proportioned, lean, and sculpted body. The 6 foot, 192-pound high school tennis player was the teenage heartthrob in school. But he only ever had eyes for Kathy. Likewise, he was the only man Kathy would ever allow to put his arms around her.
"Kathy, let's go, babe! Let's got for the 3 mile-run! Got to stay in shape so we can both max out the APFT. Kathy?" He frowned in concern as he saw his girlfriend on the sofa, brooding silently about something. She looked almost frightened.
"Kathy?" He asked, sitting down beside her and wrapping an arm around her strong shoulders. "Are you alright? You've been pretty quiet since this morning."
"Oscar." Kathy said softly and looked up at him. She bit her lip and looked down before staring at his handsome face.
"Aren't you a little worried about what we're about to do?" She asked.
Oscar shifted in his seat. "Everybody is a little worried when he or she is about to embark on the journey for the first time. Most people will never dream of enlisting in the military nor do they have the professionalism and commitment required to become a professional soldier." He said gently with an understanding look. All enlistments for first time, non-prior service enlistees for all five branches of service were 8-years long. That alone was a daunting prospect for even the most committed.
Only Oscar saw past her tough, brooding exterior. She was more prepared for military life than any woman he ever saw. He had no doubts in her ability to pull through. He was the only man she ever confessed her fears and doubts to.
"8 years. Where will be in 8 years." She muttered, shaking her head.
"I know. It feels like a long time. But we've been in school for 13 years from kindergarten all the way to graduation. But not all 8 years will be in active service. We both enlisted in 4-year contracts. 4 years of active duty service. After that, we can both transfer to the reserves, national guard, or even the individual ready reserves, which is the same as retiring from the army anyway."
Kathy didn't smile and continued to stare ahead with a haunted look. Even as she knew the military was a cause she wanted to sign up for more than anything else at this time of life, something felt horribly wrong.
Oscar vaguely knew about her dreams and wondered if they were responsible for her behavior. "You're going to be okay, Kathy. If nothing else, you will make it through basic. Skinny, noodle-armed nerds and fat-assed couch potatoes passed basic training. Girls who look like they've never lifted a weight in their lives passed. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to. As long as you know the ranks, chain of command, soldier's creed, the 3 general orders, follow orders, and don't make the mistake of calling a drill sergeant "sir", you're not going get fucked with. It's called basic training for a reason You play varsity volleyball. You're close to maxing out the APFT, which already means that you are in better shape than most men. You outshot me at the range too. I don't see what the problem is."
That Oscar was being sent to a different company on the 1-19 battalion on the base did her no comfort. He was going to Delta Company: she was going to Charlie Company. Fort Benning was infamous for being the most difficult of the 5 army basic training posts. But 1-19 Battalion's Charlie Company was said to be especially notorious- it was where "Jeff", allegedly the most feared drill sergeant on the entire base, supposedly resided.
"Then why do I feel like I'm walking into something I shouldn't be?" She wondered silently.