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Life's Ending, Life's Beginning

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Lt. Buffy "Cali" Summers, USAF". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: After the events of graduation go horribly wrong, Buffy leaves Sunnydale for another future

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Buffy-Centered > Theme: ActionbecuzitswrongFR1831164,5184402115517,7542 Oct 076 Mar 14No
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Chapter Four—BCT (Basic Cadet Training)



August 8, 1999

Dear Mom,

Well, I'm almost done with BCT (That's Basic Cadet Training to you). It has been... interesting. I think I did pretty well. It was a bit of a shock. I especially missed being able to talk to you. But no phone calls until Parents' Weekend this fall. Them's the rules. That's why the endless stream of letters. If I got muscle cramps, I would have crampy fingers by now.

I told you about having to get my hair cut even shorter, didn't I? It's really been easy to take care of, but I'm looking forward to life after BCT when I can grow it out a little longer. It brings back too many Dorothy Hamill memories. Shudder. I asked my Cadet Leader how long I could let it get and she told me shoulder length. That's about as long as I wore it sophomore year in high school. For now, I try to avoid mirrors, since I also can't wear makeup either. I still get looks from the guys here, but I think thats mostly because I'm the girliest girl here. And the shortest. Every one of my fellow female cadets are taller than me. So not fair. Where are those tall Summers genes?

Wearing a uniform has been really strange. I miss my clothes. I dreamed about shoes last night. Jimmy Choo's with that cute strappy look. I just sighed by the way. I think that if I can find the time, I'm going to see about fitting my uniform a little more. XXXXXXXXXX Sorry about the smear, but I just thought about what Xander would say about me being in uniform. It was entirely inappropriate and thoroughly Xander. I miss him so much. I miss them all. XXXXXXXXXX Okay, I'm better now. Today's just one of those 'hard' days.

The hardest thing to get used to, other than the hair and uniforms, has been the lack of free time. It was getting worse and worse. They keep us busy from the time we get up until we go to bed. I finally got used to going to bed at 10:30 at night. I told you how hard that was. But now I get up way earlier than anyone else. It works since I don't really need that much sleep. Years of patrol and all. I have been getting up at 2:30 am for the last four days. That gives me around three hours of free time! I can do my nails, or anything else that doesn't make noise. I even reread Contrails, to make sure I didn't make any silly mistakes about the Academy. Which is definitely of the good. There's no rule against being up so early, but I think my roommate narked me out. My Squad Leader had a talk with me about not sleeping. Apparently she got the 411 about what happened at graduation and was keeping an eye on me. I told her I was totally okay, but I'm not sure I convinced her. She kept asking me if I was having nightmares. I told her I don't dream. She didn't ask again, but she thinks I'm hiding something. Sometimes, I really wish I wasn't. I do dream. They're mostly happy. But sometimes, I dream about THAT night. I guess those dreams qualify as nightmares. I know I woke my roommate up a few times. Okay, enough mopey Buffy.

I finally got used to everyone running around like energizer bunnies beginning at 5:30 am. It was about the same time as I started to get my three hours of alone time. By the way, my room has been perfect! Me and my roomie so rock! Another girl in the next room missed a corner on her bed and forgot to put up some clothes. She had to do a lot of push ups to make up for it. I'm actually kinda glad you made me make my bed for so long. No 'push up Buffy' so far. Not that it would be hard, just boring.

The twenty-five minutes for eating breakfast and lunch has taken some getting used to. Remember how I told you the food is really good? Well turns out it was not a fluke. So far, everything's tasted great. I'm crossing my fingers right now. Superstitious, I know. I gotta say though, that nothing prepares you for watching a couple of hundred people eating at warp speed. It is a gruesome sight, not to mention all of the lipsmacking that goes on. Totally surround sound. Especially breakfast. Because of how tough each day is, everyone's starving first thing in the morning. I actually inhaled three plates of eggs yesterday morning. I think if I had gone any faster, I would have eaten the fork, too.

The calisthenics, marching, and other military stuff, finished off last week. It was boring, although I did learn to salute! Military training supposedly gets a lot more interesting later, when it's about tactics and leadership and stuff. Halfway through our third week, everyone took the PFT and AFT. Sorry, that's the Physical Fitness Test and the Aerobic Fitness Test. I got laughed at when I asked if we got to listen to music when we did aerobics. By the way, I'm pouting right now. Turns out it means we had to run. A whopping mile and a half. I ended up doing it in seven and a half minutes, which was faster than all but one of the guys. To me it felt like I was jogging. At least it stopped all of the blonde jokes I was getting. But it started causing me to get weird looks, so I decided to play it cool on the rest of the tests. So I did just a few more push ups and sit ups than the top score required. At least I made the instructors happy. They told me if I kept doing this I would belong to something called the the '1000 Club'. Captain Merryville kept saying I should join the Women's Cross Country Team. I might do that, although there are so many other activities I could do instead, if I want. They have unarmed combat teams. They even have cheerleading as a sport! And I can try out for the team in the spring. How cool is that?

The last few days, we have been doing phase two of BCT. I thought I was going to HATE doing the whole camping outdoor thing. I am sooo not a country girl. Turns out, I was wrong. Please don't tell anyone, but I really really liked it. It was a lot of fun. We marched out here in formation. As we got further away from campus and the it started to look like wilderness, I was freaking out inside. XXXXXXXXX Sorry, more smears. Willow would have laughed at 'big city Buffy' doing the whole 'Jeremiah Johnson' thing. My nose is running so I'm going to go blow it. Okay, back now.

I actually got to build the camp. I helped put up our tent, and made a firepit. I also got to dig a latrine. That was seriously gross. More in thinking about what would go in it rather than actually doing it. But not as gross as filling one in. No, not me. One of the guys said something a little inappropriate and got punishment detail. Yep, a blonde joke about yours truly. So, he got a week's worth of filling in latrines. We are considering nicknaming him 'Stinky'. How glad I am that it's not me. That reminds me, I forgot to tell you earlier. I got a nickname. Everyone calls me 'Cali'. It's short for California, but then I suppose that's obvious.

I wish I could tell you in person about this. I really miss you. Otherwise, I am starting to be happy. I'm not sure why. I haven't forgotten them. I won't ever do that. Like you told me, as long as there's someone alive to remember them, they're not really gone. I remember. I will always remember. Maybe time does heal all wounds. It's something to think about, huh?

XXX OOO

Buffy Summers
Fourth-Class Cadet
United States Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, CO

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