Graduation Day, Part 3
BtVS of course, is the property of Mutant Enemy.
Let me ask you a quick question 'kay?
What happens when a evil sorcerer spends five or six generations making with the bad mojo to power his ascension to seriously huge and icky snakey demonhood and somebody blows him up before the ritual fully stabilizes?
Well as my best friend pounded into my chemically blonded skull in physics class, Energy can't be created or destroyed but it can be changed or transferred or something like that. And the energy required to turn a average sized guy into a supersized reptile demon had to be pretty impressive. So where did all that energy go?
The short answer is 'back' with the exact where being the Hellmouth. The Mayor had been leeching it for quite a while, not enough at any one time to break the seal of course, but when all that energy plus a collapsing school hit it. It opened.
And then got promptly filled by the mortal remains of Sunnydale High. They say that education is good for you. I think the poor Hellmouth would have disagreed. It was sealed with a plug saturated by all the passion, love, hate, elation, sorrow, hope and guilt that you'd expect to find in your typical high school. Yeah that's a lot of emotional baggage to to get rid of to get it open again. So it was sealed, but not closed. The energies of the weird couldn't get past the wreckage and ring their spectery dinner bells, so the things that go bump in the night wrote Sunnydale off as a beach resort with way too much seaweed and junk on the beaches.
As there were no new Hellmouth's opening, as this one was not technically
closed. I could leave town for school and Northwestern here I went! Of course as my grades were not the most stellar which shot down any merity types of scholarships, and Northwestern is pretty pricey I had to pay for it somehow, and that somehow was the ROTC plus Illinois Army National Guard.
And so there I was, after a fun fun fun summer in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri learning to tap into my inner Judy Benjamin, residing in Evanston Illinois being a good study bunny as an undeclared undergrad, with Mr. Gordo watching over me during the week. Once a month I went out and drilled with my new bestest friends in the 33rd Military Police Battalion, and for my summer vacation I went to as many Army Schools as I could compete for.
As to be expected if it had to do with physical ability, weapons handling, or impeccable grooming (read as inspections) I aced it. Scholarship I was pretty decent at. No where near the level of an Oz or a Willow brain, but my little Buffy brain just kept trucking along and I eventually decided I wanted to go into international relations. Apparently all those funky languages I learned chunks of in high school kind of stuck. So I decided to go into southwest asia studies, and began learning arabic and farsi. Did you know having a good foundation in akkadian really helps with any semitic language?
So I was a good student and went to neat schools that taught me about mountaineering and working with helicopters, and how to be a better leader. And at night I kept up with my second career. Chicago has a lot of nasty residents. This went on until September 11th 2001.
I was doing something neat called LDAC. It's this leadership course that normally requires you to have completed your third year as an ROTC cadet, but due to my drive, flawless PT test and marksmanship scores, and major, I had gotten a waiver to attend it. It was the last week and I was getting ready to head back to Illinois when we got the report about the Towers. After that it was kind of blurry, we were on lockdown then we were finally released home.
It was life as mostly usual until November. I had just gotten back to my dorm room from class when I got a call from the Operation's guy at my Battalion.
"Sergeant Summers, this is Major Ashbrook."
"Yes sir," the Army is really picky about names and 'sirring' and 'ma'amming' I think it's a complex or something.
"You need to report to Battalion Headquarters in Arlington Heights immediately."
"But I just got back!...Sir!"
"I know, but the Department of the Army needs farsi linguists now. You're being activated."
"I'll be there ASAP Sir," I grabbed my duffle and my field gear and ran down to my car. Forty-five minutes later, I was at headquarters.
"Hey Summers! Get over here!" it was our supply sergeant waving at me.
I trotted over.
"Drop your field gear, you're getting fresh issue and you can draw your weapons from the armory in a sec."
"That's all I got."
I dropped my gear off and headed for the Battalion offices.
"There you are Sergeant. Have you seen supply?"
"Yes Sir. Gear's dropped off and he's getting me new stuff."
"You've got orders activating you assigning you to Temporary Duty with 10th Mountain Division in three days. Here's the paperwork excusing you from school this semester with no loss of standing, and here's your deployment packet. Insurance, will, shot card, passport, 10 copies of your orders, and a Space-A preference form so you can catch an Airlift Command flight. Make sure all the information is accurate. You are under OPSEC for now so no talking to anybody about your orders."
"What can I tell my family?"
"Just that you've been called up to active duty because of the crisis. No word though of who you'll be with or what you'll be doing. Understand?"
"Hey Summers, you ready to sign for your weapons and gear?"
"Good luck Sergeant, stay safe."
"Yes Sir, Thank you Sir," I headed back to the Armorer's cage and signed for my rifle, my pistol, and my bayonet. He handed me the travel papers and the weapons and shook my hand, "Be careful Buffy."
"I'll try. I just hope I don't screw up."
"The Wonder Woman screw up? Not going to happen."
"I wi...hope I can have your confidence. Mine left town about ten minutes ago."
"You'll be fine. Wherever you're going it will probably be a rear area where you can chill."
"I hope so, see you Pete."
"See you Buff!" I went out to my care and locked the weapons in my trunk after covering them with an old rug. Then it was off to a supermarket for some boxes to put my stuff in until I got back from wherever I was going, Fort Drum New York by the orders. Then I called mom.
"Buffy! How are you?"
"I'm great and keen and all that sort of stuff!"
"What's wrong?" my mom's trouble detector has only gotten more refined with age.
"Uh, I kind of got activated..."
"Activated, what does that mean?"
"Well, I'm not Buffy A. Summers, Sergeant Illinois Army National Guard anymore. I'm Buffy A. Summers, Sergeant, United States Army."
"What happened?" My mom was sounding a little frantic now.
"It's because of the Towers. They're activating people because they may need them in the future," I hoped that was close enough not to be a total lie.
"So will you still be in school?"
"Kind of, the military bits at least...I think."
"Will you be able to call or write?"
"I'm pretty sure I can write, not so clear on the callibility. I'll let you know as soon as I do though."
"Are you leaving Evanston?"
"Yeah, but I can't tell you where I'll be yet. I'm so sorry mom," I felt like I was about to cry.
"You're a hero Buffy. You have to do things when you're called," she sounded calm, strong, "What do you want me to tell Xander?"
"Nothing yet, and if Wills or Giles calls, stay mum mom."
"Alright, I love you stay safe."
"I love you too mom."
Three days later I was flying to New York.