Chapter Two -- Job Descriptions
"Miss Rosenberg it's a real pleasure that you decided to take us up on our internship program," Tom sat down across from the pair.
"Thank you Mister Swift."
"Tom please. Mister Swift was my grandfather Barton. My Dad and I never stood that much on ceremony. So what do you know about my company?" Tom asked curiously.
Willow thought for a second and then started speaking, "Swift and Son Industries or SSI is a privately held company specializing in advanced research and development. It was founded in 1914 as Swift Construction and then spawned off Swift Enterprises in the 1950s. The two companies merged in the 1980s after the tragic loss of your father. The Swift group is responsible for the Space Wheel space station, Swift Solar batteries, the Planetoid Nestoria colonization project, and used to produce the Mighty Midget enhanced energy cell.
"Since the International Atomic Energy Administration pulled the license to sell the Mighty Midget cell do to fears of terrorist re-purposing, SSI has mainly concentrated on specialized engineering, civilian aviation and marine vehicles, 3-D Telejection systems, and civilian space exploration."
Buffy's jaw dropped open at this torrent of information and even Tom looked slightly stunned.
"Very impressive Miss Rosenberg. That was a lot more than what I was expecting"
"Uh thank you? and please call me Willow."
"Alright. So you know why you were selected?" Tom watched her carefully
"I did well on a placement test?"
"Partially Willow. There were some other factors too. We'll go over them later on this summer. You and your classmate Mr. Osbourne both did very well. In fact, you were the only two in the entire US to make the cut. You should be proud.
"For the next few months you will be rotated through various divisions of SSI to find where your talents are the strongest. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, astro-sciences, the works. Sound interesting?" He looked over at Willow who began nodding her head vigorously in assent.
"Great. Now for your friend here Miss Summers..."
"...Buffy. Phil said you were a waitress specializing in unarmed combat?"
"Well, we have a well outfitted gym. Phil said she'd meet you there in about..." Tom checked his watch, "fifteen minutes. Unless you're not interested?"
"Oh, I am interested," Buffy replied.
"Great!" Tom pressed a button concealed in the decorations on the conference table, "Phil? Tom here. She's up for it."
A faint voice sounded through a tiny speaker, "Great I'll see her there in a few."
Tom stood, "I'll show you where the locker room is so you can change."
Buffy and Willow got to their feet and followed the older man to a basement floor. The gym was a wide well lit room with mats, weight training machines, and even a boxing ring set up in one corner.
Phil Radnor was working with a speedbag in one corner and waved at the three when they entered.
"So Buffy, the locker rooms are over there," Tom said while pointing.
The petite blond had already taken off her boots and was walking over to the ring. Placing her boots and jacket on the floor she slipped on the pair of sparring gloves, foot pads and padded headgear that were waiting for her ringside.
Phil walked over, "You're not going to change?"
"It would take to long to find the right bag in your truck," Buffy slithered into the ring, "These will be fine." She pointed at her red leather pants and black short sleeve turtleneck.
"Okay then," Phil climbed in as well and the two fighters went to opposite corners.
Phil was taller and looked far stronger than Buffy. But the blonde looked very agile and light on her feet.
The pair closed and exchanged a brief flurry of blows. It looked like Phil had hit first and Buffy was retreating back across the ring. They closed again and this time it looked like Buffy had connected with a leg sweep as Phil was down on one knee and Buffy was coming in with a backfist. Phil managed to block it and regain her feet and the two separated for a second time. The third encounter seemed to be a draw, as Phil used her longer reach for an extended kick which Buffy barely managed to block while retaliating with a shin kick on Phil's other leg. Phil backflipped from one leg, keeping herself of the mat and landed in a crouch out of range.
On seeing this the rest of the patrons of the gym began to applaud. Phil pulled off her gloves to step forward and shake Buffy's hand.
"You're really good Buffy. You're very fast and have a great sense of balance. You do need a little work on strength training though. It felt like there was almost no power behind your strikes."
Buffy pulled off her gloves and headgear, "Thanks Phil, I know I really need to work on my muscleyness. The price of being my size I guess."
Tom and Phil could not see Willow rolling her eyes behind them.
"Anyway," Buffy continued cheerily, "That was a lot of fun and I hope we can do it again!"
"Of course. Sparring against somebody as quick as you is great practice. By the way what style was that?"
"Oh my teacher had his own style. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. It seems to work for me alright."
"Well it does work. If you'll excuse me I have to change," Phil said apologetically and walked towards the locker rooms.
Buffy pulled on her boots and jacket and ran a brush through her hair.
"Buffy, you were Willow's best friend through high school?" Tom asked inquiringly.
"Yeah, we were kind of inseparable."
"I have a friend like that and know just how important they are. I don't really have a job for you, but I can offer you room and board and maybe some training if you're interested."
"Pilot, submarine, diving. Maybe give you a chance to go into space. You'd get to see Willow too, maybe help out on some projects."
"Are you serious?" Buffy had a surprised expression on her face.
"Of course. It's my company, I get to make the rules. You interested?"
"Oh yes! I could really learn to fly?" Buffy asked excitedly.
"I don't see why not. It's settled then. Willow, you'll report to mechanical engineering lab eleven tomorrow at eight thirty, and Buffy be at the flight line at nine. See you two tomorrow," with that the tall inventor walked away.
The two teens stared at each other.
"Wills, what just happened?"
"You let Phil win, and Tom Swift is going to give you flying lessons personally...I think."
"Yeah I think you're right," Buffy looked guiltily at the locker room door, "I didn't want to make her feel bad. She is obviously so proud of her form."
Willow patted her friend on the shoulder, "You did the right thing."
The two friends sat on a bench and waited for their ride to finish changing.