What I did on my summer vacation and a new job
I was sitting in my office at good old Training and Procedures Facility 7. Yup, I had an office and an aide. Of course the aide was Sergeant First Class Boyer, but you kinda take what you can get. I also had an espresso machine gifted to me by my bestie Wills and it was currently hissing away making lovely caffeinated ambrosia for a sleepy Special Operations officer, namely me.
After getting back from Iraq I got to sit in a series of debriefings with my boss, Major General Alan Schaefer, and say "That's classified above your level" to Lieutenant Generals, Colonels, and Senators whenever they asked exactly what happened in the desert. I mean knowing that the world was almost destroyed by a crazy French bioweapons guy teaming with a Mesopotamian Demon falls under serious need to know according to Dutch.
Speaking of Dutch, which is my boss's nickname because he was born in Austria or something, he was mad at me for calling for Ranger support and then telling them to turn around and go home, and happy that I saved the world with two platoons of infantry and a special operations assault team. I kinda didn't mention the legion of undead soldiers that showed up at the end.
In fact he was happy enough that he gave both Faith and I orders to report to Ranger School with gender-waivers attached. I'm now pretty sure that any requirement in the military including breathing can be waived by somebody somewhere.
Ranger School was hell in some ways and easy in others. The physical portions, including lack of sleep, were a breeze to a pair of Slayers. The lack of food was so bad though that Faith and I started hunting snakes and turtles in Swamp Phase just to get a snack.
Benning Phase with the Ranger Assessment Program at Camp Rogers and Squad Operations at Camp Darby were seriously cool. The RAP was laughable for us with our strength and endurance. We were listed as 'prototype trainees' and the instructors were ordered to treat us the same as the rest of the guys. Faith didn't care of course, and after spending so long with guys out in the field I didn't either surprisingly. We only had one incident, and when the individual involved received involuntary flying lessons care of Faithy, everything stayed cool after that.
Then came Mountain Phase at Camp Merrill. Weeks of going up mountains, down mountains and across mountains. We walked, climbed, air assaulted, and parachuted all over the place. All the time planning and leading raids. Everybody switched off as patrol leader so sometimes you'd see a PFC running the show and others, a Captain or a Major. The two of us kept it ramped down as much as possible. Just trying to look tough enough to take it, not like we were super-powered, but still when troops saw someone my size arm only climbing a rope with a sixty pound pack on my back...you better believe some eyebrows got raised.
Finally came Swamp Phase at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. This is where we finally got our reptilian junk food. Faith got really good at catching cottonmouths and I got to punch out an alligator that was getting a little too friendly aside from that it was just wet, slimy and tiring although I got to blow up a communications tower on the final training exercise. Faith ended up in charge of the final assault and got the William O. Darby Distinguished Honor Graduate award for her tactical plannage and general awesomeness at the school. I didn't get any awards, but that was fine as I got to blow stuff up a lot.
After that Giles and my Mom came down and pinned our tabs on to our uniforms. Then we got drunk, Faith headed back to Boston for school, and I headed back to Camp Mackall where I found my new office and aide waiting for me.
Now it was a three months back. I had my mocha and was finally finishing writing the Iraq incident report. Pressing 'Save' and 'Send' it was on its way to Dutch, I leaned back in my privately purchased comfy chair and looked around my domain.
I had my medal award and school certificates along with my college diploma on my 'I love me' wall. Hey, it's traditional. The other wall had photos of me and Sam, me and the platoons in Tajikistan and Iraq, me, Faith, Giles, and Ethan, and of course a big one of all the Scoobies.
The wall behind my desk had a gunrack with an M4, my FAL, my Sig, and my vest, MOLLE gear, and helmet. Above that was Baby, the DsHk that I had found in Moscow, along with my weapon rack with the alien sword I had picked up in Arizona and a couple of battle axes, knives, and stakes.
Boyer came in from his office in front of mine. He still looked uncomfortable in dress greens as he had been infantry for the past seven years.
"Hey Buff, Dutch wants to talk to you."
"Why didn't you call me when he called?"
"Because somebody has taken the phone off the hook so she could concentrate. At least that's what that higher ranking somebody told me."
"Oh yeah," I quickly plugged my phone back in, "Oops?"
"Yes, Oops works."
"So when did he call?"
"About fifteen minutes ago. He sounded impatient."
"He always sounds impatient."
"Well yeah Buff, but he sounded more impatient than usual."
"Uh oh," I looked over at my go bag and wondered if I had left anything out. Our boss is the kind of guy that will send an agent out on a moments notice. Some of the other people that work for him are just as scary in their own special ways, as I am and we are always busy.
Training and Procedures Facility 7 is one of the dirty little secrets of the Army. We have almost no budget, but we can beg, borrow, or steal most of what we need from other units. Technically, as far as I can tell, we are a division of contingency planning for Army Joint Special Operations Command. In actuality we are a follow on program from a military supernatural investigation operation from World War II called the Demon Research Initiative. The mandate of the agency increased from demonic and supernatural forces to any form of alien intelligence after the Roswell crash in 1947. Over the years it's supplied the tactical muscle to other agencies that stumble across weird stuff and currently I'm part of that muscle. The CIA keeps trying to grab all the data along with other agencies such as the National Intelligence Directive and the NSA. But when it comes to gunmen, they usually end up calling us after they screw up. Since I've come aboard, we've been working a lot closer with the Council to keep a lid on incidents and prevent not of the nice types from acquiring weapons of weird destruction.
"Guess we'd better go see what he wants then," I sighed.
"Oh yes we. Time to be aide-y oh aide of mine."
We walked down through the underground halls to the boss's office. His secretary, Miss Green, waved us in with her normalish scowl. I think she's part plavcek demon and instinctively hates slayers.
I knocked on the door.
"Come in!" Dutch sounds like a germanic foghorn even when he's in a good mood.
"Captain Summers and Sergeant Boyer reporting as ordered sir," I even stood at attention as I stared at the back of my bosses head. He spun his chair around to face me, unlit cigar clamped in his teeth.
"You finish report?"
"Vhy are you standing? Sit down you two clowns," he waved at the chairs in front of his desk.
"Vhe haff recieved word that there is a smuggling ring involved in bringing some form of non-human vheapon sytem into New York. The Council is sending a specialist to help us locate it. Vhe vher requested to provide security. That's you two."
"Anybody I know?" I asked.
"Vhesley Vhyndam Price. Have you heard uff him?"
"Uh, yes sir, I do know him."
"Gut. Then there vhill be no troubles...Right?"
"Yes sir! What's our cover?"
"FBI. Travel has your badges and keys for your vehicle. Civilian clothes and sidearms only Captain. Your job is simply to protect until he locates the weapons. Then call in reinforcements."
"Vhell? Get going! His flight lands tomorrow and you haff a long drive!"
I grabbed my Sig from my office along with a couple of knives while Boyer grabbed his Beretta and looked sadly at the PKM hanging on the wall.
"I know, I'll miss having baby along too," I commiserated, "Tell you what, swing by the armory and sign out an MP5K and a Witness Protection. We can easily pawn those off to the boss as sidearms compared to what we usually carry."
"Got it Buff, and good idea."
"I'm not just a pretty face..." I laughed and headed home to grab some FBI-ish suits and shoes.
I met Boyer back at the motorpool and we headed north up 95 in a black Suburban with tinted windows.
"I feel like a conspiracy theory," Boyer muttered as we we passed the 401 turnoff.
"Face it Boyer, we are."
BtVS Property Mutant Enemy, Dutch Schaefer Property Fox, Sam Fisher Property Tom Clancy and UbiSoft, NID property MGM TV