Leave No One Behind.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blackhawk Down or Call of Cthulhu, I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
The movie, ‘Blackhawk Down’, directed by Ridley Scott, written by Ken Nolan from the book by Mark Bowden. The RPG, ‘Call of Cthulhu’ is published by Chaosium Inc and is based on the works of H. P Lovecraft.Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
A Faith in the Army story set in October 2003.Words:
Seven chapters of 2000+ words.Warnings:
Violence and strong language.Summary:
A Faith in the Army Story; set in 2003 when Faith was just a Spec4. Finding herself sent to Yemalia to be a driver for a General, Faith instead finds herself fighting for her life against Militia bands and evil cultists.0=0=0=0First to fight for the right,
And to build the Nation’s might,
And The Army Goes Rolling Along
Proud of all we have done,
Fighting till the battle’s won,
And the Army Goes Rolling Along.
Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army's on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.0=0=0=0Charlie Seven-Seven, somewhere over the Indian Ocean, October 2003.
The C-130, Hercules dropped like a stone as it approached the Yemali coast and Faith found herself fighting to keep her breakfast in her stomach where it belonged. The flight from Diego Garcia had been a long and tedious one, the Hercules didn’t even have any windows to look out of and the noise from the aircraft’s engines prevented any sort of meaningful conversation with the load master. Having read the orientation material they’d given her (which had taken all of five minutes) Faith’d caught a few zees, but even after that it’d left her with far too much time on her hands to think. Stuck in a metal tube, with no one to talk to and nothing to do, Faith found herself once again thinking about the mystery that was her life.
Way back in 2000, she’d woken up in hospital in a place called Sunnydale, California, she’d been in a coma for eight months; or so everyone told her. At this point, Faith was taking everything on trust because apart from knowing what her name was and some confusing memories about seeing the man she thought was her father killed, she hadn’t a clue as to who or where she was. The doctors told her she’d been found in the back of a truck after she’d been stabbed in the stomach. This sort of made sense, or at least to Faith it did, because after her father had been killed the murderess (a short blonde woman in grey whose face Faith could never quite see in her nightmares) came after her.
There was other stuff Faith knew, she could remember how to read and write, she could remember songs she’d obviously liked and films she’d seen. But useful stuff like who the freaking hell she was escaped her completely. After she’d been moved out of the hospital basement and into a better room the doctors had started to do tests on her. They’d wanted to know why she’d woken up after so long in a coma. Normally the longer someone stayed in a coma the less likely they were to wake up and the hospital authorities had given up on her long ago. Now they wanted to know why she was in such good condition physically; as one of the interns had told her, no one should look as good as she did after spending eight months asleep.
The strangeness had increased one night about two weeks after she’d woken up. Faith’d been lying in bed watching TV one night when two Sunnydale PD detectives walked into her room. Thinking they’d come to talk to her some more about her wounds (which had healed leaving only very faint scares) she was surprised when they gave her a small back pack full of clothes and an envelope containing her personal documentation and about six-thousand dollars. They also advised her to leave town…tonight!
Not being stupid, but feeling totally confused and a little scared; Faith dressed and stuffed the documents she’d been given into the pack her new clothes had come in. She’d gladly accepted a lift by the two detectives to Sunnydale bus station. One of the detectives bought her a ticket to LA and then escorted her onto the bus. Watching her climb aboard the detectives had wished her good luck and again cautioned her never to come back to Sunnydale.
After spending a couple of months in LA wandering from cheap motel to cheap motel, but always with a feeling that someone was following her Faith realised that this couldn’t go on. She was running short of money and no one seemed interested in employing her as anything other than a stripper. After once again failing to get a waitress job, Faith found herself outside a US Army recruitment office. Shrugging and asking herself, ‘what the hell’, she’d walked inside and enlisted, the Army appeared glad to have her when no one else wanted her. The rest, as they say, was history.
This was more than three years ago now; Faith had spent most of her service to date in the US or in Germany. Her present mission was the first one that had sent her outside either the continental United States or Europe. Europe had been cool, just different enough from the States to be interesting but not so different as to make her feel lost. Driving an ambulance for one of the military hospitals that cared for the wounded coming from Iraq and Afghanistan, Faith had felt she was doing something worthwhile. She had friends, money in her pocket a roof over her head and a job she liked, as far as she was concerned she was in ‘hog-heaven’.
But like all good things it came to an end. a few days previously she’d been called into her C/O’s office where he told her she’d been picked to be a driver for a General. Faith swelled with pride, she knew she was a good driver, obviously she’d impressed someone and she’d been picked to drive some big brass around; she wondered where she’d go, maybe she’d be sent to the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Her dreams of seeing Brussels and going around in her class ‘B’s’ all the time were shattered by her C/O’s next words; she was going to drive Major General Bill Garrison’s Hummer in Yemalia.
The name of the place started to ring warning bells in Faith’s head almost immediately. Searching her memory she remembered ferrying a couple of badly shot up guys from the airport to the hospital, the medic looking after them had told her they’d been injured in Yemalia.
After being told to pack her combat gear and put everything else in storage, Faith was dismissed and given twenty-four hours to get ready for her new deployment. This meant getting a whole battery of injections against everything from the flu to the Black Death before reporting to the military airfield where she’d be flown to Diego Garcia and from there on to Yemalia itself.0=0=0=0
The Hercules started to shudder as it flew at treetop height (had there been any trees) across the Yemalian coast and towards Mogador International Airport. According to her briefing notes Yemalia had been in the grips of what had basically been a family feud between the autocratic ruler, Prince Feisal, the Sultan of Yemalia and his Uncle, Mulai Ahmed el Raisuli. The Sultan was pro-western while his uncle wanted to set up a more traditionalist Islamic state. The US was there to support the Sultan and provide back-up to the UN aid mission in the country. At least this was what Faith had worked out from the booklet she’d been given.
As a result of this feud Yemalia had been plunged into a civil war that had lasted nearly ten years. The country’s economy had collapsed some years ago and now the population (always the losers in this sort of conflict) was suffering from the effects of famine brought on by war and drought. Faith was only supposed to be in country for about a month; the General’s regular driver was on compassionate leave, but would be returning as soon as his present family emergency was dealt with. Faith thought she could survive a month in this fly-blown hell-hole.
Her stomach lurched as the Hercules increased altitude to fly over a goat. The reason they were flying so low was that rebel soldiers often fired on US and UN aircraft as they came into land at the airport built before the war with international aid. Jumping slightly as she felt a hand on her shoulder, Faith turned to see the load master looking down at her, he bent forward and checked that Faith’s seatbelt was secure before taking his own seat closer to the cargo doors at the rear of the aircraft. Hearing the undercarriage deploy, Faith braced herself for landing.
The landing, when it came, was something of an anti-climax. There was a slight bump and the sound of rubber squealing on tarmac and the Hercules was down on the ground. Rapidly the aircraft decelerated before taxiing to one side of the main runway. Even before the aircraft had stopped the load master was up out of his seat and opening the cargo doors, he obviously didn’t want to be on the ground any longer than he had to be.
Unclipping her own seat belt, Faith stood up and grabbed her gear and the rifle she’d been issued with in Diago Garcia. Her gear included a helmet and body armour, an equipment harness and thirty rounds for her rifle, it was about at this time that it finally hit her; she was walking into a war zone. Lifting her gear in one hand and her rifle in the other she shuffled along the aircraft, past the pallets of rations and ammunition towards the cargo doors. Here Faith caught her first glimpse of Yemalia, she wasn’t impressed. Heat shimmered off the tarmac and beyond the runway she could see nothing but sandy soil scattered with a few stunted thorn bushes, there weren’t even any camels or goats to break the monotony.
“Hey! Sergeant!” Faith called as she got closer to the load master, “Any idea where I’m supposed to go?”
“You with the Rangers?” the load master asked as he turned to look down at her.
“Yep,” Faith nodded and explained, “‘sposed to be some General’s driver for a month.”
“Hey!” the load master laughed, “They’re gonna love you…”
“What?” Faith frowned wondering what the airforce non-com was taking about.
“Listen up, soldier,” the load master continued not unkindly, “try over at the terminal that’s where the Rangers are camped out…”
“Thanks,” Faith nodded, “I’ll try that.”
“…and soldier,” the load master continued, “I’d put that body armour on, the natives ‘round here ain’t friendly.”
“Yeah, sure,” Faith looked at the air force guy uncertain whether he was screwing with her or not; some sixth sense told her he was being serious so she dropped her gear and struggled into her body armour, “thanks.”
Stepping down from the cargo ramp, Faith hitched her backpack up onto her shoulder and clutched her rifle a little more tightly than she might have done anywhere else. It wasn’t that she was frightened; she was never frightened, once or twice she admitted to being nervous but never frightened…it was just the way she was. Today, however, she was more than normally nervous, telling herself that it was all perfectly normal and nothing to worry about she walked away from the Hercules.
Heading towards a big concrete building that looked like a set from the latest Sci-fi movie, Faith got to see more of Yemalia, she still wasn’t impressed. Over on the opposite side of the runway stood the wrecks of several burnt out airliners each one with the faded logo of Yemali Airways on their tails. Nearby were the wrecks of a couple of US helicopters, that didn’t improve Faith’s feelings about the place either. Walking nearer to the terminal building Faith saw that all the great plate glass windows had been shot out long ago. Some had been replaced with plastic sheeting but most of the windows were open to the sky like big sightless eyes.
The closer she got the more detail she saw, the bullet scarred walls the sandbagged machine gun emplacements, the razor wire entanglements and the US soldiers standing guard around the place. All this she was able to pick out from nearly half a mile away due to her super, more than perfect eyesight, one of the many things that made her special and one of the many things she’d learnt to hide over the last three or so years.
It was a long hot walk to the terminal building but eventually she came to a guard post at a gap in the razor wire fence.
“Third Rangers?” Faith asked the PFC on duty at the gate.
“That’s us,” the Ranger smiled as he checked Faith out, “what can we do for you, little lady?”
“Never call me ‘little lady’ again unless ya wanna eat that rifle,” Faith replied with a menacing edge to her voice, the guard took an involuntary half step away from her, “You can tell me where the Battalion Cee-pee is though.”
“Let’s see some ID,” the Ranger said as he recovered himself.
“Hey,” Faith searched in the pocket of her DCU’s for her ID before showing it to the guard, “do I look like a terrorist or somethin’?”
“Okay,” the guard studied her ID for maybe thirty seconds longer than was necessary before admitting Faith was who she claimed to be, “head down to the offices behind the terminal,” he pointed vaguely to some temporary offices behind the main terminal building, “someone there will deal with you.”
Walking through the gate and away from the guard, Faith sighed and shook her head. It wasn’t that she minded guys checking her out, she was hot and she knew it. But, she drew the line at PFC’s calling her ‘little lady’, okay she was only five foot five, but she could kick that asshole’s butt from one end of the runway to the other. Her unusual strength was another thing she kept secret from the army. As far as they were concerned she was just a more than averagely strong young woman who took her physical fitness seriously.
Walking over to the offices she paused to look at the rough hand printed signs that pointed the way to the different cabins, she saw the one she wanted and turned to her right to go in search of the battalion office. As she walked between the tightly packed cabins, at least here it was slightly cooler than outside because there were camouflaged nets keeping the sun off, she noticed that every Ranger who passed her seemed to stop and stare after her.
Okay, Faith told herself, so I’m hot but weren’t there other women on base? Surely she couldn’t be the only GI-Jane around. Sighing resignedly, Faith eventually found the office she was looking for, opening the door she walked in and dumped her gear on the floor.
“Be with you in one minute,” called a corporal who was working at a battered old computer terminal that was sitting on an equally battered old desk.
Waiting patiently, Faith took the time to look around. The office was actually two cabins joined together; it was full of office furniture that had seen better days. Every flat surface appeared to be covered with piles of paper and old coffee cups.
“Help yourself to coffee,” the corporal, who still hadn’t actually looked up at her gestured to where a coffee pot stood on a hot plate.
Not needing to be told twice, Faith helped herself to coffee and sipped the hot brew carefully, it tasted like paint stripper.
“Jeez!” Faith said quietly as she put the coffee cup down, no wonder the place was littered with half full coffee cups.
“ID,” the corporal held out his hand to Faith, he still hadn’t looked at her; there was obviously something more important than the General’s new driver on his computer screen.
Stepping forward, Faith handed over her ID, the corporal looked at it and laughed, “Okay very funny,” he studied the plastic card and its photograph of Faith’s face, “now lets have the real one.”
“Hey man,” Faith replied, “what ya mean the ‘real one’?”
“What!?” For the first time the Corporal looked up at Faith, his eyes growing wide in surprise as he did so, Faith smiled at him uncertainly, “B-but y-you’re a woman!!”
“Yeah,” Faith replied deadpan, “been that way all my life!”
“B-but you can’t be!” the corporal was standing up by now and didn’t seem to know whether he should run or stay.
“Who says I can’t?” Faith wanted to know.0=0=0=0