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We’ll All Go Together When We Go.

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This story is No. 9 in the series "Faith in the Army.". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A ‘Faith in the Army’ story: Chief Faith Lehane, US Army Rangers, is in a race against time to stop a demonically possessed USAF General from starting World War Three.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Movies > Other-Action(Recent Donor)DaveTurnerFR15720,0332508,36719 Aug 1231 Aug 12Yes

Chapter One

We’ll All Go Together When We Go.
By Dave Turner.

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dr Strangelove. The film was directed by, Stanley Kubrick. Written by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern and Peter George from the book ‘Red Alert’ which was also written by Peter George. I also do not claim authorship for any scripted words found in this fic. I write these stories for fun not profit.

Crossover: The ‘Buffyverse’ with the 1964 classic movie; ‘Dr Strangelove. Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb’.

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.

Timeline: A ‘Faith in the Army’ story set after the events depicted in ‘Foothold’.

Words: Seven chapters of about 2500+ words each.

Warnings: Minor violence and strong language.

Summary: A ‘Faith in the Army’ story: Chief Faith Lehane, US Army Rangers, is in a race against time to stop a demonically possessed USAF General from starting World War Three.

0=0=0=0

When you attend a funeral,
It is sad to think that sooner or
Later those you love will do the same for you.
And you may have thought it tragic,
Not to mention other adjec-
Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do.
But don't you worry.
No more ashes, no more sackcloth.
And an armband made of black cloth
Will some day never more adorn a sleeve.
For if the bomb that drops on you,
Gets your friends and neighbours too,
There'll be nobody left behind to grieve.

And we will all go together when we go.
What a comforting fact that is to know.
Universal bereavement,
An inspiring achievement,
Yes, we’ll all go together when we go.
*

*‘We will all go together when we go’, Tom Lehrer.

0=0=0=0

Cape Vincent Hotel, Cape Vincent, New York State, July 2008.

“Hi Faith!” Willow called as she caught sight of her girlfriend.

Rushing across the hotel lobby and elbowing some of the early summer visitors out of her way when they didn’t move fast enough, Willow threw her arms around Faith’s neck and hugged her fiercely. To anyone watching it looked like two old friends greeting each other after a long separation. In reality it was all Willow could do to stop herself from kissing Faith on her lips and tearing her clothes off right there in the reception lobby.

“I’ve missed you so much,” Willow whispered as she continued to hold on to Faith like her very life depended on it.

“Yeah, me too,” Faith replied, her joy at seeing Willow once again marred only by the fact that she had to stop herself from returning Willow’s obvious pleasure in seeing her again, “Hey,” Faith breathed into Willow’s ear, “lets turn it down a little, people are watching.”

“Yeah, sure, of course,” reluctantly Willow let go of Faith and stepped away from her by half a pace and smiled broadly at Faith who was dressed in her army uniform.

Although Willow knew that Faith had to be careful, (what with the Army being such a ‘pain’ about gay relationships) she couldn’t help but let a little bitterness enter her voice when she couldn’t greet her lover like she wanted to. Faith had been in the army since 2000 when she’d woken up from her coma in Sunnydale General with no memory of her past. It was only in 2005 when Faith’s picture appeared in a newspaper that she’d come back on to Buffy’s, Willow’s and the rest of the Reformed Watcher’s Council’s radar.

It was only after Buffy had seen Faith lying injured in a hospital bed in Iraq that she’d got everyone to agree to leaving Faith alone. And so they had, letting Faith get on with her new life untroubled by the world of the weird and wacky. But as so often happens life just wouldn’t let sleeping dogs lie. It was by pure chance that Willow bumped into Faith again in 2007 when she was helping Riley and his army guys deal with a group of interstellar big game hunters who were using Jeffersonville in Virginia as their own private hunting grounds. Faith, who was stationed nearby had been called in by Riley to help out. It was during those few days that Willow found herself falling for Staff Sergeant Faith Lehane, US Army Military Police.

“So,” Willow linked her arm through Faith’s and started to lead her further into the hotel, “how’s my big, tough Warrant Officer?”

“Oh,” Faith grinned before answering, there was something about being a ‘Warrant Officer’ that seemed to amuse Willow, but she could never get Willow to tell her what it was. “She’s fine, glad that all the training’s over.”

“So am I,” Willow led Faith into a lounge at the front of the hotel, “now you’ve finished this, what was it?”

“Ranger training,” Faith smiled as they sat down in a couple of chairs by a window which looked out over Lake Ontario.

“Yeah that’s right,” Willow frowned slightly as she thought about something, “does that mean you get to look after bears and National Parks an’ such?”

“Different sort of Ranger, Will,” Faith replied, sometimes she wasn’t sure when Willow was joking and when she truly didn’t know what some army stuff meant, “tell ya all about it later.”

“Cool…” Willow gazed at her girlfriend drinking in the hotness that was Faith Lehane, “…yeah, right,” Willow returned from wherever she’d gone to in her imagination, “so with all this training stuff over does this mean we get to spend more time together?”

“I hope so,” Faith let her eyes drift from Willow out to the lake; it sure would be nice to be able to spend some time with Willow; in the last year they’d been able to spend maybe the equivalent of three or four weeks together a day or two at a time, sometimes just a night together. “I really mean that Will,” Faith became suddenly serious, “I wanna spend more time with ya…”

“So do I baby,” Willow replied slightly surprised by Faith’s determined tone.

“Look,” Faith sat forward in her chair, “Fort Drum and Baltimore aren’t that far apart.” Faith was mainly stationed at Fort Drum while Willow had an apartment in Baltimore, “I mean Major and Mrs Finn manage it so why shouldn’t we?”

“Yeah, why not!?” It always made Willow smile to hear Faith refer to Buffy as ‘Mrs Finn’, “You can visit at the weekends…if monsters and the Army let you…”

“Yeah…” Faith sighed, that would always be a problem, monsters and the Army.

The two women sat in silence for a minute or two as they stared out over the lake, eventually Willow broke the silence.

“You wanna come up stairs to the room and…” Willow tried to think of a good way of phrasing her invitation but came up blank, “…and well, y’know, ‘come’?”

“Thought ya were never gonna ask!” Faith stood up, “Just let me get my stuff from the car.”

0=0=0=0

Burpleson Air Force Base.

Deep inside the Command Centre at Burpleson AFB, Group Captain* Lionel Mandrake considered himself a very lucky man. Not only had he been given this exchange posting to SAC in the United States, but the Wing he’d been posted to was the very last SAC unit still flying the venerable B52 bomber. In fact after the unit’s present tour of duty was completed the bombers would be taken out of service and broken up; while the aircrews would be reassigned to units across the United States and around the world. It was, as they said, the end of an era and he’d been lucky enough to see it.

Hearing a telephone buzz, Mandrake looked up from the computer monitor he’d been studying (it showed the status of every bomber in the wing). Seeing one of the Tech Sergeants answer the phone, Mandrake went back to his screen and made a few notes in the note book he always kept to hand in case General Ripper asked him anything about the Wing’s readiness.

“It’s General Ripper, sir,” the sergeant called as he held out the phone to the British officer.

Getting up from his monitor, Mandrake walked over to the sergeant and took the phone from his hand; nodding his thanks to the enlisted man, he put the receiver to his ear.

“Group Captain Mandrake speaking...” he announced in his usual clipped tones.

“This is General Ripper,” sitting at his desk in his office, General Ripper watched as cigar smoke curled lazily up towards the florescent light tubes above his head, “Mandrake…?”

“Yes, sir?” Mandrake wondered why the General was calling so late, normally he’d have left his office some hours ago.

“Do you recognize my voice, Mandrake?” Asked the General.

“Yes sir,” Mandrake shrugged his shoulders slightly confused by the question, “why do you ask?”

“Why do you think I ask?” General Ripper massaged the bridge of his nose with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, he could feel another headache coming on.

“I’m sure I don't know, sir,” Mandrake frowned to himself, “We only spoke a few hours ago, didn't we?”

“You don't think I'd ask if you recognized my voice unless it was pretty damned important, Mandrake?” The General asked with a slight edge to his voice, a painful throbbing started behind his eyes and he winced as it got stronger.

“No, I don't suppose you would,” Mandrake still didn’t know what was going on and was beginning to think that whatever it was it might be something really serious.

“Alright,” General Ripper sighed with relief as the pain abated slightly, “let’s see if we can stay on the ball. Has the wing completed their readiness reports?”

“Yes, sir,” that must be it, Mandrake nodded to himself, the General was only checking that the Wing’s final mission was going off without a hitch, he smiled to himself, “The confirmations have all just come in.”

“Very well, now, listen to me carefully,” in his office General Ripper leaned forward and rested his elbows on his desk, “the base is being put on condition red. I want this flashed to all sections immediately.”

“Condition red, sir.” Mandrake nodded as he made a note of the General’s order, “Yes, jolly good idea, help to keep the men on their toes.”

“Group Captain,” the General’s voice sounded particularly grave, “I'm afraid this is not an exercise.”

“Not an exercise, sir?” Mandrake sat up straight and listened to what the General was telling him very carefully.

“I shouldn't tell you this, Mandrake,” the General confided, “but you're a good officer and you have a right to know. It looks like we're in a shooting war.”

“Oh, bloody hell.” Mandrake gasped as his heart jumped into his throat, “Who’s involved sir?

“Mandrake,” the headache had come back and General Ripper was finding it hard to concentrate, “that's all I've been told. It just came in on the ‘Red Phone’.” Once again the pain behind his eyes subsided, “My orders are for this base to be sealed tight, and that's what I mean to do: seal it tight.” By now the pain had almost vanished and General Ripper sat back in his chair and picked up his forgotten cigar, “Now, I want you to implement plan ‘R’, ‘R’ for Robert; I repeat, plan ‘R’ for Robert.”

“It’s that bad sir?” Mandrake felt his heart pounding in his chest and watched as his fingers trembled slightly as he wrote down the General’s instructions; plan R for Robert meant the immediate launch of all the wing’s aircraft. He’d imagined this sort of thing happening, but he’d never imagined it would be happening on his watch.

“It looks pretty damned hairy,” headache free now, Ripper felt as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

“Right sir,” Mandrake reconfirmed just to make sure he’d not misheard the order, “Plan R for Robert, sir.”

“Now,” once again Ripper sat forward in his chair and spoke firmly but calmly to the officer at the other end of the line, “last, and possibly most importantly, I want all privately owned communications devices to be immediately impounded.”

“Right you are, sir,” Mandrake nodded as he scribbled in his note book.

“They might be used to issue instructions to saboteurs,” the General explained. “As I’ve previously arranged, Air Police will have lists of all owners and I want everything collected without exception.”

“Yes sir,” again Mandrake nodded as if he was talking to the general in person.

“And after you've done that, report back to me,” slowly the general reached across his desk and replaced the receiver in its cradle, it was done everything was now in motion and couldn’t be stopped.

Getting up, General Ripper turned towards the window that looked out over his base. Walking slowly across his office he listened as the alert sirens began to wail their mournful call as the lights started to go out across the base. Very soon the sound of the sirens was drowned out by the roar of the B52’s as they lumbered into the air. Working his way along the line of windows he closed the blinds and shut out the scene while preventing anyone from seeing into his office. Once that was done he turned to survey his office. Looking directly at the Air Force Colonel who’d been standing in the shadows at the far side of his office all the time he’d been on the phone, General Ripper took a deep breath and shook his head sadly.

“Are you sure we’re doing the right thing, Colonel Reed?” Almost as soon as he’d asked the question the headache started again making him groan and stumble against his desk.

“Of course we are, sir,” the officer replied, her voice soft and reassuring, she walked over to the General and laid her hand on his forehead, “it’s our duty to save the country.”

The general sighed with relief as he felt Colonel Reed’s cool hand on his brow and the headache began to recede at her touch.

“You’re right, of course,” standing up again General Ripper pulled his jacket straight, “now if you’ll excuse me Colonel, I have work to do.”

“Of course, General,” Colonel Reed smiled.

0=0=0=0

Cape Vincent Hotel, Cape Vincent, New York State, at about the same time.

Lying in bed next to Faith, Willow stared at the ceiling as she listened to Faith’s soft snoring. Her happiness at having her lover back safely in her bed again was marred only by one thing. When Buffy had sworn everyone to secrecy about Faith’s past, it hadn’t bothered Willow because she’d not been involved with Faith then and she would have laughed at anyone who was foolish enough to suggest that she ever would be.

But those days were past, Willow now loved Faith with all her heart, she was never one to hold back in anything she did, at least not in the last few years. She also knew with a certainty that was like knowing it had already happened, if Faith ever found out or even suspected that Willow knew something about her life pre-army, everything they had or might have would be gone for good. Willow also believed that if she ever told Faith what she knew voluntarily, then that would be it too. This was a lose-lose situation, tell and be branded a liar, don’t tell and have Faith find out and be branded as a deceiver.

Whatever she did she couldn’t win, all she could do was to hope that it never came out. Luckily, she was now old enough and wise enough to know that magic would only make a bad situation infinitely worse. Willow’s dark thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Faith’s cellphone buzzing on the night stand. Coming quickly awake, Faith yawned and reached for her cell, flipping it open she put to her ear.

“Lehane,” she announced crisply before going quiet and listening, “Okay, I’m at Cape Vincent I can be back on base in…” Once again Faith paused as she listened to someone talking, “Okay, Ma’am, home in on my cell I’ll be waiting in the parking lot for the chopper.”

Flipping her phone shut Faith turned to look at Willow, “Sorry, babe, gotta go.”

0=0=0=0

Burpleson Air Force Base.

“It’s time,” Colonel Reed announced as she stepped out of the shadows at the back of the General’s office.

“You’re sure about this?” Ripper asked but almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth the pain behind his eyes started to pound on his brain like waves smashing against a rocky shore.

“Yes I’m sure, General,” Colonel Reed replied with just a hint of anger, “nothing must be allowed to get in the way of the successful completion of the mission.”

“Of course, of course,” General Ripper leaned against his desk for a moment as he tried to fight the pain that felt like red hot daggers being driven through his brain. “I understand, I’ll make the announcement.”

As soon as he’d finished speaking the pain backed off a little. Walking around his desk he sat down, reaching out with his right hand he flicked some switches on his intercom (a relic from the Cold War), picking up the unit’s microphone he started to speak.

“Your attention, this is General Ripper speaking I have an important announcement concerning the present emergency,” sighing as the pain in his head receded once more General Ripper sat back in his chair and made his announcement.

“The enemies of the United States have no regard for human life, not even their own. And for this reason, I want to impress upon you the need for extreme watchfulness.” The General paused to look at Colonel Reed and received a reassuring nod, he continued speaking his voice growing stronger by the moment, “The enemy may come individually, or he may come in strength. He may even come in the uniform of our own troops. But however he comes we must stop him. We must not allow him to gain access to this base.”

“Now, I am going to give you three simple rules. First, trust no one, whatever his uniform or rank, unless they are known to you personally. Second, anyone or anything that approaches within 200 yards of the perimeter is to be fired upon. Third, if in doubt, shoot first, and ask questions afterwards. I would sooner accept a few casualties through accident than lose the entire base and its personnel through carelessness. Any variation on these rules must come from me personally. Now, in conclusion, I would like to say that, in the two years it’s been my privilege to be your commanding officer, I have always expected the best from you, and you have never given me anything less than that. Today, the nation is counting on us. We are not going to let them down. Good luck to you all.”

Switching off the microphone and putting it down General Ripper glanced over to where Colonel Reed had been standing, she wasn’t there anymore. Sighing with relief he lit another cigar, sat back in his chair and waited for the end to come.

0=0=0=0

Note.
The RAF rank of ‘Group Captain’ is equivalent to the rank of full Colonel in the USAF.
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