True Faith and Allegiance.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
Myths; plus bits from just about every ‘Join the Army’ type film I’ve ever seen!Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
A ‘Faith in the Army’ story set in May 2000 after the events depicted in the story ‘Freaktown’.Words:
Nine chapters of 2500+ words.Warnings:
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure to need a really big rifle!Summary:
A Faith in the Army story; “I, Faith Lehane, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”0=0=0=0 With fife and drum he marched away
He would not heed what I did say
He'll not come back for many a day
Johnny has gone for a soldier.
*: ‘Johnny has gone for a soldier’, traditional.Late May, 2000.
Sitting by herself in the bus station, Faith checked the time on the big clock above the door to the McDonalds for the hundredth time. There was still another half hour before her bus was due to arrive. Waiting there with all her worldly possessions in the same small back pact that the detectives in Sunnydale had given her when they’d told her to leave town, she wondered yet again if she’d made the right decision.
Being sick of all the weird people in LA, sick of being a stripper and sick of being alone, Faith had walked into the army recruitment office and told the recruiting sergeant she wanted to enlist. He’d eyed her suspiciously for maybe thirty seconds before smiling and telling her to sit down. For the first time in a very long time (well, at least since she’d woken up from her coma) Faith felt wanted, the army it seemed was happy to see her and (for the time being at least) didn’t want her to take her clothes off to music. On that first visit, the recruiting sergeant had talked in general terms about what the army had to offer a young woman such as Faith and what it expected from her in exchange. Faith had listened carefully, whatever the disadvantages of a military life might be, she decided it was a hell of a lot better than the life she was living now.
At the time she was living in a motel, it seemed to fit in with the feelings of disconnection from reality that she’d felt ever since waking up. Working five nights a week as a stripper at the Hellfire Club, a sort of ‘monster’ themed strip joint, she’d earnt good money. If she’d kept at it, one day very soon she’d be able to get the money together for the deposit on a small rented apartment. The thing was, she didn’t like stripping, it wasn’t really a career and it sort of left her feeling empty inside.
Faith’d just missed out on a job as a waitress/hostess at a better club with a weird sounding name; the owner had been called ‘Lawn’ or something and was another LA freak. He liked to dress up as some sort of demon with green skin and red horns; he was just as out of it as some of the girls who worked at the Hellfire Club. The thing was the job at this ‘Carry-tass’ place would have been a step up for Faith; for a start no one expected her to take her clothes off several times a night. But as soon as she’d seen this ‘Lawn’ guy in his weird monster make-up she’d stormed out in a mixture of disappointment and frustration. Not stopping until she was standing outside an army recruitment office, Faith had calmed down and looked at the posters in the window. ‘Be the best you can be’, said the slogan. Not knowing what she could be, but being fairly sure she could be better than she was, Faith had walked right on in.
After her first interview, Staff Sergeant Ross had given her a load of pamphlets to read and told her to come back in three or four days if she was still interested. Leaving the office Faith’d gone back to her motel and read all the stuff the sergeant had given her. She’d not been working that night; a couple of days previously she’d been caught up in a fight with some Russian gangsters. They’d tried to kill the little girl who lived with her mom at the motel, there’d been a lot of shooting and Faith’d had to jump off the roof to save the girl. Being a stripper meant it was hard to hide bruises so she’d not gone into work.
However, by the next day all her cuts and bruises had vanished, as they always did. Faith didn’t know why but she always healed faster than other people and she never got ill. Feeling and looking her usual hot self, Faith’d gone into work that night and picked up about five hundred dollars in tips, there’d been a salesman’s convention in town and they were loud, drunk and generous. But, her good mood was soon spoilt when someone tried to mug her on her way home.
One of the things Faith didn’t really understand about LA was; why did every street low life feel the need to dress up like some freaky monster and try to bite her on the neck? It was one of the things that really pissed her off about the place, that and the major Meth problem in this part of town. After fighting off the mugger, she’d gone back to the room only to find herself with a new crop of bruises.
At a new low in her life, Faith felt like she’d been kicked in the teeth once too often (literally and figuratively). Having had what passed for a good night, the universe had tried to have her killed. Being so beaten up she’d not be able to work the next night meant that the extra money she’d earnt would now have to be used to just pay the bills. To hell with waiting another couple of days, in the morning she was going right back down to the recruiting office and demanding that Sergeant Ross sign her up right now!0=0=0=0
The next day when Faith presented herself to Sergeant Ross he’d looked shocked at all the bruises on her face and her skinned knuckles. Explaining how someone had tried to rob her and how she’d fought the creep off, Faith had mentioned how joining the army looked like the safer option compared to living in LA. Laughing, Ross had agreed with her before starting to ask her some really searching questions about her past life.
This of course was something Faith had been fearing, mainly because she hadn’t any memories of a past life. Luckily the detectives who’d told her to leave Sunnydale had also given her all the documents she’d need to start a new life; a social security number, school graduation certificate, driving licence, birth certificate and so one. Now she’d see just how good these forgeries were. They’d also given her a simple cover story; one of the detectives had told her to memorise it and not to try to add any details. Keep it simple, he’d told her, that way it sounded more convincing and it would be harder to poke holes in.
Sitting back in her chair, Faith told Sergeant Ross her life story as she’d been told it by that nameless detective in Sunnydale. She’d been born in Boston in nineteen-eighty, her parents had been killed in a road accident when she was three and she didn’t remember them. After that she’d been taken into care by social services, she’d spent most of her life being shuffled between foster homes. Unlike so many kids you heard about in a similar situation she’d never been abused by any of her carers and had graduated school with a passing, but not exceptional, score on her SAT’s. After school she’d worked at a convenience store until she’d decided to see what life had to offer in California. As it turned out the only real difference between Boston and LA was that LA was warmer in the winter.
After a couple of more days, that the army used to check out her story, Faith was called back and told that everything had checked out fine. Ross had then given her some tests, just to see how well she could read and write; Faith sailed through these after some anxiety that her actual ability wouldn’t match up with what her school records claimed. Next she was given a medical; here she’d had to take her clothes off. But this time all anyone wanted to do was put the ends of cold stethoscopes on her skin to check she was breathing before making sure she had the correct number of arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Of course she never mentioned the whole amnesia thing and the army never asked. After peeing in a cup and giving a blood sample she was told to get dressed and go home, the army would contact her in a couple more days.
Sure enough a day later, Sam the motel clerk, put through a call to her room, it was the army. With sweaty hands and pounding heart, Faith waited to hear the verdict; would she like to come ‘round tomorrow when she’d be sworn in and she could start her military career? Putting down the phone Faith whooped for joy, she was on her way out of this crazy town. Once she’d stopped congratulating herself and calmed down she wanted to go out and celebrate…but as she had no one to celebrate with she did one last shift at the Hellfire Club before telling Nick, the owner, that she wouldn’t be back and cleaning out her locker.
Strangely, Nick or ‘Old Nick’ as he liked to be called was about the only person who seemed sorry to see her go. After all Faith was one of his most popular dancers and he’d be losing money…until, that is, the next hot girl came along and everyone forgot about her. Faith didn’t fool herself; soon she’d be nothing but a faded memory and a faded photo on the wall.0=0=0=0
“I, Faith Lehane, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
There, Faith smiled to herself as she held up her right hand, she was in the army now; she’d taken the oath with about half a dozen other recruits and was wondering what happened next. What happened next was that she was paid a day’s basic army pay, given a ticket for a bus and told to catch the bus for Springfield, Oregon on Monday morning. She had forty-eight hours to wrap up her civilian affairs (Faith felt sure she could do that in about forty-eight minutes). The recruits were also reminded that they were now in the army and they were all under military discipline. Failure to report at the appropriate time and place would result in them being posted as ‘Absent With Out Leave’ which was only one step down from ‘Desertion’. Not that the army need worry about Faith, no sir, she’d be at the bus station on Monday morning come hell or high water! Faith was, possibly, the army’s happiest recruit at that moment; if they’d wanted her to walk bare foot over broken glass to get on that bus she would have done it gladly.0=0=0=0
Now it was Monday morning and she was waiting for her ride to turn up. Her back pack sat by her feet containing all her documentation, three changes of underwear, her sexiest halter top, a spare pair of jeans and her toothbrush, soap and towel. Everything else she’d owned, which hadn’t been a lot, had gone to the local thrift shop. She’d had her hair cut short suspecting that short hair would be a plus during her training and what the hell, hair grew back.
Having settled her bill with Sam at the Motel, she’d kissed the clerk goodbye and walked out onto the street. Not even tempted to look back over her shoulder, Faith’d walked to the nearest bus stop and taken the next bus down to the main bus station where she’d arrived an hour early.
The sound of the bus’s engine and the hiss of its brakes as it drew up snapped Faith out of the doze she’d fallen into.
“Springfield, Oregon!” called the driver as he swung the doors open.
Picking up her backpack and clutching her ticket in her hand, Faith made her way towards the bus. Climbing aboard she walked along the vehicle; it was already crowded and Faith resigned herself to having to sit next to someone she didn’t know for the journey. As luck would have it she saw a nervous looking young woman sitting by herself and staring out the window.
“Hey,” Faith attracted the young woman’s attention; she looked up at Faith as if she thought she was going to kill her, Faith smiled reassuringly, “this seat taken?”
“N-no,” the young woman relaxed and removed the magazines from the vacant seat.
After putting her backpack in the overhead rack, Faith sat down; as she did so she noticed the ticket stub held tightly in the girl’s hand.
“Me too,” Faith commented.
“What?” the young woman gave Faith a puzzled frown.
“Springfield,” Faith gestured to the girl’s ticket, “ya joining the Army?”
“Oh, yeah,” she smiled, “I’m on my way to Fort Knight.”
“Me too,” Faith repeated as she shifted in her seat trying to get herself comfortable; she turned slightly and offered her hand to the young, blonde woman, “Faith Lehane.”
“Judy Benjamin,” Judy took Faith’s hand and shook it, “pleased to meet you Faith.”
“Right back at ya,” Faith grinned, “so, why’d ya join the army, Judy?”
“Oh,” Judy sighed sadly, “I had a row with my parents; they wanted me to marry Earnest Brackenridge.”
“Who?” Faith had never heard of the guy but she was against marrying anyone called ‘Earnest’ on principle.
“Earnest Brackenridge, he’s a doctor, you know?” Judy explained.
Okay, thought Faith, a doctor, which might not be so bad.
“Not that sort of doctor,” Judy pointed out as if reading Faith’s mind, “he’s some sort of scientist doctor, but he’s way older than me.”
“Okay,” Faith agreed, as she rethought her wedding plans, “how much older?”
“Oh not ‘icky’ older but still too old for me,” Judy replied without hesitation.
“So why did ya folks want ya to marry this old guy?” Faith wanted to know, “Ya can’t be much older than me.”
“I’m twenty,” Judy admitted, “nearly twenty-one.” Judy sighed sadly, “My parents had some agreement with Earnest that he could marry me the day I turned twenty-one,” Judy shrugged, “my mother was always telling me that everybody had to make sacrifices.”
“Jeez,” Faith shook her head, maybe not having parents (at least none that she knew about) was the better option after all if they expected you to marry weird middle-aged guys, “I can see how ya’d wanna get away.”
“So what about you Faith,” Judy obviously didn’t want to talk about herself any more, “why’d you join the army?”
“Sick of being a stripper,” Faith replied with a shrug.
Judy looked at Faith as if she had some dreadful communicable disease.
“Hey,” Faith cried as she gave Judy a hurt look, “it’s not something I’m proud of and I only did it for like four or five weeks.”
“I’m sorry,” Judy squeaked, obviously strippers were something way out of her field of experience, “but, you took your clothes off in front of…men?”
“Well, sister,” Faith chuckled, “like a lot of things it wouldn’t be the same if I did by myself.”
“No, I don’t suppose it would,” Judy agreed after a moments thought, however she seemed fascinated by the whole idea of being an ‘exotic dancer’. “So you just took your clothes off to music, right? Nothing else…”
“That’s about it,” Faith explained, “no lap dances and no ‘private shows’.”
“Private shows?” Judy grasped for more information.
“Y’know taking the customers out back and getting down ‘n’ dirty with ‘em,” Faith explained.
“Oh yes, I think I see,” Judy interrupted, “you must think I’ve led a very sheltered life.”
“Gotta say kid,” Faith shrugged, “ya sound like ya lived onna mountain or something.”
“My parents sent me to Covent School back east,” Judy explained, “us girls weren’t allowed to go out by ourselves much.”
“An’ ya didn’t break out?” Faith asked incredulasly.
“No,” Judy shook her head, “do you think I should have?”
“Look, Judy,” Faith felt sorry for the girl as she was likely in for some pretty unpleasant surprises, “ya might wanna rethink the whole army thing. But until then stick close to me kid an’ ya won’t go far wrong.”0=0=0=0