Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 'The Wizard of Oz' (film version). I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
The Wizard of Oz, 1939 movie.Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
A Faith in the Army story set in mid 2010.Words:
Thirteen chapters of 2500+ words.Warnings:
Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington.Summary:
A Faith in the Army story; Oz is in for a terrible shock, when Chief Warrant Officer Faith Lehane, US Army Rangers and Lt Cordelia Chase, USMC, crash land on top of a witch. Death and destruction follow in our hero's wake as they try to get home.0=0=0=0Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.*
*: Somewhere over the Rainbow: E Y Harburg, Arlen Harold.Five-Hundred Feet Above Kansas, May 2010.
“You okay, L-t?” Faith grinned.
“Yeah, why’d you ask?” Lt Cordelia Chase, USMC, replied as she piloted the OH-6 ‘Loach’ helicopter towards Springfield airport.
“It’s just that ya look a little peaky, is all,” Faith shifted her position to get herself a little more comfortable in the co-pilot’s seat.
It had been Cordelia’s first official mission with Faith since Cordy had been seconded to the 613th Independent Ranger Battalion, the US Army’s anti-monster force. They’d been dispatched to Kansas to look into reports of cattle mutilation in the western half of the State. They’d been looking for cattle mutilation and they’d found it along with the demon biker gang responsible. In a short but vicious battle that had involved a lot of blood both bovine and demonic, Faith had taken the demon gang down while Cordy had watched her back and tried not to get blood on her flight-suit. Mission completed they were flying on to Springfield where they’d be picked up by an Air Force C130 transport aircraft and flown back to Fort Drum in New York State where the 613th had its base.
The two women had met for the first time in Yemalia, where they’d both been held hostage by Mulai Ahmed el Raisuli, Lord of the Riff. After their release they’d returned to the States where Faith had gone back to her unit and Cordy had completed her recovery after having both her legs broken when she’d been shot-down over the Yemali desert. It was while she’d been in hospital that she’d received several visits from Faith they'd talked about what had happened to each other over the years.
Sitting back in her seat, Faith gazed out as Kansas rolled by underneath the bug-like helicopter. Here and there she could see little farmhouses and the occasional small town, cattle (ones that hadn’t been mutilated) stood, undisturbed by the chopper’s passing, in amongst the grass that seemed to stretch on forever like some great, green ocean. It was all so much more pleasant than Yemalia where there’d been nothing but sand, rocks and thorn bushes to break the monotony. Faith’d hated Yemalia from the first time she’d gone to that country back in '03 and Yemalia had hated her right back. The inhabitants of that country had tried to kill her on each of her visits. The place was even worse than Iraq, in her ten years in the United States Army, Faith couldn’t think of a crappier place she’d been sent to.
Faith loved being in the army and she liked working with Cordelia, even if she was a Marine, she felt she had a connection with her. Something that made Faith feel she could always rely on Cordy to watch her back and she knew that the Marine pilot could fight. Cordy had saved her butt a couple of times as they’d fought for there lives in Neda against the Pasha’s troops, Cordelia had bitten off one guy's ear when the hostiles had overrun the house they’d been hold-up in, things like that made you form a bond with people.
Glancing over to where Cordelia piloted the helo, Faith grinned to herself ‘Lt Cordy’ was still looking a little pale from the fight and yes it had been messy; Faith’d had to change into a clean set of camouflaged fatigues and wash the blood off her equipment. But it hadn’t been that dangerous. The demon bikers had no real chance once Cordy had caught up with them in the helo and Faith had started to shoot them down with her assault shotgun. It was only at the end of the fight when Faith had jumped from the chopper to finish off the last few demons that things had got really bloody and messy.
“Hey, Faith,” Cordy called into her microphone without which they’d not be able to communicate; Cordy nodded her head to the large black cloud that seemed to fill half the sky, “I don’t like the look of that.”
“Can we fly ‘round it?” Faith frowned up at the cloud; she wanted to get home so she could visit and spend some more time with her newly rediscovered parents.
“What do you think?” Cordy gestured at the cloud that was getting closer by the minute.
“How far are we from Springfield,” Faith asked as she got out her map and started to look for an alternate landing spot.
“About thirty miles,” Cordy eyed the cloud suspiciously, she was a Sunnydale girl and had a sixth sense for things of the weird and this cloud looked and felt strange.
It'd arrived far too quickly, she’d have thought they’d have been some warning from the local air traffic control, but her radio was oddly silent.
“Hold on,” Cordy said to Faith as she attempted to call up Springfield air traffic control but got no reply, “sounds like we’re on our own…hey!”
Taking a good look at the cloud, Cordelia now found it filled the entire sky, light levels had dropped dramatically until it was like a winter’s afternoon up in New York State and the aircraft was beginning to get buffeted by the high winds.
“Better strap yourself in,” Cordy advised as she tightened her own safety harness, “looks like we’re in for a bumpy ride.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to land and sit this out?” Faith suggested as she strapped herself in after checking that all their gear on the rear seats was secure.
“No,” Cordy shook her head and gave Faith one of her best, bright, toothy grins, “I can fly through a little storm like this!”
“Yeah, right,” Faith wasn’t so sure and silently cursed Marine Cordy’s self-confidence.
The little chopper was now bouncing all over the sky as the wind sheer increased, the sound of hailstones hitting the canopy made Faith jump, just for a moment she thought she was in Yemalia again and they were being shot at. One of the fist sized lumps of ice broke the Perspex canopy over Faith’s head just before an alarm started to hoot.
“What’s wrong?” Faith asked urgently as she mentally prepared herself for the helo to have to ‘ditch’.
“One of those hail stones must have hit something important,” Cordelia struggled to keep the aircraft steady in the howling wind which could be heard even over the roar of the engine, “the engine’s overheating.”
Flipping switches and checking dials, Cordelia took her eyes off the outside world for just a moment. Only to look out of the cockpit again after hearing Faith’s cry of warning; looking up she saw the black column of the twister heading straight towards them.
“CRAP!” Cordelia pushed the stick and peddles over to the right as she increased speed to try and avoid the twister.
The helicopter’s alarms took on a new, shriller, louder tone as systems began to fail and the engine started to wheeze like an old man climbing some steep stairs. The helicopter turned slowly as Cordy realised she’d screwed up big time; she needed to get them on the ground to give themselves some hope of survival. Looking out the canopy with fear filled eyes, she watched helplessly as they turned towards yet another twister. Like some malicious entity it had come up behind them and trapped them between it and its partner.
Still struggling with the controls, Cordy saw the edge of the twister clip the rotor disc and felt the chopper being sucked into the maelstrom of wind and debris that made up the twister. They were dead, if not right now they would be soon and it was all her fault for trying to fly through this crap and not landing and taking cover. It was only as the chopper wasn’t torn apart by the titanic forces within the twister that Cordelia started to realise that something really
strange was going on here, she turned to Faith who was sitting looking at her in shock.
“I’m not complaining,” Faith began slowly, “but shouldn’t we be dead about now?”
“Yeah,” Cordy nodded her head slowly as she switched off the engine and watched the twister spin by, “about half a second after we entered this thing.”
“That can’t be right,” Faith observed as she pointed to something on the other side of the canopy.
“No-no, that’s about right,” Cordy replied thinking Faith thought they should survive longer; it was only then she noticed that Faith was pointing at something, “Oh! Yeah you’re right, that’s…erm…unusual…”
The two women sat and watched as a hen-house, complete with hens and rooster, sailed by them unharmed by the high-speed winds.
“And that’s just weird,” Faith gestured to where an old lady in a rocking chair flew passed the cockpit, Faith turned to Cordy and asked, “was she knitting?”
“Uh-huh,” Cordy nodded, the old lady had definitely been knitting, “Oh look,” she cried, “a cow!”
Sure enough a black and white cow sailed by and mooed at them.
“Y’know, Faith,” Cordy said slowly as she watched three men in a boat row by, “I don’t think things are on the up and up here. Perhaps we’ve died and this is what we’re seeing before the lights go out.”
“Nah,” Faith shook her head, “ain’t ya supposed to see that white light thing and go down a tunnel or something?”
“Maybe,” the thing that was sticking in Cordy’s mind the most was the silence; there was no noise from the twister and none from the helicopter’s systems, it was dead
“Now that’s just bizarre,” Faith observed.
“Faith,” Cordelia pointed out, “the whole thing’s bizarre, what…” Cordy’s voice faded away to nothing as she caught sight of what Faith was referring to, “Yep,” Cordy agree as she nodded her head slowly, “now that is bizarre!”
Sitting side-by-side Faith and Cordy watched as a woman on the bicycle peddled by.
“Crap,” Faith breathed quietly as the female cyclist morphed into a witch on a broomstick, “that can’t be good.”
Up until this point, Faith’s only experience of witches was her ex-lover, Willow Rosenberg. This witch was your traditional witch, complete with a hooked nose and warts who cackled loudly as she flew by; she looked nothing like cool, sexy, cute Willow. Considering that the witch’s cackle was the first outside sound either of them had heard for some time this didn’t bode well for the future.
“Hey!” Cordy called, “We’re descending.”
“Don't ya mean crashing?” Faith asked preparing herself for the worst.
Once again Cordy grabbed hold of the controls and tried to control the chopper’s decent. As long as the tail rotor was intact she had a good chance of landing and walking away, if the engine would start and the main rotor hadn’t been ripped off. Surprising herself by not swearing when the engine refused to start Cordy held on for dear life as the helicopter plummeted towards the unseen ground below them
“BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” Cordelia yelled, although what they’d achieve by bracing against the crash she didn’t know but it was sort of instinctual.
Down went the Loach as the twister started to fade away around them. As the clouds cleared they saw a pleasant green land laid out below them towards which they were spinning at terminal velocity. Catching sight of buildings and fields Cordelia wondered where they were because this didn’t look like Kansas or indeed anywhere in the United States.
“OH GOD!” Cordy cried as she held out her hand to grasp Faith’s in a death grip, at least, she told herself, she wasn’t going to die alone or from being bitten on the neck by some vampire, or from being torn apart by a demon or sacrificed in some dark rite by frat boys or…
There was a terrible, terminal, fatal sounding crunch as the helicopter hit the ground at a speed that must have been well in excess of a hundred miles an hour. Sitting there in the silence with her eyes firmly closed and her hand gripping Faith’s with a strength she’d not known she possessed, Cordelia once again wondered why she wasn’t dead. Or maybe she was, perhaps the houses and fields she’d seen as they plunged towards their deaths were some sort of afterlife.0=0=0=0
“Ya can let go now,” Faith suggested as she retrieved her hand from Cordy’s grip and started to massage some life back into it.
“Yeah right,” Cordy opened her eyes to see plastic looking flowers growing between overly green grass, “eww,” she breathed quietly, “tacky, or what?”
“You okay?” Faith asked, “Nothing broken?”
Cordy did a quick inventory of all her outlying bits and pieces and found them intact.
“Yeah, you?” Cordy glanced over at Faith.
“Yeah, I’m fine…despite you’re crappy flying,” Faith started to unbuckle her safety harness.
“Hey don’t knock it,” Cordy exclaimed, “I know that wasn’t one of my greatest landings but look on the bright side,” she smiled, “we’re both alive and as my old flight instructor always used to say; any landing you can walk away from is a good one,” Cordy paused to draw breath and think, “and hey, I’ve only ever crashed twice and both times there were mitigating circumstances!”
“Whatever,” Faith sighed before pushing open the door and climbing down onto the ground.
Faith found herself agreeing with Cordy’s earlier assessment of the place, it looked tacky, manufactured even. The chopper had landed almost upright on a grassy bank that looked just a little too green to be natural. There were big brightly coloured flowers growing in clumps near by, they had a sort of waxy look to the overly bright flower heads. There was a little bridge crossing a small river that flowed into some placid ponds on the opposite side of the bridge. The water looked too blue to be real as did the huge lily-pads that floated in the ponds. The sky was again a perfect shade of blue and dotted with fluffy white clouds that drifted on a gentle breeze. In the distance there were some small white-washed, thatched houses on the other side of the river but there was no sign of any inhabitants or the twister and its accompanying black cloud.
“Come on Cordy,” Faith called as she yanked open the rear door and started to remove their equipment, “time to look at the scenery later, now’s the time for your escape, evasion and survival techniques to kick in.”
“Yeah right,” Cordelia replied absently, “so who are we escaping and evading from?”
“I don’t know,” Faith admitted as she checked her Smith and Wesson AS2 assault shotgun, “but knowing our luck there’s bound to be someone after us…”
“Like the local sheriff?” Cordy called from the other side of the chopper.
“What?” Faith looked through the Loach at Cordy who was standing looking down at something.
“Faith you better come see,” Cordy wailed forgetting for the moment she was supposed to be a big, tough US Marine.
Holding her shotgun at the ready and scanning the flowers and bushes for any sign of danger, Faith walked around the downed helo to take a look at whatever it was that Cordy was getting her panties in a bunch about.
“What’s…” Faith looked down to see a pair of black and white stripped stockinged legs sticking out from under their helicopter, “…crap!”
“We landed on someone,” Cordy pointed out the obvious.
“No,” Faith shook her head, “we crashed on someone…”
“Do you really think that’ll make any difference when they come to lynch us?” Cordy wanted to know.
“Maybe,” Faith said without taking her eyes off the bright red, ruby, shoes that were being worn by the dead feet.0=0=0=0