“Hey campers.” Jack greeted his tablemates as a place was made for him at the square table in the cafeteria.
“So how was your night sir?” Carter inquired as she moved her Jell-O out of the man’s long reach. Even though she had never technically studied the effect, she suspected that by sitting at the tables in the cafeteria Jack’s arms grew. It seemed that no matter where a dish was placed on a table, if he wanted it his arms could reach it. Pie, cake, Jell-O, or an edible main dish nothing was safe from the pit of his stomach when he was hungry.
“I’m not sure if interesting is the right word. She put her stuff in the spare room but was up till I don’t know how late watching TV. She was on the phone for a bit, a local call. It sounded like she knew the person. When I went to bed she was still up, eating something and watching cheesy late night movies. I woke up to a disaster area in my kitchen. She had decided to make me breakfast. She would fit in with some of the folks we encounter off world. She was making peanut butter pancakes with anything in my cabinets tossed in. She has got some weird eating habits. But she kept to herself. She is a good kid and for some reason I feel protective of her.” Jack had a bowl of a sugary cereal, that wasn’t Fruit Loops, in front of him that held his attention after his revelation.
“Where is she now?” Daniel wondered as he seasoned his plate of eggs and various foods.
“Talkin’ to the General and getting the right paperwork done so that she can start working here officially. Then later I think that she and who ever she called last night are going house hunting.”
“So Miss Summers”
“Alright Dawn. We need you to fill out these forms so you can officially be employed here. What are you going to do about living arrangements? Do you need quarters here on base for a while?” The General was sitting at his desk sorting through a stack of blank forms.
“I’m going to rent a place with a girl I know here. When I get an address I’ll tell you. Do I really have to sign the confidentiality agreement? Every one I talk to probably already knows what goes on here. Will probably has your systems in her list of bookmarked places. If she wants into a system nothing will keep her out. We know how to keep secrets. Call the President, he will tell you that we can keep quiet. We don’t keep secrets from each other.”
“How about this, if the President says he agrees, you won’t have to sign the confidentiality papers. But I do want to meet who ever you will be living with.”
“Deal.” Dawn looked up from her stack of papers to make eye contact with the General. “Have you gotten a call from my sister yet?”
“No. I haven’t. How would she get this number?”
“Will or the President. Here let me call her. She’ll want to talk to you.” She gestured at the phone on the desk. Slightly flustered at the conversation he was having General Hammond turned the phone to the whirlwind of a girl that had taken over the discussion.
“Hi Buffy. Yes I’m fine. Will tell you what’s the what here, right? So how was patrol last night? I thought he gave up kitten poker. Any way I called so that you could talk to the General in charge here.” Setting down the handset and pushing the speaker button she nodded at the General.
“Hello. This is General George Hammond.”
“General, I am Buffy Summers. I have taken down one military base already and will not hesitate to take down yours if you allow dawn to be hurt or if you allow a mad scientist to go all Frankenstein’s monster on her. Got that?” A clear strong woman’s voice came out of the speaker in the center of the desk.
“Yes, I think so.”
“Could you or someone make sure that Dawn eats at least one normal meal a day? Am I on the speaker phone?”
“Sweet. Dawn you contact any of the girls in the area yet?”
“Uh huh. Jenn and I are going to rent a place together.”
“Is she the one whose uncle was..”
“That’s her. I’ll talk to you later. Bye Buffy.”
Reaching out to end the call Dawn asked a question that had been lurking on the edge of her mind all morning. “Have you spoken to the President about any of us?”
“Not really. I was instructed not to aggravate your group, do not lie to them, and do not ask questions about their past actions. I don’t know about your past or your present but if we can help in any way let us know. I’ll try not to ask but I will still wonder.” Papers were ignored and full attention was given to the conversation.
“Thank you General. My only blood family is Buffy, but every one in the SWCI is my family by choice. My will and other legal documents are in Giles’s safe in Cleveland.”
“Most people your age doesn’t have a will already written.”
“I grew up in a war. People die. When you grow up in a town with an obituary and missing persons section in the paper it’s hard not to be aware of your own mortality. Grab life by the horns and enjoy the good parts to the fullest. We all had to grow up fast.” Pensive Dawn thought of her past.
“Why do you fight?”
“General, could you walk away from an innocent being beaten? We fight because we can. So where are the malls in the area? I want to have some information before Jenn comes to pick me up for house hunting.”