Tests and Results
The alarm went off and Xander opened his eyes and sighed. He had not really been asleep, just trying to deny that he needed to get up. Hitting the alarm off, he headed to the shower. ~I hate tests, I suck at tests, I only graduated high school because of Willow, god what if I fail these tests, am I gone or imprisoned. God I hate tests~ covered the refrain that went through his head all through the shower, breakfast, and up until he and Faith walked into the room. Four people were standing there, Colonel’s Carter and Mitchell, Dr. Lam, and General Landry.
Trying to keep control of his nerves Xander walked up and took a seat in of the two chairs at the table, on which there was a pile of pencils and papers. Faith followed him closely and took the other seat, Xander knew from how white her knuckles were that she was as nervous as he was.
Landry walked towards them a little and shook his head. “Relax, this is not a pass/fail situation, just since we know so little about both of you, we need some tools for evaluation and a base line to know when you are improving, just do your best on these. Some are basic and you will recognize them, others we made up due to the unique nature of this job, it is just an evaluation not a final call. As far as I am concerned as long as you can both read and write, you are in.” He smiled a little at them, having seen the fear and nervousness as they walked in. He was glad when he saw some of it bleed away as they listened to him. “Since some of the tests are timed, we will do those now while you are fresh, we have cokes and coffee if you need it, so when Colonel Carter says go, grab the one labeled ASVAB and begin.”
Xander and Faith both nodded, found the paper packet labeled ASVAB, which made Xander feel better, he knew this test. Faith just was nervous, and knew a few of her secrets were going to come out.
Five hours later, when the ASVAB and Standford-Binet test had been taken, they took a break for lunch. They ate the lunch that was delivered to them in the room, both of them lost in their own minds, which were full of worry and confusion. After lunch there were two more tests, but these seemed different. The first was called the Myers-Brigg and was kinda easy just lots of situational questions, the last one was obviously not standard, but for both of them was by far the most interesting.
The last test was printed out and had symbols and patterns, they were suppose to decipher, hieroglyphics and cuneiform. Xander was surprised he recognized a lot of them and even could read some of the lines. There was a section with tactical plans on them that he blew through easily, laying out the plans of attack, weapons to be used, and personnel needed. The strangest was a set of symbols he had never seen before always in patterns of 7, that he had to identify the constants for, that was different, but fun. On one of them he drew an 8th symbol after it, to complete the pattern that was there.
Finally they were all done, hours of testing, and they were both almost as exhausted as after a day of SEAL training. Faith was white and worried, Xander just tired.
Mitchell came in. “Okay guys, all done, lets go gets some grub, then we can meet and discuss your results, this time with you here to give us input.” Both of them nodded wearily and followed to the cafeteria, where they both ate only a little, mostly picking at their food.
“Really it is okay, trust me, we just need to have an idea of where you guys are. Come on grab some chocolate and lets go see what the tests said.” Shaking his head a little at their worry, he led the very quiet duo to a conference room, where Teal’c, Landry, Carter, and Lam were all waiting with the results of the tests in their hands. Lam smile up at both of them while they took a seat. Landry took control of the meeting.
“Well it looks like you two really are full of surprises, so this is the final part, we are going to discuss your test results, what the Stargate program is, and where and what part you two will have it in.” He could have sounded scary but he had a slight smile on his face and was looking at them kindly, so they both relaxed a little. “First things first, here are your files from the training you received, I thought maybe you both might like to look and see what they said, as if I remember correctly you could have been perfect and they would make you feel like you barely passed.” Handing them each a file.
Xander flipped his open and started to read and his jaw dropped. All through the training, occasionally he had gotten a surprised ‘not bad’ comment or look, but he had always thought it was just that he had done better than they had expected from a civilian, never dreaming he had blown through records. He almost choked when he read the bottom comment, and something hard and ugly inside of him loosened up. Turning he saw the same look of astonishment from Faith.
“Look Xan, they think I am good, they would want me, and not as a runner up to the person they really want.” Xander flinched a little at the reminder of her treatment, and realized it still hurt she had been considered only second best. The people at the table caught it to, but said nothing just watching the two.
“Yeah… apparently I was better than I thought also, and look what they said about my shooting.” Both of them talked back and forth for a few minutes, pointing out different aspects of each other files, getting more and more bouncy by the moment, until they were brought back to the situation at hand by Landry clearing this throat.
Guiltily they closed their files and focused on the General holding papers and waited to hear what he was going to say.
“This told us quite a bit, but first let me read you the ASVAB scores for each of you, they are broken up by percentile, which means that out of all the people who took the test your score was better than that percentage. So if you get an 85 percentile it means you scored better than 85% of people who took it okay?” Looking at both of them seriously, the both nodded, Faith chewing on her lip a little.
ASVAB Scores - EIGHT ASVAB TEST AREAS
A 25-item test measuring knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
X- 67 percentile, F - 53
A 30-item test measuring ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
X 90 percentile, F - 65
A 35-item test measuring ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
X - 95. F – 90
A 15-item test measuring ability to obtain information from written material
X - 98, F-89
A 25-item test measuring knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
X - 67, F-53
A 20-item test measuring knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems
Auto and Shop Information
A 25-item test measuring knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
A 25-item test measuring knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support, and properties of materials
After looking at there scores for a moment Xander looked surprised at how well he had done, but Faith was crushed, though she tried hard to look as if she was indifferent to scores. Colonel Carter spoke. “Faith, I know you think you did poorly, but the next test you took gave us more information. The ASVAB is based off of what you learned in school. Xander I bet you took shop didn’t you?” Looking at Xander who nodded his head. “So it is more a what you have learned test, rather than an intelligence test. You both also took the Standford-Binet IQ test and that was quite revealing about both of you.”
“What? That I’m a moron?” Asked Faith trying desperately to regain her bad girl attitude, if they didn’t want her fine, the SEALS did, trying not to show how badly it hurt to know she had failed.
“No on the contrary, it shows both of you are very intelligent. Faith your score was 132 and Xander yours was 126. Meaning you are both very intelligent, not genius level, but smarter that me.” Answered Mitchell “Just don’t ask Carter or Jackson their scores, they make the rest of us look like trained monkeys.” Both Carter and Jackson glared at him but you could see the humor in their eyes.
“Not monkeys Mitchell, trained chimps.” Replied Jackson with a saccharine sweet smile.
“Sorry apparently I am a trained chimp, which is higher than a monkey?” Looking a little confused at Jackson.
“Never mind I take it back you are a trained monkey.” Teased Jackson. The teasing made both Xander and Faith feel better, and helped reinforce that the IQ points weren’t a main factor.
“Oh.” Faith replied relaxing a little and looking at Xander. “So why the big difference in the scores on this ASVAB thingy.”
Carter asked smiling at them “Basically I think it shows that Xander graduated High School and you didn’t.”
Faith blushed and looked down, Xander on the other hand looked shocked “Faith, how old were you when you dropped in our laps?” Watching her carefully.
“Almost 16.” She replied almost inaudiblely.
“Oh crap… Faith I am so sorry, when I get ahold of Giles I am going to kill him, I can’t believe we did that. Faith, god I am sorry.” Xander torn between almost babbling, with his mind flashing back to where she lived and how they had treated her, and filled with rage for what four thoughtless self centered people did to a young girl, and he cringed.
“Excuse me, what is going on?” Asked Landry confused by the by-play between them.
Xander looked at Faith for permission, she nodded and he began to speak. “Faith dropped into our laps in 1998, she came across as bad, mean, and dangerous to know.” A sad sort of smile was directed at Faith. “We did not treat her well being stupid teenagers and caught up in our own problems with a friend and we never asked questions or tried to find out. She was staying at a place I would not keep a pet rat in, and we let her, NONE of us asked her to come live in our homes. Not that mine was much better.” Bitterness laced his voice at what they had done, as well as gave indications of his home life. “All of us assumed she 17 or 18 and out of high school. I was 17, and even more stupid than I thought I was.” Xander explained bitterly. (note previously I said 22, Xander would be 24 right now, my fault). “We never checked on her or made sure she went to school or anything. God Faith, I am going to kill Giles.” Then he froze, and looked like he was about to be sick. “Faith… I raped you. You were a child.” Horror filled his voice.
Faith snorted. “Bullshit, you never knew what hit you, I screwed you and threw you out faster than you could handle. Trust me Xander, I know what rape was, and that wasn’t it. Faith looked up and the brass and shrugged a lot embarrassed, “It happened it is in the past, and regardless of my age I treated him worse than he ever treated me, it is a none issue.”
The panel looked at each other, but it was Teal’c who spoke. “Faith when you were at this place, had you been living by yourself, supporting yourself, fighting for the lives of others?”
She nodded “Yeah for about six months at that point. I did what needed to be done.” Not sure what else to say.
Teal’c nodded “She was an adult by any cultures standards at that point, and I don’t think any of us in this room doubt she could have prevented anyone from doing anything to her she did not want. It is in the past and for the two of them to deal with.” With that said he went silent.
Sam shrugged and smiled a bit. “We aren’t police and since you obviously have no problem with that aspect of your past there is no reason for us to pry. Now as to your scores.” With that Sam closed the subject for discussion for anyone else in the room, though Xander looked like he was not going to forgive himself for a while. “What we thought was that you hadn’t finished school Faith, and that explains your scores a lot, in fact it makes your comprehension and word knowledge even more impressive, but it will require us to add a caveat to your employment with us.”
Faith froze a little, watching them warily. Sam laughed a little “It is not that bad, you are obviously smart, so I think earning your GED in the first year here will not be that bad, lord knows between Daniel and myself we should be able to get you ready to ace any college entrance exam you might someday want to take.”
“You… you guys would help me get my GED and don’t think less of me for not going to school?” Blinking totally stunned at the offer.
Landry shrugged. “Faith while I still have a hard time believing or understanding the information Finn provided us, much less what sort of life you must have had, I don’t’ think anyone here doubts you had other claims on your time that prevented you from following a traditional schooling path. So we will help you get up to speed as long as you work for it.”
“That is great.” Faith smiled, a true honest smile, and you heard all the men in the room take a breath as her face lit up.
Xander grinned wanly, still promising to kill Giles when he had a chance, but now he was on that list also. Unable to do anything at the moment he just looked at the people. “So what about the rest of the tests?”
Sam grinned “Well I found the Myers-Briggs very interesting, it is basically a personality test that tells us how you probably view the world. You Xander are what we call an ESTP type.” She laughed at all the blank looks around the room. “Basically this means you have a very practical approach to any problem, you don’t really care about the theories behind them, just how to solve them. You learn best by doing it, and you are very focused on the now, as opposed to the future.”
Faith laughed “They got you Xan to a tee. Would love to see B take this, what do you think?” Grinning at him teasing a bit, trying to make him feel better, and already excited by the idea of getting her GED and that she was not stupid.
“You on the other hand Faith are a ENFJ. That is someone driven by emotions. You tend to be a catalyst in any group you are in, you are loyal, responsive to praise and criticism, you have the seeds in you to be an inspiring leader.” Xander smiled at Faith. He had known that, it was just interesting to see other validate it also.
“But in the long run these also are just tools and ideas for us to figure out how you respond to problems and work in a group setting, nothing is ever carved in stone. Not even death.” Getting a small jibe in at Daniel, but the SGC people were surprised with Faith and Xander broke up laughing.
“Yeah tell us about it, you really don’t want us to compare dying and coming back, after a while it gets to be that you think even death won’t be restful.” Xander commented snickering. Daniel’s eyes lit up and he pointed to Xander.
“See, he gets it, death is just a step, not my fault I keep dying.” Looking to Xander for support.
Xander shrugged “Don’t look at me, I haven’t been doing the dying I just keeping doing the resurrecting.” The entire table blinked and various mouths started to open, then snapped shut as everyone decided they really didn’t want to know quite yet. Maybe later.
Daniel cleared his throat, looking at the final sheaf of papers in his hand. “Well my addition to the test was last, and I am… astonished. No amazed. Flabbergasted? Maybe stunned, no still not right.” Lost in thought trying to find the right word, Sam elbowed him in the ribs, bringing him back to the topic at hand. “Ow! Oh yeah, well lets just say I was not expecting this. So can you explain Xander why you know Sumerian, Greek, Latin, a bit of Hebrew, Hieroglyphics, and basic cuneiform? That and how the hell and why the hell did you add another figure to the set of 7 symbols?”
Xander shrugged “It was the rest of the pattern, you had not closed it, so I added the last pattern, wasn’t that what I was suppose to do?”
Everyone up there just looked at him stunned, Xander started feeling more and more uneasy. When Daniel spoke “Mine.. he is mine, no one else gets him first until he has looked at EVERY gate code we have. Is that understood.” The rest of the people just nodded looking at Xander. Daniel shook himself and turned his attention to Faith. “You Faith you at least recognize most of them, and seem to have certain word sets that trigger you faster than others, and all of them are words relating to ‘danger’, ‘enemy’, ‘world’ and strangely ‘female.” All of them were looking at the two very confused. “These are not normal skills for college graduates much less two young adults with no formal training.”
Xander and Faith looked at each other and started snickering. “Giles will never let us live it down, if he finds out that we learned something.” Xander remarked still laughing.
“Giles? Giles who, you have mentioned him a few times.” Daniel interrupted a bit bewildered “And how did you get exposure to all these languages?”
A shrug from both of them. “Rupert Giles, a friend of ours. He was big in the museum scene for a while. And we were looking for prophecies about apocalypse.” Xander replied. Daniel frowned the name sounded familiar.
Landry frowned at both of them. “Your answers are no more helpful than they were the first time we questioned you even if they have a few more syllables.”
A snort of humor from Xander “Look once we are fully here, signed in and what not, I will answer everything I can, leaving out only names to protect people okay?”
Mitchell shrugged looking at the General who nodded. “Sounds good to us, so… “ He got up and picked a stack of papers. “Here is the pile, non-disclosure agreements, life insurance, W-2’s, wage information, benefits, etc… Sign everything and tomorrow we will have a big friendly get together and everyone will spill their sides of the story.”
Faith and Xander had both stopped listening at the “wage information” statement and were tearing through the piles, finding the paper and looking at it intensely. It was identical for both. (yes this is really what a E-5 makes in their first year, I pulled the info from the dod)
Pay Grade: E-5 – Mission Specialist
Base Rate: 1759.50 per Month
Hazard Pay: 190.00 per Month
Imminent Danger Pay: 225.00 per Month
Total Monthly Pay: 2174.50
One time clothing allowance – 1300.00
Both jaws dropped. “Paid… we are actually going to get paid. I can buy clothes, and my own stuff and not have to st…borrow things?” Faith was in shock, she had been living off of generosity or picking vamp pockets for so long that this seemed like a fortune.
“I know it is not much, but most food and your living expenses are covered here on the base, so it is not too bad. You get the clothing allowance to cover the purchase of the uniforms you will need to wear.” Spoke up Mitchell, but he did not expect the happy faces that turned on him.
“you don’t understand, we have never gotten paid for this before, it has always been do this and try to get enough money via a part time job, or construction for me, just to make ends met. This… wow.” Xander explained, both of them just blown away.
“Well then get everything signed, and then enjoy your evening, tomorrow we get to rock your world.” Replied the General with a slight smile. “After that, training and figuring out where you fit in and how.”
Xander and Faith both nodded eagerly filling out paper work, until Faith got to the W-2 where she froze. “Umm.. guys.. I don’t have a social security number. Even if I gave you my last name, I still don’t know what it was, and frankly I don’t think that person exists in the system anymore. I was erased pretty thoroughly.”
A long look was exchanged between the officers and the General shrugged. “Not really a bit deal, we have had to set up SSN’s for other people, Teal’c mainly so there is a precedent, we will do the same for you. Question, what do you want your last name to be?”
Faith sat stunned for a long time, then started to think. ~a chance for me to decide who I want to be, to choose my own last name that has nothing to do with my deadbeat parents, something I get to choose~ Thinking furiously. ~what do I want, I just don’t know, I.. I need to think about this~ “General, may I give you a name tomorrow, I need to think about this.”
“That would be fine, it will take me at least that long to get the paperwork in order. Well then, you will have your allowance checks by Friday, and you already have your rooms. Harris your computer will be delivered tomorrow while we are in our meeting, please let your friends know you are fine?” Just a hint of worry in his voice, he really did not want the red head visiting anytime in the near future. “Then we will see you at 0830 hours in this conference room for the unveiling of truths? Have a good evening.”
“Yes Sir. Thank you sir.” Replied Xander without thinking, just stunned by everything. They both finished all the paperwork, except Faith’s W-2, which she took with her to think about. They said their good-byes and headed back to their racks, only speaking when they hit her door. “Faith, how can you ever forgive me?” Looking truly miserable as he looked at her.
She shook her head “Xander it was my idea, and the only part I regret, is that I didn’t let you stay. We are home Xander, a place where we fit, and where we can stay.” She looked at him all the excitement and fear, joy and worry having left her exhausted but strangely calm.
A hint of a smile crossed his face, “Ya know, I think we did.” Looking at her still feeling guilty for 7 years ago.
Impulsively she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips softly. “Thank you for asking me, thank you for regretting something that I have cherished, and thank you for being a friend… you will never know how much all of it has meant.” And she turned and slipped into her room.
Xander turned and wandered into his room. ~she kissed me, that beautiful, powerful woman kissed me! And I think she truly is not mad at me for that incident. Damn! Maybe someday I can make love to her for real, after I kill Giles~ Xander fell asleep with a dopey grin on his face.
Authors Notes: if you see major variations from canon let me know. I try to keep this in canon. Don't expect two chapters in one day for a very long time, I was just lucky on free time.