Chapter 16: Background
Chapter 16 Background
General Hammond stood staring out of the glass window that overlooked the Stargate. He was contemplating the possibility of retirement. He hadn’t been in his office for five minutes before he was handed a file by an aide. The file was forty pages thick and it took almost two hours of reading before it made any sense.
He swore. What had he gotten himself into? The file contained information of Ms. Summers that only a person with high clearance such as himself could access. There were several hints of a covert ops that Ms. Summers had participated in, which because of his type of clearance even he couldn’t access that info. In the file, the President had mentioned in a note that he was encouraged to invite Ms. Summers to join the SGC. “Encouraged my ass,” he snorted. That was a polite way of saying he had to. His brows beetled into a frown. He could imagine the chaos that would followed in Summers’ wake if she worked for Stargate Command. But, orders were orders.
There was much more in the file, much more – information on Isabella O’Neill, alias Buffy Summers. At first he thought it was a joke, but after calling the President of the United States twice, he now knew it wasn’t. First, Goa’uld and now vampires or it’s the other way around. Vampires, then Goa’uld. He shook his head in disbelief. Aargh
. The information was so coded, he had to decipher it before he could read it. So even though it took the latter part of an hour to decipher it, it was worth it.
There was a brisk knock on his office door.
“Come in,” he called.
Major Samantha Carter peered around the corner of the door carrying a large folder stuffed with papers.
“Good timing, Major Carter,” Hammond said walking over to a shredding machine and slowly feeding papers into it. “Good timing,” he repeated with a sigh. “I need some good news. What did you find out?”
She sat down in a chair, watching him as he continued to feed the machine with paper. “Regarding the gate sir, it is functional. There is no way the Goa’uld entered this facility through the stargate.”
“Good,” he said with a nod. “That is what I expected, but it’s good for us to have proof,” Hammond said, walking back to sit behind his desk. “How did the kids work out?”
“Pretty good, sir, considering that they are so young. They know what they’re doing. Ms. Summers was right; her friends are really smart. They even comprehended everything I asked them. “
“That’s good,” he said, his finger steepled as he leaned back in his chair. “How about the other thing I wanted to know?”
“Here it is,” she said with a sigh. She opened the folder and shuffled some papers. “Who do you want me to start with?” she asked.
“Let’s start with the younger ones and work up, leaving Ms. Summers for the last.”
“Xander, Oz, and Willow are what they appear to be – typical teenagers. Alexander "Xander" LaVelle Harris
was born to Anthony and Jessica Harris in 1981 in Sunnydale, California. He’s a typical C student. He and Willow Rosenberg are neighbors; that’s how they apparently met. They also attended the same high school, where they met Daniel Osbourne, Oz for short, and Ms. Summers.
“Daniel "Oz" Osbourne
was born in 1980 in Sunnydale, California. He’s a skilled musician, and he’s in a band called ‘The Dingoes Ate My Baby’
The General grunted. “Weird name for a band,” he said.
“I guess,” said Sam with a shrug. “But not as weird as some of those out there. As you can tell, both Willow and Oz are dating. Willow Danielle Rosenberg
was born in 1982 in Sunnydale, California, to Sheila and Ira Rosenberg. Mrs. Rosenberg is a psychologist. It said here that Willow is a member of the Math, Science, and Computer clubs. She also has a reputation as the person to go to for tutoring help,” said Sam reading from a piece of paper. “After talking to Willow, I found out that she has a lot of scientific and computer knowledge. She was selected to be wooed by a prestigious software company and was chosen to teach computer science after a teacher at her school was murdered.”
“She’s that good?” said Hammond.
“Yes sir,” she said nodding. “I was able to get her GPA and her SAT score. It was definitely above average.”
“Mmm, we need more people like Ms. Rosenberg in the program,” he said, contemplating for a moment. “Do you think she would like to join the SGC, after school that is?”
“I don’t know, sir,” Carter said with a shrug. “You’d have to ask her.”
“Did you say Harris and her are best friends?”
“Yes,” she said, wondering where the conversation was going.
“Colonel O’Neill was in this office twenty minutes ago, and he told me Harris was thinking of joining the Air Force. And he wondered if I, as a General, could give him a recommendation.”
“A recommendation, sir?”
“What did you tell him?” she asked curiously.
“If young Harris is serious enough, it’s no problem,” Hammond admitted. “Continue,” he said. Some of this information he had already known. The file he had received earlier was very detailed. He wondered if Summers and her friends knew that their lives were an open book. At least several people, besides the President, knew about her immortality and her being the Slayer.
Sam took a deep breath and gazed down at her papers. “The teacher who died was dating Rupert Giles, who was the school librarian at the time. Rupert Giles
was born in 1954 into an upper-class family in London, England. They have worked for a company called the Council of Watchers for at least three generations. At age twenty-one, he dropped out of Oxford University where he was studying for a history degree. But later after a sabbatical, he returned. He’s fluent in several languages such as Latin, German, Sumerian, and ancient Greek and has special knowledge of history, philosophy, and science.”
“Really?” Hammond asked. After reading the information earlier, he was intrigued. “Where were these people when we were looking for recruits for the SGC? Is there anything in his background you would deem as bad?” he asked, his brows beetled. “Everything you have found out so far makes me think they would be perfect for the SGC.”
“Well Sir, you haven’t heard about the rest yet,” she warned.
“Ms. Summers, sir, and the Immortals, and most importantly, the town of Sunnydale.”
“What about Sunnydale?” he asked, wondering how far and how detailed her research went. In hindsight, he shouldn’t have given Carter the job. With her tenacity, she might find out something she wasn’t supposed to see. And then there were the negative feelings between the Major and the Summers woman. Now he knows why Summers’ life was a secret.
“There seem to have been a lot of unexplained deaths in the past several years in Sunnydale, and it seems to have an enormous amount of graves.”
“That does seem extraordinary,” Hammond admitted, knowing he had to say something. But after what he had read about the town, several graves weren’t extraordinary at all. To the lay person, yes, but not to the supernatural community. Oh dear, he thought. He cannot believe he was taking it for granted that vampires exist. Is he so jaded that he could believe in vampires? But if aliens exist, why not vampires? he thought, turning himself to listen to Major Carter.
“Have you been to Sunnydale, sir?” she asked.
“No,” he said shaking his head.
“Well it’s a tiny town, west of Los Angeles. The mortality rate is very high for such a town. People have been disappearing for years, since the early 1900’s.”
“Do you think that has to do with Ms. Summers and her friends?” Hammond asked, eying the Major curiously.
“No sir,” Sam said aghast. “It just struck me as an extraordinary thing,” she admitted. “Now back to the background info.”
Hair color brown, eye color hazel/green. And that’s all that I found out about him. There is nothing, same with his friend, Duncan MacLeod. I did find a Duncan MacLeod
that was born in 1592 in Glenfinnan, Scotland. And with the description, it might be this Duncan – hair color black and eye color brown.”
“That would make him over 410 years old,” General Hammond mused.
“Yes sir. There were several Duncan MacLeods that kept popping up. One was in the war against the states; another one was one of the owners of an antique shop located in Seacouver, Washington, and in Paris, France. With what we know now about them, it could be the same person. Joe Dawson is a little bit more normal. He’s described exactly how we see him – gray hair, eyes hazel/green, age between 50's and 60's. Joe Dawson served in Vietnam under General Andrew Cord. After stepping on a landmine, he had one of his legs amputated. He also lives in Seacouver, Washington, where he owns a bar. That must be where he met both Pierson and MacLeod.”
“Now to Ms. Summers. From what I could find out, there was a Buffy Anne Summers born to Hank and Joyce Summers on January 19th, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. But that cannot be this Buffy Summers because she’s an Immortal, right?” she asked, shaking her head. “After a messy divorce, Joyce and Buffy Summers migrated to Sunnydale, but not before Buffy burnt down a gym. That little part is confusing,” she admitted.
“Because in the report it said her name was Buffy Winters. Even I couldn’t mistake Winters and Summers,” Carter said with a frown.
“True. Did they have any evidence to support the theory that she had burned down the gym?”
“No, that was why she was allowed to leave. But trouble seemed to follow Ms. Summers everywhere she goes, because one of her teachers died and a couple of weeks later, it was said she had murdered a student – A Ms. Kendra, no last name that I could find. When they went to arrest Summers, she had disappeared.”
“Apparently she went back to the town,” Hammond said archly. “Because that’s where she came from. Was she ever arrested?”
“No,” she said. “Which is curious itself. If she was wanted for murder, you would think they would have arrest her by now.”
“You would think,” he murmured, remembering the statement he had read earlier. “What else did you find out about her?”
“Nothing,” she said baffled. “That’s where the trail ended. I tried to get further information on her, but I kept coming up blank. Sir,” she said hesitantly, “do you want me to continue to look? Nobody is a mystery. She must have left a trail somewhere.”
Hammond looked at the Major thoughtfully. “No Major Carter,” he said getting up from his chair in an obvious dismissal, “I have another option for finding out about Ms. Summers. I do not need for you to look any further,” he said rounding his desk to reach her side.
“But Sir,” she protested bewilderedly.
“That’s all, Major, good day,” he said guiding her towards the door and shutting it gently in her face.
Hammond sighed and walked back to his desk. He took up the tan phone and dialed a four digit number.
“Yes General,” a voice answered.
“Tell Colonel O’Neill and Ms. Summers that I would like to see them in my office at 0700 and tell SG-1, I want to see them in my office no later than 0800.”
“Yes Sir,” the Sergeant said hanging up the phone.
Hammond redialed the number. “Uh Sergeant, please ask our civilian guests to also join SG-1,” he said hanging up the phone.
He gave another sigh. It was time to get back to work.
That morning had found Buffy Summers awakened by a loud knock at the door at six a.m. It was weird being underground, she thought. If it wasn’t for her internal clock, she would have thought it was night instead of day.
She yawned widely and took one look at Willow sleeping peacefully on the opposite bed, even in the face of all that noise. She stumbled towards the door and jerked it open, while wearily rubbing her face. She hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before. Everything she had gone through in the last seventy–two hours had come crashing down on her. She thought back about how she had left Sunnydale in a high dudgeon only to be knocked off her high horse. And then there was Jack. Seeing him again after all these years, she didn’t expect the feelings she still had for him. Is she ready to just take up where they had left off? Aargh, she screamed silently. No wonder she didn’t get any sleep.
“What?!” she snarled, jerking the door open. She ignored the two guards standing to the side of the door like sentinels to glare hotly into Jack’s beaming face.
“Hello, Bella,” Jack said, his hands fisted in his trousers’ pocket. “I’m here to take you to breakfast,” he said with a broad grin.
“It’s early,” she whined.
“No, it’s not. I have been up since 4:30 this morning. Now that’s early.”
“All right, wait here while I dress,” she said slamming the door in his face.
“She loves me,” Jack said sheepishly to the two waiting guards.
“Yes sir,” one of them murmured.
Ten minutes later, the door opened and Buffy stepped out wearing a borrowed olive green t-shirt that tied in the middle to display her golden taut stomach and her dark-blue low-rider jeans that cup her bottom lovingly.
Jack gave a deep groan when he saw her.
“Do you like?” she asked twirling around.
“Definitely,” he said swallowing hard. “What happened to the rest of the uniform?”
“This,” she said, her hands sliding seductively down on her hips.
“No,” he said, “the uniform. What you are wearing doesn’t constitute as a uniform.”
“I didn’t like it,” she said with an adorable pout. “It made me look fat, the only thing that was salvageable was the t-shirt.”
“Bella,” Jack said while shaking his head in bemusement. “Only you would desecrate the U.S. Air Force uniform just because you don’t like it. Come on,” he said putting his arm across her shoulders, taking a small peek at her butt when he thought she wouldn’t notice.
But Buffy had noticed, and she smiled an enigmatic smile, confident of her allure.