“DULCE ET DECORUM…”
By Dave Turner.
A Prequel to ‘Shines the Name…’
Inspired by ‘LETTERS’ written by ‘Aussie Mel’
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS or Stargate SG1. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: BtVS with Stargate SG 1.
Spelling and Grammar: Written in glorious English, English! Slang is American where I know what the slang is! Spelling is English.
Timeline: For BtVS, well after the end of Season 7. For Star Gate SG 1, anytime after Jack gets his promotion to General.
Warnings: Tear jerker!
Summary: How Dawn meets her fate.
THANKS: First I’d like to thank everyone who read and reviewed ‘Shines the Name…’ I hope ‘Dulce et Decorum…’ is as well received.
‘INTO THE WIDE BLUE YONDER?’
It was not that Dawn really wanted to join the Air Force; it was just that if she wanted an education there just did not seem to be an alternative. After the ‘Fall of Sunnydale’ it had come as a shock to everyone that the Watchers Council had not been anywhere near as wealthy as everyone had assumed.
Willow had done some amazing work, and broken innumerable laws, getting them all access to their own bank accounts, after loosing everything in Sunnydale. Giles had spent months flying between Cleveland and London in an attempt to gain control of the old Councils finances. He had met with only limited success.
There had been enough money for the Scoobies and the New Slayers to set up homes in Cleveland, but there had been no money to set up a school for Slayers. There was not even enough money so support the Slayers and Scoobies; they had to go out and get jobs to support themselves. For Willow and Xander who had skills, or Kennedy whose parents had money, this was not so much of a problem. For Buffy and the young Slayers things were a little harder.
Then Dawn wanted to go to College.
“But Buffy!” Exclaimed Dawn, “The entire United States armed forces can’t be evil!”
“That’s how it looks to me!” Replied her sister stubbornly.
“Look Buffy,” Dawn said in a more reasonable voice, “I want to help you an’ Giles, I even want to be a Watcher. But not right now…maybe in a few years time when I’ve seen a bit of the world…done something different, gained some experience that doesn’t involve old books, monsters and goo!”
Dawn smiled at her sister who still did not look convinced.
“I promise,” Dawn held up her hand as if she was taking an oath, “That if I notice anyone trying to build a human-demon hybrid cyborg super soldier I’ll let you know straight away! Anyway, that was the Army; I’m joining the Air Force. What does the Air Force have to do with super soldiers?”
‘TO BOLDLY GO?’
Dawn had just returned from a wonderful two weeks leave, with her sister, Willow and Xander after graduating and becoming a newly minted Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Now she was sitting across the desk from a highly decorated Colonel who wanted to interview her for a post on a classified project. To say Dawn was intrigued would be understating things.
“Why did you join the Air Force Miss Summers?” Asked Colonel Carter as she looked up from Dawn’s File.
“To be honest ma’am,” Replied Dawn, “I needed some one to pay for my education and I wanted to travel.”
Colonel Carter looked disappointed, “Is that all?” She asked.
“Yes ma’am it was…at first.” Dawn admitted.
“After being in for a while ma’am I started to see things differently. I started to want to…I know this is going to sound like a recruiting poster…But I wanted to ‘do’ the best I could.” Dawn looked at the Colonel embarrassed by her admission.
“There’s no need to be embarrassed Lieutenant. I see here,” Carter gestured at the file on the desk, “that your instructors noticed a marked improvement in your work and attitude after your first term.” Carter paused and looked up at Dawn.
“That would be about right ma’am.”
Carter made a note on a page of the file. “You say you want to travel. Any particular reason for that...no trouble at home?”
“No ma’am no!” Replied Dawn firmly, “I love my sister; we’re very close, but…”
“You just felt like you needed to get away?” Carter finished for her, “And if you join DSRT you’ll be expected to travel…widely.” The Colonel smiled to herself.
“Yes ma’am and I wanted to see something of the world before I settle down and go back to Cleveland and Buffy.”
“You’ll certainly do that.” Remarked Carter as she made another note, and sorted through the pages of the file.
“Your instructors were very impressed with your unarmed combat skills, tell me about that.”
“The town where we used to live had a gang and drugs problem. My sister was…is heavily into martial arts, and she always thought a girl should know how to look out for herself. She taught me a lot of stuff.” Replied Dawn giving the old cover story.
“Well she taught you very well,” Carter paused, “Drugs you say?”
“Yes ma’am, PCP stuff like that.”
“You’ve never been tempted to…experiment?”
“NO ma’am! Buffy would have killed me ma’am!”
“You think a lot of your sister?”
“Yes ma’am we got very close after Mom died.”
“Yes...yes of course.” Carter made another note then moved on.
“Your academic work is excellent; Ancient History and languages why those subjects.”
“I had a friend…actually one of Buffy’s teacher’s, who taught me about ancient civilisations, and I just caught the bug from him; and I seem to be naturally good at learning languages.”
“Yes you speak; Spanish, German, Russian, Latin and Ancient Greek. You can read Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian hieroglyphics! One of my colleagues would be very interested in meeting you.” Colonel Carter smiled at Dawn for the first time in the interview.
“Now Lieutenant Summers. You seem to be just the sort of woman we need at Deep Space Radar Telemetry! You must understand that if you accept our offer you will be working on a highly, and I can’t stress that too much, highly classified project.”
“Yes ma’am.” Replied Dawn suddenly realising she had been offered a job on a key project. The Colonel ploughed on.
“You will need to do some advanced training, but from what I’ve read about you, you should pass with flying colours. What do you say lieutenant? Do you want the job?”
Dawn hesitated for all of two seconds before saying, “YES MA’AM!”
“Good I was hoping you’d say that. I’ll be in touch with your CO by the end of the week and you’ll get your new orders then.” Carter started to tidy away the papers on the desk, then she saw the question in Dawn’s eyes.
“Yes Lieutenant, you wanted to ask me something?”
“Umm ma’am, with all due respect ma’am; what does Deep Space Radar Telemetry want with a new Second Lieutenant who specialises in languages and ancient history?”
“You’ll see.” Replied Carter cryptically, “You’ll see. Okay,” She looked at Dawn, “Dismissed!”
Dawn stood up and saluted, she supposed she would see.
THREE MONTH REVIEW.
“Just one more Carter,” Said General O’Neill as he looked across his desk.
Paperwork littered its surface like snowdrifts that threatened to spill onto the floor. Carter picked up a file from a pile on the floor by her foot. She looked at the name on the front.
“This won’t take long sir.” She smiled at O’Neill.
“Okay who’ve you got?” He asked.
“Lieutenant Dawn Summers sir, SG 24 Major McCready’s team,” Replied Carter.
O’Neill looked blank for a moment then recognition dawned.
“AH!” He exclaimed, “Tall, brunette, attractive, always carries a sword on missions.”
“Attractive sir?” Teased Carter.
“I might be a General, Colonel, but I’m not blind.”
“Yes sir,” Agreed Carter.
“Okay what has everyone to say about her?”
“Straight ‘A’s all across the board sir. Major McCready was a little dubious at first having some one so young and inexperienced on his team, now you’d have to shoot him to get him to let her go. Daniel’s very impressed by the work she did on P3X592. It was Lieutenant Summers that brokered the peace treaty between the warring factions on P3X771. She’s a real asset to us sir.”
O’Neill looked blankly at Carter for a moment before saying, “What’s with that?”
“Sir?” Replied Carter, confused.
“The sword?” Asked O’Neill.
“Oh! Yes sir, I asked her about that. She said, ‘Ma’am, sometimes a Car. 15 just doesn’t hack it!’ I don’t know if she was trying to make a pun sir.”
O’Neill smiled and gave a quiet chuckle, “Okay Carter you’ve convinced me!”
“Sorry Sir I don’t know what you mean.” Replied Carter innocently.
“I know Summers is one of your pet projects…”
“Pet project Sir?”
“Can it Carter! I’ll have her in for an interview and we’ll review her file…In three months time! Then we’ll see about bumping her up to First Lieutenant.”
Carter was just about to add some thing, but the General carried on speaking, “That’s my final word on the subject…three months. Now I’m outta here!”
Carter stood up as O’Neil got out from behind his desk; he hesitated for a moment looking at all the paperwork that still lay there. For a moment he looked as if he was going to clear it away.
“What the hell!” He announced grabbed his cap and headed for the door, “Good night Carter.” He called as he disappeared out the door.
The ruined temple was located in a forest clearing two miles from the Stargate. At first Daniel had thought the temple would contain useful information that might lead to advanced technology or weapons. However, after SG 24 had been called in as back-up he had eventually decided there was nothing new to be discovered.
“Damn it Dawn I thought we had something there!” He said in frustration as he turned to the young woman working at his side.
“Doctor Jackson,” Replied Dawn, “Have you considered that there just isn’t anything more left behind?”
“I wish you’d call me Daniel…anyway there must be something left.”
“Why?” Asked Dawn simply.
“Umm, well, there…Ah! Sam!” He sounded relieved as Carter arrived on the scene.
“Found anything Daniel?” Asked Carter.
“Sorry no,” Replied the disappointed archaeologist, “I really thought we had something there…but.” Daniel sighed and sat back on his heels. “We might as well pack up and go home.”
“Okay Daniel,” Agreed Carter as she turned to look for SG 24’s commander. “Major McCready!” Sam called, “Bring your people in we’re heading home.”
Five minutes later Colonel Carter, Daniel Jackson and SG 24 were heading down the overgrown track that lead back to the Stargate.
The group of SGC personnel had reached a small meadow that lay next to a river that flowed down from the mountains that could be seen in the distance. The sun shone brightly making it difficult to see into the treeline only fifty meters away. Suddenly Staff Weapon blasts filled the air and cut up the ground around the SG team.
“COVER!” Yelled Carter as she led her team in a mad dash for the riverbank.
Leaping down the earth bank next to the river the SG team started to return fire at the Jaffa hidden in the wood line.
“Is everybody okay?” Asked Carter as she squeezed off a burst of fire into the trees. Major McCready looked around.
“Where’s Summers?” He demanded.
Dawn lay on the grass in full view of the enemy, her leg felt as if it was on fire; she looked around taking in the scene. Staff blasts flew above her head. It only took a few seconds for her to size-up the situation.
The rest of her team had taken cover down by the river and were firing blindly into the woods. The Jaffa were in a position on the treeline no more than thirty or forty meters in front of her. The Jaffa seemed to be ignoring her and concentrating their fire on her comrades. They were firing back but it was obvious they could not see exactly where the enemy were, and there was little chance of escaping to the Stargate with the Jaffa still in their present position. Dawn started to crawl towards the Jaffa.
“SUMMERS! GET BACK HERE!” Yelled McCready as he saw Dawn start to move towards the Jaffa position.
“She must be confused!” Called Carter, “Give her covering fire!”
Their fire had little effect as volleys of Staff bolts still ploughed up the riverbank where they lay.
Dawn screamed in agony as another Staff blast hit her, this time on the left shoulder. Some of the blast must have been deflected by her body armour, but her left arm was useless now. She rolled onto her injured side, which tore another cry of pain from her throat. She tucked the butt of her Car.15 under her uninjured arm and squeezed off a burst of fire.
“That should keep their heads down!” She sobbed as she crawled closer to the Jaffa.
“OMYGOD!” Exclaimed Sergeant Koenig of SG 24, “She’s attacking them!”
“I’m going after her!” Called McCready as he jumped up from his position to make a dash for Dawn. As soon as he exposed himself a Staff blast blew him off his feet and knocked him into the river. The SGC personnel redoubled their fire trying to give Dawn as much cover as they could.
Dawn crawled closer towards the Jaffa position, each time she moved a sound half between a cry and a whimper escaped her lips. She would crawl a couple of yards dragging her leg behind her, fire off a burst from her rifle, then crawl on another couple of yards.
“Only a little further!” Wept Dawn, a wave of dizziness and nausea passed over her.
Dawn took a deep breath that she instantly regretted and moved a little closer to the Jaffa.
Dawn lay about ten meters; and slightly to one side, from the Jaffa position. Rounds from her comrades flew over her head. At least two of the Jaffa had noticed her and were doing their best to kill her. However the amount of fire that the rest of the SG team was putting down meant that they could not get a good shot at her.
Dawn squeezed the trigger of her weapon, it fired a few rounds then stopped. Dawn glanced down at the rifle realising the magazine must have run dry. She toyed with the idea of reloading but could not find the energy.
“So tired…” She gasped.
(“Come on Dawnie, just a little further then you can rest.”) Came a voice into her head.
“Okay...okay…I’m coming.” She muttered.
Dawn felt in the pockets of her equipment vest for the grenades she carried. She crawled a little further, then with an agonised scream she threw the first grenade.
At the sound of the first grenade exploding the two remaining members of SG 24 boiled from their position by the river and ran towards the sound of the explosion firing as they went. Only a fraction of a second later Carter and Daniel followed Dawn’s team-mates.
Dawn pulled the pin on her second grenade and steeled herself for the pain that throwing it would cause. As she hurled the grenade Dawn saw a Jaffa stand up and point his Staff at her. There was a terrific burst of fire from the rest of SG 24 that hit the Jaffa full in the chest. As he fell he triggered his Staff, the grenade ripped the Jaffa to pieces but the Staff blast caught Dawn in the chest.
Carter ran up to where Dawn lay and threw herself to the ground next to her. Koenig and Fung, the other Sergeant from SG 24, checked out the dead Jaffa that lay sprawled about their destroyed position. They put a couple of rounds into any that did not look quite dead.
Carter bent over Dawn’s chest and listened for a heartbeat, to her amazement there was one. She looked up at Daniel.
“Daniel run to the gate and get it open; get a medical team here, double quick!” She ordered.
Daniel nodded his head and set off at a dead run for the gate. Major McCready staggered up to where Dawn lay, the front of his uniform scorched and melted.
“How is she?” He gasped.
“Alive!” Replied Carter as she franticly tried to stop the worst of the bleeding.
The two SG 24 Sergeants ran over to Carter, Fung unclipped the First aid pack from his webbing and started to set up a drip. Koenig began to make a stretcher from a couple of Staff Weapons and the teams jackets.
“Buffy!” Called Dawn weakly.
(“She’ll be here soon sweetie”) Said the voice.
“You’ll be able to see her as soon as we get you home, Summers.” Reassured McCready, “Don’t you die on us.” He ordered forcing a smile.
Dawn opened her eyes to see a blonde woman bending over her.
“Buffy? Is that you?” She whispered, “I knew you’d come get me…you always do.”
“I’m here Dawn,” Replied Carter taking her hand, “I’m here.”
(“Time to go now Dawnie.”) Said Tara.
“She’s gone.” Announced Carter flatly, she sat back on her heels and flung the unused field dressing she had been holding to one side. Carter turned her head away from her team-mates and rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand. Looking back at McCready and the two sergeants she said;
“We better get her back home.”
A BAR IN COLORADO SPRINGS.
Sergeants Koenig and Fung sat at a table in a dark corner of their favourite bar. With them sat half a dozen of their closest friends, NCO’s from Stargate Command. The table was littered with empty bottles and glasses. Towards the end of the evening Sergeant Koenig got unsteadily to his feet, he raised his glass.
“Ladies and gentlemen the toast is; Lieutenant Dawn Summers.”
His comrades got to their collective feet and raised their glasses.
“Lieutenant Dawn Summers.” They chorused.
“Give ’em hell L-T!” Said Fung as he slowly collapsed.
Giles stood in his hotel room and looked at himself in the mirror. He straightened his tie, then took off his glasses and started to polish them. He smiled half-heartedly as he caught himself in his nervous habit. Replacing his glasses he glanced at his watch; nearly time to go. In a few minutes he would go downstairs find Buffy, Willow and Xander, he knew he could rely on Xander to organise the younger Slayers, but he was the father figure. He would have to be strong for Buffy…and Willow who was taking Dawn’s death just as badly as Buffy. ‘Badly’ he thought, how else are you supposed to take the death of a loved one?
He looked at his watch again, it was time…Buffy and the others would be waiting. It would not do to be late. He looked around the room; he had forgotten nothing, no excuse to put off the moment even for a second. Giles walked towards the door.
As his hand touched the cold metal of the door handle the words of a man who had died in a war nearly one hundred years before sprang unbidden to his mind.
‘My Friend; you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The Old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.’
Giles closed the door behind him and walked off to say goodbye to Dawn.
DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a line from the Roman poet Horace's Odes (iii 2.13). The line can be rendered in English as: "It is sweet and appropriate to die for one's country," or: "It is sweet and fitting to die for the fatherland." In classical Latin it was pronounced, "dulcet decorumst pro patria mori."
The line has been a commonplace in modern times throughout Europe. It was much quoted in reference to the British Empire in the 19th century, particularly during the Boer War. Its initial three words have appeared as a book title.
During World War I, British poet Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) wrote a poem entitled, "Dulce Et Decorum Est," in which the phrase was described as "the old lie."