09:00 June 4th 2000
"Private Miller, the general will see you now."
Graham stood, nodding to the officer seated at in the outer office and entered the inner sanctum. He saluted the man seated behind the desk and stood at attention. Graham was uncertain why he had been summoned here at this time.
"Stand easy private.", the general said quietly, "Would you close the door please and take a seat."
"Sir." Graham replied before turning to close the door and taking the chair facing the general. For a moment the general seemed to be studying his face, searching for something which he apparently found as he them relaxed. "Thank you for seeing me on a Sunday, sir."
"Oh that's nothing, the military was never a job for a nine to five, Monday to Friday drone. I prefer to do my administrative at the weekend when it's quiet. Now I understand that you have completed your term of service and have requested a discharge.". The general paused for a moment, "I should point out that this office is swept by security and is probably more secure than the oval office, also you are aware that my security clearance means that I am fully aware of the Initiative and it's operations."
"Sir, yes I am so aware. Sir" Graham replied, a little unsure as to where this was headed. Surely the discharge of a private, even one in Special Forces, could be handled through the regular channels. He had served out his full term of enlistment after all.
"Good. Now you've put on your request that you wish to continue your studies as your reason for leaving."
"Yes sir. My cover position with UC Sunnydale was as a TA in the history department and I wish to return to it. My academic supervisor told me that if I ever wanted to return I would be welcome." Graham answered a little stiffly "She was aware that I was in a military service but not which service or what my role was. I had mentioned that my term was nearly up and had expressed an interest in gaining a masters degree."
"Yes, Professor Williamson. She actually wrote an on-spec letter of recommendation to the university liaison officer to that effect", the general picked up a letter from his desk, "'Graham has the best understanding of the European wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth century that I have ever found. In addition his ability to communicate this to the students rivals or exceeds that of many tutors many years his senior. I believe that this, his patience and his love of teaching would make him an asset to any University history department.'. Not bad.".
"It's an area I've had an interest in since I was a child." Graham felt a little lost.
"Good. Everyone should have an interest. Anyway, I expect you're wondering where this is going?"
"Well as you are aware although the Initiative has been disbanded and we have no intention of continuing it's activities in the Sunnydale area we still need to monitor the situation. Keep an eye on things if you will."
"Well the reason you've been called here is that we would like you to take on that role. You would be operating as a civilian contractor reporting directly to me and would have access to the remaining Initiative equipment currently at the Sunnydale campus which I believe currently consists of," the general consulted a printed list, "'Two Hum-vees, 37 taser blasters with recharging packs, 142 stakes and assorted medical equipment including field first aid kits, vitamin supplements and 500 condoms'. Quite an assortment."
" Yes sir. I believe that we had just had a delivery when the alarm was raised. What would my duties be? Sir."
"Just observing and reporting anything you felt needed closer attention. It is not our intention to intervene actively in the goings on in the area unless they seem to be threatening national safety."
"Why me sir?" Graham was a little dazed "Why not Agent Finn?"
"It was felt that Finn is too close to the slayer, not that that's totally a bad thing. But we felt that you would be able to provide a more objective view. If you wish to associate with slayer, what's her name, ah yes Buffy Summers, and her group we trust to your judgement." the general handed Graham a slim sheaf of papers, "These are the relevant documents. You should review them and get back to me with your decision when you have made it. The office next door has been made available. I will be here until eighteen hundred hours, take your time. If you haven't decided by the end of today make an appointment with my secretary when you have.".
"Yes sir." Graham took the documents, stood, saluted and left the office.
3 hours later
"General, I have Private Miller for you.", the generals secretary spoke into an intercom.
"Send him in" came the reply.
Graham entered the office and was waved into a seat by the general who was in the process of making coffee. Through the window Graham could see the panorama of Washington DC.
"Would you like a cup?" the general asked.
Graham shook his head, "No thank you sir. I had a soda whilst I was reading. I would like to accept the position."
"Excellent. I'll get the paper work going through first thing Monday but basically you can consider yourself discharged and into your civilian role now. Will you be heading directly to Sunnydale or do you want to visit your family first?"
A slight grimace of pain crossed Grahams face, "No sir. I won't be visiting my family."
The general gave Graham a look of compassion. "I'm not supposed to ask, and you're not supposed to tell but, well, I know the situation with your family. Officially I'm supposed to disapprove but personally I figure that so long as you get the job done and it doesn't cause a security breach what you do on your time and who you do it with are your own business."
"Sir?". The general couldn't mean what it sounded like he meant, Graham thought, could he?
"Your file indicates why your father threw you out, another commander might have been prejudiced against you for it but I've learned otherwise. My second son, Tom, is gay. He tried to hide it so that he could follow in my footsteps but it was destroying him. Eventually he was discharged on medical grounds, stress. He's much happier now and living with a lawyer in San Francisco. But I suppose you'll want to be on your way."
"Talk to my secretary, there might be a courier flight we can get you on this afternoon. I would like to get you set up there as soon as possible. We'll organise some temporary accommodation at the University for you. Here's a list of contact phone and fax numbers for when you need to contact us, there'll be a cell phone and laptop delivered to you by Wednesday." the general handed Graham a sheet of paper and offered his hand.
"Thank you sir." Graham shook the offered hand and left the office.
Graham dropped his kit bag next to the bed in the bare UC Sunnydale dorm room he had been temporarily assigned whilst he searched for more permanent accommodation. He smiled and felt fully relaxed for the first time in over a year.