Chuck Vs. The Australian Army.

Team Bartowski on a mission to Afghanistan and beyond. Swearing involved

Authors Note:

Loosely based on my experiences with the Australian Army Reserve during the exercise Kangaroo 89 (and some of the build-up exercises). My nickname was Doc (still is to some).

As I have written the initial scenes based on personal experience, there is little plot. There will be some sort of plot later. I hope.

Originally, I began this story twenty years ago as a Forever War homage. I couldn't get it to work. Then Chuck came along, and you guys. I apologize in advance for my ego keeping my character in the story, but it was the only way I could get some of the quotes and references to fly. That is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

I have no idea if this is even any good. I hope you like bits of it.

This story is set early half season 2.

I don't own Chuck et al.

A meeting of minds.

It was really just a goat track. Had been for a long time. Probably for about five thousand years, probably ten. It followed the natural contours of the land. For untold generations, men had moved their animals along this path. It was only in the last two or so generations that trucks had been used. First Bedfords that had already been ancient when they got here, followed by Soviet machines made in factories that had originally made tanks during the Great Patriotic War. Now, American trucks were found amongst the mix. Even these looked fifty years old.

Team Bartowski (Carmichael for now) was in the back of an Australian Army Landrover, dressed in US battle gear. Chuck and Sarah wore Capitan bars. Casey wore his Marine Major uniform (he'd had a ferial grin when he first put it on).The packs, gear and weapons made it an uncomfortable ride. Chuck hated his gun. Hated having to carry it, hated what it represented. Most of all, he hated the way the goran ruttin thing found every pointy bit of itself and then dug itself into his knees, ankles, or anyplace it could find on him to hurt him. The thing hated him back, he was sure. He looked at Casey, and Sarah. They were both, just riding. Showoffs.

Not that he enjoyed flashing, he did enjoy Sarah's smile at him when he did. This flash had lead them to Afghanistan. Their actual destination was still further. Via Castle to gear up in Army gear, then a ride to Edwards, for a lift around the world. He'd slept fitfully on the plane. Way worse than coach. Probably worse than steerage. On the Titanic. It smelled …. different when they got off the plane. Ate, Casey organized another flight to ….this part of the country (wherever this part was).

A different Army was waiting for them when they got off the plane. Casey went to the commanding officer. The whole officer rank thing was difficult to follow. Chuck stood when Casey and Sarah did. He didn't know what to do with his gun. He tried to copy Casey and Sarah.

When they were on the American base, Casey would salute, and the officer would salute back (sometimes the other person initiated the salute sequence). But the Aussies didn't salute them. And the Aussies had funny salutes. Almost like Rimmer. They saluted each other, Chuck had seen that, but not the Americans. They stood to attention, but no salute. Chuck was confused.

Sarah was well aware that Chuck wasn't comfortable, but there hadn't been a chance to speak since getting off the Galaxy transport. She'd got him to copy what she did. The quicker they got to the destination, the better. Chuck was a dead giveaway.

Casey emerged with an Aussie Major. His name was Cook. He was the battalion 2IC. Chuck wondered if Cook had been ribbed about being a Capitan Cook. Probably not, looking at him. Major Cook took them to what Chuck thought of as the motor pool (he had seen some M*A*S*H), and it was less of a car yard than Chuck expected. The team loaded into the back of the little off road car.

Cpl "Doc" Goodsir squinted into the glare towards the oncoming dust cloud. The radio call came through a few minutes prior warning they were about to get a visitor. When the sound reached him, he relaxed a little. Not a truck, Rover by the sound of it.

Shortly later, an Australian Army Land Rover clattered up to the check point. Doc recognized the driver and front passenger. That was the battalion 2IC and his driver. The passengers in the rear wore different uniforms. American.

"G'Day Doc, all good?"

"Yes sir. Stone fire."

"Cold stubbie" Major Cook replied to the password challenge. "I have some visitors for Mr Wilson, can you escort us?"

"Of course sir." Doc replied, and called for his 2IC using field signals, tapping the top of his hat for the 'come here' sign. As the visiting Americans debussed, he asked if they wanted any water, or to top up their bottles.

Chuck mostly fell out of the rover. He nodded to the Australian Corporal standing at the check point. This guy was Chuck's height and roughly the same age and build. He wore glasses and was apparently left-handed from the way he held his gun. Chuck almost laughed when he saw the Aussie's reaction to Sarah getting (gracefully) out of the rover. He knew that look, it was the Sarah Walker in 'slow motion, invisible wind machine' look. Chuck still suffered from it.

Sarah noticed Chuck's wry smile. She smiled to herself, this was the first emotion he'd shown since leaving Burbank. Chuck caught Sarah's smile, and his disappeared with a guilty micro burst, followed by what Chuck thought was a poker face. She made a mental note to find out what happened, but she was glad. Chuck was back. Mostly.

Major Cook said "Corporal, this is Major Casey, Captains Walker and Carmichael, you'll be seeing them around for the next few days."

"Sir. Major, Captains, I'm Corporal Goodsir."

Casey grunted. The grunt sounded like "Corporal"

When Cpl Rees (Doc's 2IC) turned up, they set off to the command post.

"Top of the ridge, ma-am, sirs" said Doc as he lead them along the road past the check point, and then off the trail, and up the hill.

Chuck followed the group up the rocky climb. The two Aussies, Casey and Sarah moved silently and quickly over the rocks. Chuck couldn't find a safe place to put his feet without at least three loose rocks rolling around. He came perilously close to twisting his ankle frequently. He banged his gun twice against the rocks. He put it back over his shoulder. He knew everyone was looking at him, the same way Casey always looked at him.

It was only about a one hundred foot climb, but they were all breathing hard as they reached a natural depression that was the reporting point for entry to the CP. Chuck was gasping, and leaning over, hands on his knees. Chuck knew he was nowhere as fit as Sarah and Casey, but still, he should be able to do this. The rest were breathing hard through their noses. Doc rather liked the way Sarah wore her sheen of sweat. Both she and the Casey were scanning the surroundings. They'd obviously picked the camouflaged CP, Doc went to Chuck;

"It's the altitude, sir. You'll get used to it; just try not to run a marathon for the next few days, OK?"

"Thanks." He gulped, and flashed Doc a grin.

Doc called the CP on his headset, and was cleared to proceed.

A.N. I've based my visualisation of the terrain on two areas. In 1986, I was part of the Pacific Reserve exercise in Hawaii, in the Pohakuloa Training Area, this gave me the altitude shortness of breath, and the rocks rolling underfoot (how no-one broke an ankle during the ex is a mystery). The general landscape is based on the area surrounding Kununurra in West Australia. Both are stunning areas for different reasons.