Area 88: Dogfighters
All characters of Area 88 are under the copyright of Kaoru Shintani, TV Asahi and Group TAC. I exclusively own the rights to the character Paul Yeung.
This chapter tells about Shin and Paul after the events of Area 88 had passed. Epilogue of Dogfighters and an alternate universe (AU) ending to the 2004 version of Area 88.
Disclaimer: Hope this AU ending satisfies those who didn't like the ending of the Area 88 TV version. Ja Matta!
Lobby, Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California
It had been months since Shin Kazama and Paul Yeung had been awarded the Supreme Order of Asran for their actions following Shin's official pardon from the Asranian Prime Minister and the subsequent actions of the two mercenary fighters in the defense of Asran when communist forces had attempted to storm Asran's various urban centers, which had striking resemblance to the Tet Offensive launched by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists) guerrilla fighters. With the blessing of Saki and Roundell, as well as from the mercenary pilots of Area 88, the two had left Asran under tight security on a flight back to Japan. Once there, the two had confronted Ryoko, President Tsugumo and the reporters Makoto Shinjo and Goh Mutsugi.
Paul took the time from their arrival back in Japan to narrate Shin's war experience in Asran and warned him that he had exhibited signs of being a killer who thrives on ending the lives of other people from his time in Area 88. Shocked to hear this, President Tsugumo advised him to have Shin sent to Standford Hospital in Palo Alto, California as Japan had a few hospitals that specialized in conducting therapy for individuals who have fought in various battles as the Japanese Self-Defense Forces has not fired a single shot at enemy combatants for years after the end of World War II.
"Here I am."
Paul had arrived inside the lobby of the hospital a bit earlier than his appointed time. During his time in Area 88, he secretly requested for asylum at the American Embassy in Asran after he escaped from the Philippines due to the EDSA Revolution that has been going on in Manila in order to oust Ferdinand Marcos from his presidency when he was found under suspicion by Philippine Constabulary (PC) investigators for supporting anti-government elements and Cory Aquino, the widow of ex-Senator Ninoy Aquino, with the addition of an assassination attempt after Satoru had paid a local hitman to kill Paul before he had the chance to leave Manila for Asran. The American ambassador, Mike Hayter, had relayed his request and had received word that the US government had granted his request for asylum after he and Shin were given honorable discharges from the Asranian Air Force.
Sitting down on one of the chairs on the waiting area near the reception desk, he stretched his legs and arms after he yawned while waiting for his companion. He glanced at his wristwatch after pulling the sleeve of his brown jacket back.
"Where is she?" Paul took a good look around the hospital lobby, seeing various doctors and nurses walking around the hospital. "It's not like her."
Grabbing a TIME magazine, he decided to read its contents for some juicy news. In fact, he kept reading almost all of the TIME magazines from the nearby magazine rack that he failed to notice someone tapping his shoulder.
"Huh?" Placing the magazine down from his face, he saw Ryoko was in front of her, smiling at the confused man. She had a brown jacket on as well with a pink skirt and a blue blouse.
"Sorry I'm late." Ryoko beamed a smile at her brother. "Had a little problem with the traffic."
"No problem." Paul waved her off. "How can you blame the traffic around here when most of the cars belong to the students of Stanford University."
The pink-haired woman brushed a lock of her hair away from her face before taking a seat next to her. "I guess you're right." The two chuckled before Paul decided to ask Ryoko.
"So, Ryoko." Paul said, starting their conversation. "When did you get to San Francisco?"
"Yesterday." answered Ryoko. "Daddy told me to come see you and Shin in this hospital."
"Oh?" The ex-Filipino mercenary pilot raised an eyebrow. "Your dad told you?" Ryoko nodded her head. "I see."
"Um, Paul." Ryoko bit her lip for a second. "How's life in the US ever since you got the request for asylum?"
Paul restretched his legs and arms, feeling a bit tired. "Fine. But I really do miss home." Ryoko felt a bit sorry for her brother, who had forced himself to leave the Philippines just to bring Shin back safely from the civil war in Asran.
"I have to ask you, Ryoko." Paul scratched his black hair. "What happened to Satoru?"
Ryoko almost glared at him, but decided to answer anyway, "Do you really want to know?"
"But before that," Paul patted her on the shoulder, making the girl smile at him. "You want a drink?"
"Coke is fine." suggested Ryoko. He went to the nearby cafeteria and bought two Coca-Cola cans for the two of them. Handing her a can, Paul sat down on the hospital chair and popped open his drink before he opened Ryoko's can.
"Thanks, Niisan." Ryoko sipped some of the liquid from the can; Paul did so likewise.
"No problem." Paul again waved her off like it was nothing. "So you were telling me about what happened to Satoru."
Ryoko narrated to Paul on the events back in Japan. She started by explaining to him after he and Shin told President Tsugumo that he had Satoru Kanzaki fired from his position in Yamato Airlines (YAL). Despite claims that he was being "framed" by other people from within the company, he bitterly left YAL and was currently seeking employment. But some companies had shunned him after learning about his shady past with Shin and how he tricked Shin to serve in Area 88.
"So your dad fired him, eh?" The Chinese-Filipino wanted to check Ryoko's narration on Satoru's fate.
"Yeah." Ryoko nodded. "Daddy lost his temper when he saw him in his office. He basically told him to pack up and never show your face again."
"Did he tell him to apologize to Shin when he sees him again after his rehabilitation is over?"
"I think so. I don't remember, but I think daddy also said that he should apologize to you and Shin."
Paul snorted at his sister. "I don't know. Satoru sent Shin to serve in Area 88 against his will and hired a hitman back in Manila to pop me in the head may not make it easy for Shin and me to do so."
"I understand." Ryoko told Paul's hand and gently squeezed it, looking at him with sad eyes. "But don't try to live in the past. It doesn't help you, you know."
"I guess." sighed Paul. "Even the money grant from the Asranian Embassy in Tokyo may be of partial help, but Shin's lost years in Area 88 isn't recoverable at all." Shin was given a grant of $500,000 from the Asranian ambassador after an investigation conducted by the Asranian government had revealed that several agents from National Security Bureau (NSB) did not conduct a check to see if Shin willingly agreed to serve in the Asranian Air Force. As a result, several of them were punished by the bureau director by granting them a dishonorable discharge from the service. Only those who had minor involvement with Shin's forcible abduction from Paris were transferred to other desk jobs or were prohibited from serving abroad as spies for the Asranian government for a number of years.
"Well." Ryoko ruffled Paul's hair, making it a bit messy. "I still have to thank you, Niisan." Paul wanted to blush in front of her, but fought to avoid it from happening. "Without you, I could have lost Shin forever."
"Just call it a favor." Paul said, boasting himself by pointing his thumb at himself.
"I almost forgot," The Chinese-Filipino snapped his fingers. "What happened to the two reporters whom you've met back in the hotel?"
"Well..." She tapped her chin, thinking of the answer. "I know Makoto and Goh went back to the SO News Bureau, but they later joined the Associated Press' Tokyo branch."
"That's good." The two soon noticed a man wearing a white coat approach their seats.
"Good Morning, Mr. Yeung." The man, who was in his late '30s, shook hands with Paul. "I'm Dr. Jake Clarke from the Psychology Department."
"Nice to meet you." He then introduced Ryoko to the doctor. "This is Ryoko Tsugumo, the patient's fiancée."
"A lovely lady indeed." Dr. Clarke soon hands with Ryoko. "Mr. Kazama is lucky to have someone like you."
"Thank you." Ryoko's cheek turned bright red, earning a chuckle from Paul.
"Say Doc." began Paul. "Are we allowed to see Shin now?"
Dr. Clarke nodded. "Yes, of course. In fact, I told Shin that this is part of his therapy to recover from his forced service in the Asranian Civil War since initial analysis have found that Shin was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD." The doctor took a look at his clipboard before glancing at Paul. "If I understood right, Shin told me that you served with him."
Paul made no attempts to deny the doctor's findings. "Yes, that's right."
"Well, we can't stand here all day." Dr. Clarke tucked the clipboard underneath his arm. "Mr. Kazama is waiting for the both of you. So if you please follow me, I'll show you where he is the hospital."
"Thanks." Dr. Clarke was the first to walk, showing Paul and Ryoko the way.
"Ryoko," Paul said, patting her shoulder again. "Let's go."
Ryoko nodded at him. "Okay." She linked her arm with his before the two went off to see Shin, who would hopefully recover from the horrible events that he had experienced in Area 88. Paul smiled on their way to visit Shin, which had Ryoko baffled. She decided to ask him what was in his mind.
"Paul, why are you smiling?"
"Oh nothing!" grinned Paul. "I just remembered a conversation that I had a few months ago."
Helipad, Area 88 Base
Shin Kazama and Paul Yeung, now clad in their civilian clothes, were speaking with Mickey and the rest of the pilots who wanted to see the two of them off.
Micky was the first to say goodbye. "Good luck when you two get back to civilization." He then gave the two ex-pilots high fives.
"You be careful now, you hear!" Greg slapped the shoulders of the recently discharged pilots, making them groan in pain.
"Shin, Paul." Kim stepped forward and shook their hands. "I wish you two the best of luck."
Paul shook the turbanned mercenary's hand. "Thanks, sport."
"Same here." Shin shook Kim's hand when Paul was done. Kitori came to say her goodbyes to the two ex-Asian mercenaries.
"Goodbye you two." She hugged Shin with an almost tight grip. Afterwards, she came to hug Paul also. But before she released him from her hug, she kissed him on his... lips!
"Bye!" Kitori had a blush on her face and quickly left the scene. Whistles and catcalls came on to rally for Paul. Even Shin couldn't help but whistle at his friend.
"Whatever, guys." Paul rolled his eyes. "She's just trying to be nice."
"We have to leave! Come on!" The pilot of the Asranian Air Force UH-1D began to switch on the helicopter, staring with the rotors.
Shin waved farewell to his comrades and entered the UH-1D's cabin. Paul was about to do so when he felt a hand on his shoulder; he turned around and saw Mickey grinning at him.
"I guess this is goodbye, huh mate?" Mickey felt a bit sad that his ex-comrade had to leave.
"Yeah." nodded Paul sadly. "My fight here is over."
"I almost forgot." Mickey asked one last question to Paul. "Why do they call you the Lightning Ace?"
The Filipino, although shrugged his shoulders, decided to reply to his baffling question.
"I was the first in everything. From being an honor student, to being the best pilot in the air force and even trying to find out what happened to Shin when I heard rumors that he never returned from his training in Paris."
Mickey nodded his head, realizing the answer to his own question.
"Well," Paul patted his shoulder. "I gotta get out of here." He then entered the cabin of the UH-1D. Before he closed it, he simply gave out one final message to his ex-mercenary comrades.
"Give the rebels hell!" Paul gave a thumbs up before closing the cabin door. The pilot and co-pilot of the UH-1D went to work on the chopper; it took off from the base's helipad and began to rise in altitude.
Shin and Paul peered through the glass window of the cabin doors and saw Mickey, Greg, Kim, Kitori and Micky give their thumbs up to them with smiles on their faces.
It was an event that neither Shin Kazama nor Paul Yeung will ever forget in the near future.
"Are you sure you're not crazy or anything?" Ryoko looked at her brother with a bit of curiosity.
"Of course not." chuckled Paul, assuring his sister. "I'm perfectly fine."
"Well, that's good." Ryoko smiled as the two continued on their way to see Shin and help him recover from PTSD.
PS - I modeled the Supreme Order of Asran medal after the US Medal of Honor. It was not canon, but for the sake of the story, I decided that maybe a medal should be present in the Asranian military at least.
The National Security Bureau (NSB) is a fan name I made of the Asranian intelligence agents that hounded Shin back in Paris. Same style as they operate like the Americans and the British.
There's a reference here based on the voice actor of Solid Snake/Naked Snake and Liquid Snake/Master Miller. Can you see where it is? Let me know if you got it.
Now that the story's done, I can do other stuff like doing an FMP or GSEED or perhaps back to Mark Sy and his saga! Stay tune to my page for more stories though. Besides, this is my first fic that have a span of 24 chapters. Hopefully, I'll be able to beat the record when I do an upcoming FMP or a GSEED story.