A Hard Day's Night
by Darth Stitch
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Belongs to 2 TV gods by name of Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell and is now a movie directed by Joe Carnahan. Will put the toys back when I'm done.
DISCLAIMER TO SAVE MY SOUL FROM GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: Who am I kidding? Wheeee! :P
WARNING: This story is part of a fan fiction series with slash elements. As in, two men being sweet on each other. So if this is not your cuppa tea, time to clicky-click on the back button and run liek whoa.
DEDICATION: To PrettyArbitrary & Lakefront459 for their wonderful insights and answers about real-life military and for giving me a good heads-up on how to lay out some more updated background on the movieverse A-Team. To Dino & Grace, for patiently putting up with my ramblings and occasional squee-ing when my sanity decides to take a break from work.
It's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a dog,
It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log,
But when I get home to you, I find the things that you do,
Will make me feel all right
- Paul McCartney & John Lennon, "The Beatles"
"Man, I love you, Hannibal," Face said blissfully.
Murdock choked and said something that sounded suspiciously like "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?" B.A. shook his head and muttered under his breath about being surrounded by "crazy fools!"
Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith regarded his lieutenant with amusement and with a perfectly straight face replied, "I love you too, Templeton but this is all a little sudden, isn't it? I'm not really ready for a commitment yet."
"Oh my Gawd and here I thought our Facey was the commitment phobe!" Murdock gasped. He proceeded to sniffle dramatically. "And thus, a wonderful love story ends in tragedy." He extended his arms out to B.A. "Hold me, Bosco!"
B.A. skittered away from the zany pilot and regarded the Filipino Special Forces soldiers who were openly regarding them with a mix of horror and amusement and said, "I'll say it again – I don't really know these guys. I just got stuck with 'em."
The men from the Philippine Army Light Reaction Battalion who were sitting with them in the meeting room grinned and some chuckled openly, saying in their native language, "Ang kulit amputa…" Most of the men in this particular unit came from the Philippine Army Scout Rangers which had made Murdock comment that they were all their "long-lost cousins."
That particular remark made the eccentric pilot, who could actually speak Tagalog with a dead-on Filipino accent, laugh uproariously. "That's a new one on me, fellas. Remind me to use it on my buddies here sometime."
The realization that at least Murdock could understand them got the Scout Rangers laughing even harder. It said something about Filipinos that they were almost always smiling and those were true, genuine smiles, even in the worst kind of odds. The country was known to be a tourist spot but it had its share of memorable natural disasters – Hannibal remembered reading reports about the evacuation of Clark Air Base when Mt. Pinatubo blew its top – literally. And of course, there were the inevitable typhoons every year – some of which were exceptionally bad. But even news clips on CNN and the papers would show Filipinos slogging through mud and floodwaters and then flashing victory or L signs (a holdover from the famous EDSA People Power Revolution) at the cameras with bright grins.
Murdock had actually said, "My kind of people!" Go figure.
And then, they had that perpetual problem with communist rebels and radical insurgents in the outlying provinces, especially in Mindanao. The Light Reaction Battalion or the LRB who were now with them had been fighting against these guys for years. Often underpaid and underequipped, they were still one of the best anti-guerilla fighting units in the world.
"Okay, before the entire Philippine Army gets the wrong idea about the two of us," Face began, rolling his eyes heavenwards. "I'm just plain happy to be out of the desert, okay?" He looked wistfully outside the window. "Look, it's so green out there. And there are beaches here, Hannibal. Water!"
Hannibal chuckled. "It ought to keep you out of trouble, Face."
"See, the truth is that our LT here's kinda what you would call palikero, boys," Murdock was explaining to the Scout Rangers. "And he's bolero as well. The ladies just can't resist."
"Thank you," Face said in mock modesty, also picking up on the Tagalog terms easily, although his accent wasn't completely perfect. "Have I told you lately that I love you too, Murdock?"
"He's a shameless flirt," Hannibal sighed in pretended exasperation, shaking his head.
The commanding officer of this particular LRB unit, Major Dino Amante, grinned. "I'll believe it, sir. He's kinda got that 'chick boy' look – right, guys?"
"Sir, yes, sir!" chorused the Scout Rangers, laughing even harder.
"Hey, as long as he doesn't steal any of our girlfriends, it's all good," Major Amante continued.
Face pouted. "I get no respect around here… And yeah, that's a no to the girlfriend-stealing. That's so not on, man."
"All right, gentlemen," Hannibal said, still laughing. "I believe it's time we get down to business."
Face hadn't been kidding about their latest assignment, despite the seriousness of it. They called this particular place The Resort – a small island on the Sulu sea in the Philippine archipelago. With its white-sand beach and the crystal-clear blue-green ocean surrounding it, it should have been a real beach resort, a true tropical paradise. There were dozens of sturdy nipa and bamboo huts around the island and the residents could laze in cozy hammocks soaking up the sun or swimming in the sea. The fishing wasn't half bad either, as B.A. could attest.
Nights were particularly entertaining as the TV was on so that the Filipino soldiers could catch the latest soap operas – the latest of which featured a little boy who apparently could work miracles and had a Certain Somebody Up There as his bestest friend in the whole wide world. It was surprisingly entertaining without being completely maudlin or overtly proselytizing about the religious aspects. Still, with the majority of the Filipino people being Roman Catholic, except for the Muslim population mostly living in Mindanao, the show's popularity wasn't a surprise.
Sometimes, the whole island would be glued to the TV set when the country's top and favorite boxing champion had a match. And it wasn't going to be just the Resort – the entire country, would stop and watch their hero beat his opponent. Even the rebels and insurgents would call a ceasefire so they could watch the match. If the Team hadn't seen it for themselves, they wouldn't have believed it. "Only in da Philippines" as the Filipinos themselves would put it.
And if they weren't watching soap operas or boxing matches, they had the videoke on, singing old pop and rock songs or someone would start strumming on a guitar. Murdock was a particular hit with the Filipino soldiers on that one, being as that he was actually a talented singer. He was preening for days after being dubbed The Resort's "American Idol."
But The Resort was a virtual fortress, surrounded by concertina wire anchored with sandbags that held gun emplacements. The Resort's real "guests" were the Light Reaction Battalion from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. Special Forces, who actually spent their days in rigorous training exercises and missions. Small wonder because this particular place overlooked the much larger island of Jolo, stronghold of one of the most notorious terrorist groups in Southeast Asia. Recently, this particular group, its name translated loosely as The Sons of the Sword, had taken up kidnapping tourists for ransom.
It wasn't as if the ransom money was going to their "Holy Cause" either. Even the locals knew that the Sons of the Sword were in it now for sheer, unabashed greed, just cloaking it under tired old revolutionary rhetoric. The long-suffering people would know best – they'd been hearing the same thing from their own government for years. But there were people like the men from The Resort who were patiently and efficiently working to win the hearts and minds of the locals whose memories of injustice and bloodshed reached back for decades. It wasn't easy work and sometimes, every step taken would result in two more steps backwards.
The notion of giving up wasn't in their lexicon though. They just kept on going.
Recently, the Resort had been involved in a full scale rescue attempt that had gone horribly wrong. Although they were able to safely recover two of the four hostages that had been taken, the other two had been killed by the Sons of the Sword. In fact, one of the hostages – a local elementary school principal – had been beheaded and his head had been sent to his horrified and grief-stricken family.
It was a major headache for the brass of both countries – the media coverage was a pure unmitigated disaster – FUBAR didn't even begin to cover it. Back over in the country's capital of Manila, people were on the streets demanding justice.
It was this tense, uneasy atmosphere that had greeted Hannibal and his A-Team when they came to the Philippines and were assigned to The Resort. A couple of weeks after their arrival, the Sons of the Sword, getting bolder with the success of their last operation, had taken the son of a U.S. Congressman and his young family.
The earlier light-hearted, joking mood evaporated as the discussion about the mission began. The word from the top was loud and clear – all three victims were to be recovered safe and sound. Failure not an option.
The entire assembled team regarded the photos of the young family which were spread out on the table. The congressman's son, Stephen Ryan, was a handsome young man with dark hair and bright green eyes. His wife Christine was a Filipina, a young woman with soft brown eyes and whose fair skin and facial features bespoke of a Spanish heritage, common in this country. Their little girl who had her father's green eyes was absolutely adorable and she had just turned four. The family had in fact gone to the Philippines to bring the child to meet her doting Filipino grandparents and celebrate her birthday.
"They all just kids," B.A. said in disgust. "And that little girl's just a baby."
"Bastards," Murdock agreed. They, especially the soldiers who had actually been part of the earlier rescue operation, were all thinking about the last hostage victim, the one who had been beheaded. They'd all seen some pretty horrifying things in their life as soldiers but the fate awaiting this little family, if no one else could help them, was enough to make even the most hardened among them lie awake sleepless for several nights.
"Thing is, we heard that they may be planning to let the little girl go and go fishing for another victim," Major Amante said. "Intel thinks they didn't plan on grabbing that kid – it was supposed to be a second honeymoon for the mister and missus but they ended up bringing the little one along. And the locals don't like that – this whole thing pretty much shot their 'Robin Hood' image all to hell."
"Robin Hood image?" Face asked in disbelief. "They kidnap and behead people and they still think they're heroes?"
"The school principal seemed to have spoken out openly against them and he had been known to help us when we go out on our medical and school missions. Normally, the Sons of the Sword give out money to the locals whenever they get paid."
The Major shrugged. "A thousand pesos per family goes a long way out here. But now, since they've got that little girl…"
"There goes the Robin Hood deal," Face said wryly. He grew more sober. "They're going to be real antsy – they can't keep a kid for that long out there in the jungles and not have her get sick or worse. So what's the plan, boss?"
The Colonel's steel-blue eyes gleamed. "If our 'Robin Hoods' want to go fishing, let's give them something to catch."
Article taken from The Philippine Daily Inquirer:
ANOTHER TOURIST NABBED FROM PALAWAN RESORT
by Kat Torres
Just weeks after the kidnapping of the Ryan family, yet another tourist has been taken from a Palawan resort. The most recent victim is 70 year old Henry Peck, a retired businessman from Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Peck was vacationing at the San Gabriel Beach Resort and had been on an island-hopping tour when armed men, confirmed by authorities to be members of the notorious extremist group the Sons of the Sword, hijacked their boat.
Seriously wounded in the assault were San Gabriel Resort employees Joey Guevarra and Marvin Rojas. Both men are currently under observation at the Sto. Nino Hospital in Puerto Princesa.
A ransom demand has already been delivered to the authorities in Puerto Princesa, allegedly with proof that the victim is still alive. Security has already been increased in Palawan and the surrounding areas.
U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Ryan has already issued a statement on CNN, making a public appeal for the safe return of all of the kidnapped victims, especially his four year old granddaughter, Juliet…
Juliet Fernandez-Ryan didn't like the mean men.
Mommy was very angry at them and she told Juliet to be good and to stay very very close to her because these were very bad men. Daddy said the same thing too so Juliet wrapped her arms around Mommy's neck and held on tight.
Juliet wanted to go home.
It was hot here during the day and cold during the night. Lots of times, the mosquitoes would buzz around her ears and then she would be itchy. Mommy had a little alcohol and that felt good with the itchies. Juliet really wanted to go back to the beach so she could swim. But they were here in the jungle, high up in the mountains instead. The food was weird too – she wanted chocolate chip cookies and Oreos and her milk. The milk they gave her tasted funny and the crackers were plain. But Mommy said she had to eat whatever they got so that she wouldn't get sick so Juliet did that because it would be icky to be sick here, far away from home and her favorite pillow.
Juliet really wanted her favorite pillow here, so much. It wouldn't be so bad, just as long as she had Pillow.
One of the bad men told Juliet that she shouldn't wander off or make noise or the engkantos would get her. Juliet knew what that was – Yaya told her that the engkantos lived in the mountains and there was one, Maria Makiling, who was very pretty and really nice to good little girls.
Juliet wondered if she would meet Maria Makiling here and if she would punish the bad men. Juliet missed Yaya too. Yaya would get her favorite cookies and milk.
Today, the mean men brought another person to their hut. He was very, very old, like Lola Lourdes and his hair was white. He looked sick and very very tired. Juliet wandered over to him and patted his knee.
"Juliet, don't bother Lolo," Mommy admonished her. Lolo was what she called her other grandfather. Mommy taught her that one called grandfathers and grandmothers here in the Philippines Lolo and Lola. That was the polite and respectful thing to do and Mommy was very particular about Juliet being polite and respectful.
"It's all right – she's no bother," said the white-haired man. "I'm Henry Peck."
Mommy and Daddy gave him their names too.
"They got you too, huh?" Daddy said wearily.
"'Fraid so," answered the man. "And they were not very polite about it."
"Sweetie, introduce yourself to Lolo Henry," Mommy told her.
"I'm Juliet," Juliet said promptly and then, just her real Filipino Lola taught her, she took his hand and pressed it to her forehead. "Mano po."
Lolo Henry looked at Mommy in bewilderment and Mommy laughed. "It's how we teach our children to greet their elders. It's asking for their blessing."
"Oh, I see. God bless you then." Unlike Grandpa and Daddy, his eyes were blue. They were nice eyes, because they lit up when he smiled. "Juliet, is it? That's a very pretty name."
Juliet nodded shyly.
"But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!" The man went on. He had a nice voice too.
Juliet didn't understand all that but she liked the sound of the words and the way the man had said them and it had her name there. She giggled.
"You like that, huh?" The man went on.
"It's pretty," she answered. "It sounds like you're telling a story."
"It is from a story. It's a little sad though."
Juliet frowned. "Do you know any happy stories? I don't like it when it's sad."
"Oh, I know plenty of stories," Lolo Henry told her.
Juliet climbed up on the cot and sat beside him. "Could you tell me one, please?"
"Brace yourself," Daddy said, laughing softly. "She really likes stories."
"In fact, she can already read," Mommy said proudly.
"Is that so? Smart girl," Lolo Henry praised her. "Let me tell you the story of the very silly Prince Templeton, the brave knight Bosco, the Dread Pirate Captain Murdock and the Jedi Master Hannibal…"
It was a very funny story. Juliet had always thought that Princes were supposed to be charming and handsome but Prince Templeton was all that and silly to boot. And Jedi Master Hannibal was very good at always getting the Prince out of trouble with his clever plans. She felt sorry when the brave knight Bosco lost his faithful steed and she laughed and laughed when the Dread Pirate Captain Murdock came in on his helicopter to whisk the heroes away from the evil general.
"… And so, Jedi Master Hannibal said, 'Now that's a plan, boys and I love it when a plan comes together!'' Lolo Henry said, finally ending the story.
"YAY!" Juliet cheered.
Mommy took her back then and tucked her in beside her on their own cot. She fell asleep dreaming of her four new favorite heroes when she felt someone gently shake her awake.
It was Lolo Henry. Only, he didn't look so old and sick anymore. In fact, he looked a lot different, a lot younger. But Juliet could recognize him because his hair and his eyes didn't change.
He put a finger to his lips, telling her to be quiet.
"Juliet, sweetheart, I need you to do something for me." Lolo Henry took off the bracelet he'd been wearing and he tied it over her wrist. "I am lending this to you, okay? Don't take it off – it will help me find you wherever you are."
"Is it magic?" Juliet whispered. This was beginning to sound an awful like Lolo Henry's story.
He smiled and nodded. "You could say that."
"Juliet, baby," Mommy said, sitting up behind her. "Lolo Henry's going to get us out of here. He'll carry you. You hang on tight no matter what, okay? Mommy and Daddy will be right behind you."
Juliet suddenly realized something, as she looked at this man who didn't really look like a lolo anymore. "You're Jedi Master Hannibal, aren't you?"
Daddy snorted. "Busted. Told you she'd catch on, sir."
"Sharp kid you guys have here, " Lolo Henry, no, Jedi Master Hannibal, answered, laughing softly. And then, he told Juliet: "Just Hannibal will do, sweetheart. Let's keep the whole Jedi thing our little secret, okay? Sounds like a good plan to you?"
"Yes, sir!" She saluted him snappily, just like the way he had showed her when he told his bedtime story.
At first, all of them had gone into the dark jungle. The moon was full and bright in the sky so Juliet could see. But there were shadows around and things moving in them and she figured they had to be engkantos. But they weren't bad people so she was sure the engkantos wouldn't get them. They all had to be real quiet so the bad men with the guns wouldn't know they were out there.
But then, things got scary.
There were a lot of people shouting and things going boom and Juliet had heard Mommy scream Daddy's name. Hannibal told Juliet to close her eyes and not look – he would keep her safe. He promised he would keep Mommy and Daddy safe too.
When Juliet opened her eyes again, she saw soldiers this time. Some of them were Filipino like Mommy and there were others who were like her Daddy. One of the Filipino soldiers was helping Mommy, who looked like she was almost about to fall down. There was this big burly soldier with funny hair who was helping Daddy. That scared Juliet a little because there was blood on Daddy and his sleeve was torn and there was a bandage there. But Daddy smiled at her and said, "I'm ok, sweetie. It's just a scratch."
"What's the ETA on Murdock, Face?" Hannibal was asking another soldier, who was very handsome like a movie star, and had blonde hair and blue eyes.
"Two minutes, boss," Face said.
"We get the family out first ASAP." There was another loud explosion, a lot closer this time and Juliet whimpered, burying her face in Hannibal's neck.
"It's going to be okay, we're almost home," Hannibal told her.
"It's okay, baby," Mommy called out to her.
"Major Amante - you better gather up your men - time for us to go," Hannibal told the Filipino soldier helping Mommy.
"You got it, Colonel."
And then, there was this chop chop chop noise and just beyond the trees where they were hiding, Juliet could see a helicopter touch down. Two more helicopters were coming in.
"Cover us!" Hannibal yelled.
"On it, Colonel!" Face answered.
Major Amante and the other Filipino soldier were helping Face and firing their guns. Several more Filipino soldiers seemed to appear out of the shadows of the trees or from the ground, firing off into the darkness. The shouting and the shots from the other side seemed to be getting closer and closer.
The American soldier, the one with the funny hair helped Daddy and Mommy into the helicopter. Hannibal finally handed Juliet over to Mommy who hugged her and held her tight.
"Fall back! Move!" Hannibal ordered. And then, before Juliet knew it, they were all in the helicopter and they were flying.
The other soldiers also got into the other helicopters. Juliet could see them running like ants on the ground from the window of the helicopter she was in. It was pretty neat.
"Captain, let's leave our hosts a little present before we go home," said Hannibal to the helicopter
"It's only the polite thing to do," the helicopter pilot answered cheerfully. They flew over the huts where the bad men had kept them and things went boom again, a huge fireball going up up up in the air. That was a little scary but they were so much higher that the fire wouldn't reach them.
Safe in the helicopter, Juliet toddled over to Hannibal again, who smiled and let her climb up on his lap. "That was a good plan." She told him.
"Why, thank you," He said and then, he looked expectantly at her and she knew what they were both going to say.
"We love it when a plan comes together!" They chorused. Juliet giggled.
"Looks like you've got yourself a new friend there, Colonel," said Face, with a grin.
Juliet was pretty sure she knew who the handsome Face really was. "Is he the silly Prince Templeton?" she asked Hannibal who burst out laughing himself and nodded.
"Silly? Prince? Moi?" Face was sputtering. "What have you been telling her about us, Hannibal?"
Juliet's parents and the Filipino soldiers were also laughing. "She's got you there, LT," said Major Amante.
"Okay, you know who Prince Templeton is," Hannibal encouraged her. "Do you think you can tell who my other friends are?"
That was easy. She looked at the burly soldier with the funny hair. "He's the brave knight Bosco."
"Awwww, thank you, little lady," said Bosco, beaming.
And then she pointed in triumph at the pilot. "And he's the Dread Pirate Captain Murdock!"
"Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, missy!" Murdock cheered. "It's a pirate's life for me!"
"Hey, how come Murdock gets to be the pirate?" Prince Templeton was protesting.
"Because Hannibal gets to be the Jedi Master," Murdock shot back.
"This is bullsh-"
Hannibal covered Juliet's ears. "Not in front of the baby, silly Prince Templeton."
Prince Templeton bent towards Juliet. "Don't you believe a thing he's telling you, sweetie. Princes are supposed to be handsome and charming, not silly."
"I know that," Juliet said loftily. "Jedi Master Hannibal told me. He just said you were silly too."
Oddly enough, Prince Templeton turned red, which made Hannibal laugh even harder.
The rest of the ride was fun. The Dread Pirate Captain Murdock taught her pirate songs to sing as they flew home.
Article taken from The Philippine Daily Inquirer:
KIDNAP VICTIMS RESCUED
AFP & U.S. MILITARY ENGAGE KIDNAPPERS IN FIREFIGHT ON JOLO ISLAND
by Kat Torres
A daring rescue mission on Jolo Island was carried out by the joint forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military to save U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Ryan's son Stephen Ryan, his wife Christine and their little girl, Juliet. The AFP's Light Reaction Brigade, together with U.S. Green Berets, made their way through Jolo's rough jungle terrain, managing to locate the hideout of the Sons of the Sword in the mountains.
After a fierce firefight, military was able to rescue the Ryan family and destroy the kidnappers' base. Stephen Ryan sustained only minor wounds but is expected to make a full recovery. His wife and daughter were unhurt. Also succesfully rescued was businessman Henry Peck.
The joint mission was carried out with no casualties on the side of the AFP and the U.S. Armed Forces. Confirmed dead are Sons of the Sword Commander Bangard and thirty members of the dreaded extremist group…
Templeton "Faceman" Peck liked taking pictures.
It was a hobby he tried to indulge in whenever he had the time, capturing places, scenes, people, moments.
Here in the Resort, he'd ended up keeping a wall of photos showing their stay there. He had pictures of the beautiful undersea life that he had taken while diving. Here was a shot of a clown fish peeking out from its tiny cave. Here were corals and schools of brightly colored fish swimming in serene bliss. There was the deep jewel color of the sea under the bright sun and the sky alit in fire as the sun set.
Here was a picture of B.A. triumphantly holding up a makeshift spear with a rather large fish on the other end.
"Bow before me, son of Jor-El!" Murdock had howled gleefully. Face snorted – Murdock wouldn't lay off the Superman and Conan the Barbarian jokes all night. The fish however tasted pretty good during dinner. To their horror, Murdock had grown to have a fondness for green mangoes dipped in bagoong – the pungent fish paste/sauce that the Filipinos loved. For that matter, none of the Americans there could understand how that could be palatable. B.A. had threatened Murdock with a serious maiming if he tried to sneak a jar of bagoong back Stateside.
Here was a picture of Murdock, guitar in hand, belting out a Guns N'Roses song, to the delight of the entire camp. Things just turned crazy when he tried singing "My Way," though. Major Amante warned them that particular song ended up causing a lot of bar brawls in their country – Lord only knew why.
Here were pictures of Hannibal at some of the schools they had gone to later, ostensibly part of the security for the medical and school missions they were conducting together with the AFP. The Colonel proved to be a veritable kid magnet and for some reason, every Filipino child they met took one wondering look up at him and said in delight, "Si G.I. Joe!" (It's G.I. Joe!) Hannibal was surrounded by kids in a lot of these pictures but Face's personal favorite was the one where this tiny baby smiled at him and reached out its arms, demanding to be picked up.
Face, however, proved popular among the teenage girls and their college-age sisters. It had been Hannibal and Murdock's turn to take the camera when Face posed with the blushing young women, who had all asked if he had ever appeared in the movies. Go figure. Hannibal had rolled his eyes and said Face would be absolutely insufferable for weeks after this.
Hey, Face still hadn't forgiven him for portraying him as the silly Prince Templeton in his bedtime story for little Juliet Ryan.
Now there was a very memorable picture. The Ryan family had asked that a picture be taken with them and the entire military unit involved in their rescue. The picture was taken at The Resort and Juliet was happily perched on Hannibal's shoulders, waving happily at the camera.
But Face's favorite picture of all was the one taken in front of Murdock's Black Hawk – the four of them together. Murdock, of course, was mugging for the camera and B.A. was actually grinning here, in too good a mood to stop "the crazy fool." Hannibal had that all too familiar gleam of the Jazz in his eyes as he had his hand on Face's shoulder.
Yeah, that was a good picture.
He tucked this one into his pocket even as he took down the rest, put them in a box for safekeeping and stashed this in his duffel bag. They would be leaving in an hour. He took one last wistful look at the deceptively beautiful scenery and sighed.
It was time to go home.
- end -
With the facts and background for this fic, I decided to play a little bit fast and loose. I had gone for the factual background as a foundation to work with and mixed in some very very fictional elements around it. Just enough to serve the purposes of the story and make it sound somewhat more plausible.
I have also opted to refrain from overtly naming actual operations, bases, people and specific places except necessary. I don't want to fudge things up here and sound like a total moron. But I'm sure most of you guys can tell where I've based all the stuff I've written about in this fic.
Sadly, there are specific places in my country where it is simply not safe to go. The bloody and tangled history of Mindanao stands testament to that. But this is not the entirety of my country or my people. And I know that there are men and women out there, military and civilian, giving their damndest to make things finally work between all of us, spanning the gap of religious differences, culture and ancient grudges. I salute their courage and their determination. My own grandfather had been part of medical missions in his own day, travelling all over the country as an Army doctor.
On a less serious note, you guys just KNOW Hannibal had a kick out of telling that fairy tale to little Juliet. (chortles) Face still hasn't forgiven him for it – haha.
Thank you Wikipedia & Google for the research stuff. I found an article on the website detailing life in a real equivalent of The Resort but I've deliberately made some of the details for my fictional "Resort" different to serve the story.
Filipinos reading this will probably laugh when they recognize the soap opera and the boxing hero I'm talking about. Yes, the ENTIRE country REALLY stops in its tracks when there's a Manny Pacquiao fight – I kid you guys not.
Tagalog Terms & Phrases
Tagalog or Filipino is supposedly our primary dialect and national language but we got about umpteen others. Bi-lingual doesn't begin to cover things around here. I'm the doofus around here because I've only got Tagalog and English. My grandmother has at least 3 languages to her – Tagalog, her native Chabacano and English. Heh. Makes for a confusing mix, eh?
Ang kulit amputa – Slang term. Although there's a very bad swearword in there derived from the Spanish, this would probably be the equivalent of "silly sons-of-bitches" or "crazy sonuvaguns" Pretty much what I was saying while I was watching the A-Team movie. Heh.
Palikero – The Filipino-English dictionary shows the picture of Templeton Peck under this word. Haha. A playboy or ladies' man.
Bolero – Smooth-talker. Flatterer.
Engkantos – nature spirits, often mischievous and very capricious. I'd say the closest Western equivalent of Faerie Folk. The Maria Makiling legend Juliet's thinking of is actually from a mountain in Luzon – hey, it's not as if she's old enough to know her geography.
Yaya – Nanny
Lolo – Grandfather
Lola – Grandmother