Faux K-Stories: Descendants of the Sun Episode 1

Keywords: Korean Drama, Descendants of the Sun, Kdrama recap, K-drama, #Kdrama #DescendantsOfTheSun

Faux-K-stories are intended for the purpose of satire, parody, and criticism. None of the depictions of characters and events are true. While the specific show “Descendants of the Sun” is used as the basis, many elements of other Korean dramas are used as reference. Read at your own peril. 

A long way from the hot asphalt and glistening glass that make up the skyscrapers of Seoul Korea, there is a place where there is just dirt, a bit of green, but mostly dirt that no one really cares about. Not even the haggard people who call that place home much care for the patch of dirt that fate placed them in. This is a story of the Korean men and women of the Company 8 who volunteered to go to in a place is called “Urk” and keep the peace. 

The country called “Urk” is located somewhere at the point where western culture and Middle Eastern culture meet. It is a war torn and desolate land filled with warring tribes and surplus old Soviet era weapons. The country produces nothing worth of note and is rather irrelevant except for its geological relationship to the war on terror. And, because of this fact, a battalion size Korean peace keeping expeditionary force, ”Tae-Baek”,  under the United Nations banner was deployed to this region which is almost at the opposite ends of the globe from the comforts of Korea. Company 8 commanded by Captain Yoo Si-jin is part of that force.

From the outskirts, it may look like the men of Company 8 is having a good time reenacting scenes from the movie “Top Gun” (1986). The company even has its own Tom Cruise in its commanding officer. While a bit taller than the 5'7" Tom Cruise, Captain Yoo Si-jin is as pretty as Tom Cruise was in his early movies. It doesn’t hurt that the Captain looks pretty good play beach volleyball topless. However, once the fun and games are finished and the work days starts, Company 8 goes to work in full body armor as the region they’re stationed in is not a vacation paradise even though it is close to a beach. Company 8 is located near the coastal area of Urk with a mission of keeping the peace and providing medical services for a region with an estimated population of 9 thousand. With limited man power and resources at his disposal, this is a daunting task.

--- Yoo Si-jin, Captain of Company 8 deployed in Urk
└ …
What is our mission?
We are tasked to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Urk.
Company 8 is composed of various volunteers across the ROK armed forces.

No, our mission is not related to combating terrorists. As far as I know, ISIS or the Taliban does not have a presence in this region. The most we have is feuds between tribes that can get out of hand sometimes. And we are not a combat force even though we have combat troops for security reasons!
Excuse me. Could you get out of my way! Not only do I have a company to command but we have guests who are not you coming in today.  ┘

---End of Interview

The Republic of Korea (ROK) military is composed of mostly conscripted men whose average age is early 20s. It is common practice for Korean men in college to serve one or two years into their college careers since the job market for fresh college graduates in Korea has been bad for more than a decade and it is not looking to get better anytime soon. In fact, it is getting worse. The overall size of the ROK military is a bit over 600,000 not including the reserves. A bulk of these conscripted troops serving as ground pounding grunts in the army is deployed near the board with North Korea. However, these young men are not part of this story.

--- Lance Corporal Kim Gi-beom, Company cook
└ Don’t mind our captain…
He is a bit busy at the moment. Command gave us short notice about our guests. He has been running around trying to get ready the accommodation for the folks he’ll have to babysit for the next few weeks.
How do I like this place?
I think the mission of providing humanitarian aid is very fulfilling. However, I’ve haven’t been outside of these walls ever since I got here. It is the same for most of the support staff. Only the medical personnel and their security are allowed outside and even that is only on rare official occasions. So, it is not that different from being at home other than the fact that is HOT and we don’t get decent Wi-Fi reception here. It feels like I’m in the 90s with dial up! The accommodations are not great too. I heard that the boys had gotten much better over in Afghanistan when we had troops there. Now they are all gone.

No! I’m not Special Forces. I’ve barely held a gun out of basic. I’m the cook and I volunteered because the pay is great. I’ll be able to save a decent amount before my term is up. It is hard to get a civilian job in Korea for anyone young even if you have a college diploma.

---End of Interview

All members of the Korean peace keeping force are volunteers and most are also career military. There are a few special cases in which conscripted enlisted soldiers were included but those are exceptions and even then they had volunteered mostly for the pay. Not only do they get “career” pay but they get hazard pay too. This much more than the normal $150 a month they get if they stayed in Korea just waiting to serve their 21 month term. In addition, all of the security troops in the Urk are chosen from Peace Keeping section of the ROK Special Forces including Captain Yoo Si-jin. This is the official face of Company 8. However, there is another side to Company 8’s stay in Urk.

--- Seo Dae-Young, Chief Security Consultant (KPMC) attached to Company 8
└ Our HANSOME captain… His political masters decided to send a civilian Medical Team from Haesung Hospital and gave his short notice about the whole thing. So typical of the Korean government bureaucracy. I guess that they just came up with the idea to respond to some political Shenanigans. In fact, I didn’t think it was Haesung Hospital’s turn to send a team here. The government “encourages” Hospitals to help make them look good. So, the hospitals take turns “volunteering” their resources. I pity the poor saps that got sent all around the world to this dump.

Me? Don’t worry about me!
I’m not army! Unlike our handsome captain, my work will not change too much although this will mean that they will be more outing outside of the compound. I was getting a bit bored just guarding this dump. …

Oh, the pretty boy? Yeah, that is our captain. Isn’t he so pretty? He looks like a 17 year old boy who hasn’t gone through puberty yet. But don’t tell him I called him that. Even though he looks all cute from the outside, our handsome captain is basically crazy inside. Just a few weeks ago, he got into a knife fight with a contractor from another PMC over being called a pretty boy. Our captain flipped out and attacked him with a knife. That contractor was former Delta.
Who won? We were able to break it up beforehand…but I wouldn’t have bet on the other guy. Didn’t I say he was crazy! I mean, if you are 33 years old and still a captain in the Korean Special Forces, that basically mean that you have some screws loose.

The new folks…? Who knows? I don’t know who they are. Just some over educated docs who have gotten too comfy in their air conditioned offices? Ha ha… the AC has been broken for a few weeks. We need to get new parts. I hope they don’t forget to load them on to the helos…? I mean helicopters. 
Who forked over helo money? I haven’t seen a helo since I got here. I mean you had to drive all the way from the airport at HQ? Yes. We’re too unimportant to allocate the resources!

If I think about it, I’ve been to Haesung Hospital before. Wonder who they sent…

---End of Interview

Company 8’s home is a facility that used to house an American contingent but had not been in use for several years prior to the Koreans arrival. Within the boundaries of the compound, the security is provided by the Korean forces. However, the exterior security is provided by a Korean private military company or PMC called KPMC. They also work with the ROK forces when the medical staff do their community reach activities beyond the safety of the compound. Seo Dae-Young, former ROK Special Forces sergeant in a different life and leader of KPMC’s 8 man team, treats Urk like another place he earns a paycheck from.

As a night rolls upon the compound, Seo Dae-Young strolls to check with his men at the parameter before heading towards the mess hall. It is dinner time and he is not on the night shift. There are perks to being the boss. And in the morning, there will be new faces to meet. Hopefully pretty ones… I bet most of the boys here will be wishing for the same thing.

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