“My, o my, testy is she not Tasyo?”
“Yes testy, something else is bothering me. But I am a little tired, maybe I could get my thoughts right by tomorrow.”
“You might at least call the boys back. We need to rest and start another alternative camp tomorrow.”
So there we were resting the night, at a camp that was already compromised, it was going to be light in a few hours, so we did not really care, I was so tired too. Luckily we had a wonderful hot morning, and we’re still alive.
I always wake up early, even during boot camp. But I missed this one, I woke up late. There was noise outside, well it sounded commotion to me, I did not understand a single word, the guys were blabbering gibberish.
At least I was relieved that it did not sound like Japanese, I understand a few Filipino words here and there, they do have common words with the Tagalogs and the Warays.
But I was still cautious, I slept in one of those camouflaged rooms that looked like the side of a cliff, I peaked to see who was or were actually making the commotion.
Tasyo was talking to someone and some new guys. About ten, so I went out of my little cave.
“Hey, Soun, awss, Johnson,” Tasyo gleefully greeted me this time with the accent that I was really happy to hear. At least he didn’t pronounce it as Dyon, like some of them do.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
“Come, meet our neighbors.”
I didn’t get what he meant with neighbors obviously the whole hill was not even populated by humans except us of course. They seem to have a pretty much weird definition of neighbors. So I moved forward and met them.
“Bartolome Piczon,” Tasyo introduces the leader of our guests, we shook hands, “he has some information on the war.”
“Oh, are we winning?”
“Let us not keep our hopes up that high just yet. Please call me Bart.”
This guy sounded like an American, unlike Tasyo who has a hard accent.
“So, what is up?”
“I guess now you probably know what we are and our abilities. I asked our network up north for updates. We got beat.”
“What do you mean?”
“The Japanese are all over Luzon and they are coming down south.”
“Pretty bad huh?”
“Yep, some of them have formed guerilla units, I must say we must form ours too.”
“I guess we should, but they’d be asking us to join their larger guerilla unit, a mother unit of some kind, mind you my unit is in Corregidor. And I am thinking that I may not be, well, you know accepted.”
“I see, I heard you fought well. For obvious reasons, we cannot join them. But unlike the Americans and the Spaniards, the Japanese I think they are much like us in superstition.”
“So what are you saying, superstition?”
“Well obviously they are Asians like us, their stories and myths are similar. And as I have said they are superstitious.”
“Are you saying they will believe in creatures like us? And we can scare them?”
“Scare yes, and they will have some sort of things to counter us, I presume.”
“We need fresh ideas. A different approach to all of these crazy things happening. Someone who thinks differently from us. That is where you come in.”
“Looks like you have some work cut for me then.”
“What do you think we should do first?”
“I need some training and you need some training as well, hell we all need training. I need to know all of these abilities that we have, that way I can assess things.”
“But first things first, we need to establish base camps. If this one is compromised what do we do with this camp.”
“This is not even our camp in the first place Bart, let us hear it from Titing and Bering.”
“So gentlemen, what do you think?”
“This has been our hunting grounds for as long as I can remember, I grew up here, I think we can let this be.” Titing answers as Bering nods in agreement.
“I think we can leave this place as it is, but we need a new place to settle in. I think that is what they meant, I mean that is what I want it to be, too much sentimental value.” I interjected, and the two guys nodded as well in agreement.
“Very well, so Tasyo, you still have your own people, what will happen to both of them? Their group is well gone.” Bart looks to Tasyo.
“At this point they are on their own. They will need to choose which jurisdiction to join for coordination. What do you say boys?”
“We’ll stick with you Tasyo. Your council is closer to ours.” Titing replies.
“So it’s settled then, what about Johnson here?”
“Now that is a little tricky, he’d be going back to the mainland after the war is over. For now he can join our group, what do you say, Johnson?”
“I will have to join your group for now, I suppose. But help me understand this, what jurisdictions?”
“Oh that, we actually have councils, we call it ‘kapunongan’ and the meetings we call ‘punong’. We also have local councils but they answer to a higher jurisdiction and usually act only from orders of that council.”
“So what does the local council do?”
“Implement the rules and make sure everyone falls in line.”
“So what are the rules?”
“Do not kill any human unless asked for.”
“How do we control the urges, if we cannot kill anyone?”
“There is always someone who will die.” Answers Tasyo.
“Which is why, we have these councils to gather information far and wide, and thus we can assign them to local councils.” Continues Bart, “the local councils do not usually do the killings, someone else does, they only provide information on who is dying.”
“I know what we can do, and we should not risk ourselves into fighting just yet, let the regular guerillas do the fighting if possible. We can however provide them with information, intel gathering.” I replied.