On a windy sunny morning, Mulan has just returned from her morning jog. When she opened the letterbox, she saw a letter addressed to her father from the SAF. Curiosity made her tore open the letter with force and found the army has demanded her father to report for reservist. >
> "But Papa is already 60 years old!" She gasped in shock. But then again, if the retirement age is expected to raise to 75, she supposed they must have added a few more years for reservist. >
> The problem was that her father has aged too much even for a few weeks for socialising and cook house food, and as the filial Chinese child, Mulan was deeply concerned.
"Wait. Since I'm still jobless after the retrench, why don't I go on his behalf!" >
> Mulan was thrilled by the great idea she had just in the short few minutes it took for the lift to reach the eighth floor. She quickly ran into her room, after removing her shoes at the door of course, as a good Asian, and changed out of her running gear, >
> grabbed her red auspicious purse, and rushed to the neighborhood mall for a $12 cut. The long silky hair has to go if she were to impersonate her father!
Her mother was appalled by Mulan's short tomboyish hair during dinner that night. "Are you gay now?!" >
> She slammed her wooden chopsticks next to the plate of kong pao chicken in anger.
"No Mama! I just... wanted a new look for a new job!" Mulan stuttered with a mouthful of fried rice. Her mother must not know about her plan! >
> "You better not be gay! That's dishonor to the ancestors!" Mulan's father glared at his only child sternly, picking up a piece of spring roll.
"I'm not. I will do you and our ancestors proud, Papa." Mulan promised, internally swore by her ancestors' tomb in Lim Chu Kang. >
> Eight days passed and Mulan did not train for the upcoming reservist at all, since she read from some popular NSmen forums that she would only be sitting around and doing odd jobs. On the night before reporting, she tossed and turned and could not fall asleep at all. >
> Probably partly because of the hot 32 degrees Singapore heat. Then she heard a voice in the silent night. The eerie sound of a woman singing.
Mulan gasped and sat up instantly, beads of perspire trickling down her back. What was that?! It was not even the seventh month yet! >
> Though her heart was pounding hard and fast against her ribs, Mulan decided to be brave. She had to be, so that she would not dishonor her ancestors. There was only one thing she could do to block the ahh-ahhhh-ahhhh-ahh the eerie woman was singing. Mulan started to sing. >
> "I can hear you but I won't.
Some look for trouble while others don't.
There's a thousand reasons I should go about my day,
And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away!
"Oh stop your horrible singing!" In a puff of white smoke, a woman appeared in Mulan's room.>
> She was a slim and pale looking Chinese woman dressed in a black qi pao with ornate golden embroidery.
"Ghost!" Mulan screeched in horror.
"Rude!" The woman hissed. "I'm also not a witch or fairy godmother because I'm Chinese! I'm the Pomegranate Spirit!" >
> "Oh!" Mulan remembered the pot of pomegranate her father has been carefully growing outside their flat. Luckily he was not growing a banana tree then, or she would be facing a pontianak.
"Your honorable father has served me well, and now I shall help you, oh filial child." >
> "Are you giving me superpower?" Mulan's eyes beamed with exhilaration.
"No! This is not a superhero story!" THe Pomegranate Spirit rolled her eyes.
"Will it be a red dragon which breaths fire?" Mulan was still excited.
> "No! I know you didn't vote for the ruling party and dragons are not for Free Riders!"
"Then what?" Mulan heaved a disappointed sigh.
"I give you this." The Spirit cast a spell and her right hand lit up bright like the Singapore afternoon sun. >
> When the light subsided, a silver bow was in her hand. "This shall help you in your reservist."
Mulan took over the bow with substantial weight and squinted at the Spirit. "When was the last time you were out in this world? We use lightweight rifles now!" >
> "The audacity! Of course I know what rifles are! But you're going to reservist! Not war!" The Spirit berated. "The Bow of Thousand Arrows will help you receive any arrows shot at you and let you shoot them at someone else!" >
> "Oh... Oh!" Mulan's eyes brightened again, realizing nobody can ever sabotage her or give her odd jobs now! She let her fingers grazed lightly against the bow and found a few Chinese characters engraved on the handle. "What does this say?" >
> "It says Productive. Don't you read Chinese?" The Spirit quirked a finely shaped brow.
"I failed Chinese at O-Levels."
"That's dishonor on your c..."
"But Papa said it's alright because I got A1 for Maths! A-Maths some more!" Mulan grinned like a proud Chinese. >
> "Fine." The Spirit decided to take a seat. It has been a long night. It was tiring talking to these young generations. "Also, you'll need a new IC, you stupid girl."
She gave Mulan a new IC that appeared out of thin air.
"What's wrong with my IC?" >
> "You think those people in SAF can't read? Can't tell that you're not your father Fa Zhou?"
"I'm called Fa Zhou now. Ew. That's a boomer's name! Can you hack into the system and change my father's name to Fa Ping?" With a grunt, the Pomegranate Spirit granted Mulan her wish.>
> Reporting at the camp was easy as a breeze. Mulan claimed that she was the pioneer batch of servicewomen who volunteered for reservist after serving as a regular. And she was the only volunteer in that said pioneer batch. Her father's job was easier than she expected as well.>
> As a technician at the Comms Center, Mulan just had to perform Preventive Maintenance on the systems and fix random glitches that they coughed up. She could read the thick system manuals, or shoot an arrow at the back of a senior to make him eager to help her out. >
> Usually she chose the latter.
But like those systems, there would always be a loose screw somewhere, something to screw up everything. And that screw was called Shang. Shang was the overzealous officer who believed that his middle-aged reservists should be, must be, >
> as fit as a 18 years old NSman. He would make his section run 2.4Km every morning, with their surgical mask on. He would make them do push-ups before lunch, and sit-ups before bed. And he would make them sing along as they do the evening run. >
> "Let's get down to business,
To defeat the Huns.
Did they send me daughters,
When I asked for sons?
You're the saddest bunch I ever met,
But you can bet before we're through,
Mister, I'll make a man
Out of you!"
Mulan stopped running and took out her phone. >
> "Fa! Why are you stopping?!" Shang bawled out at Mulan.
"I'm reporting your sexist song to the hotline." Mulan tapped the hotline number nonchalantly.
"What?! I mean wait! I'm not a sexist! It's just a song!"
"A sexist song." She was about to tap the dial button. >
> "I'm sorry, ok? Don't report me ok?" Now Shang was panicking. He was due for promotion this quarter and he definitely would not want this sludge on his record.
"Can I book out tomorrow?" Mulan hovered her finger over the dial button.
"Yes." Shang sighed in surrender.>
> Mulan's extensive use of the legendary Bow made her reservist time nearly enjoyable. Can't fix a system glitch? Arrow a senior regular. Need to do OT? Arrow a fellow teammate. Even Shang has stopped picking on her when she was falling behind in the runs, >
> wary of her calling the hotline again.
On the last day of her reservist training, Shang requested for Mulan in his office. When she saw how Shang looked even more solemn than usual, she felt a cold lizard ran down her back. Her mind galloped through her memory hysterically, >
> searching for that one incident that could have exposed her.
"Fa, follow me." Shang's voice was more stoic than usual.
"Where are we going, Sir?" Mulan picked up her pace to walk out of his office with him.
"The PM's office."
"PM?! PM as in Prime Minister??" >
> Mulan almost screeched like a teenager, as if she was been dragged by the discipline master to the principal office.
After a car ride that felt like ages, the duo arrived at the PM Office, and there she was, standing in front of the Prime Minister himself. >
> "Fa Ping, I have heard about you." The Prime Minister's words hit Mulan's head like a sledgehammer.
"I'm sorry, Sir." The shudder in her voice was obvious.
"What are you sorry for?" The Prime Minister chuckled lightly. "On behalf of my party, I would like to recruit you."
> "Recruit me?" Mulan's mind just pulled an e-brake.
"Yes, yes. I've heard from Shang on your performance and it's no doubt you're a strong leader, and someone I can groom for the next election."
"A strong leader?" Mulan blinked, and was pretty sure her mind did as well.
> "The way you delegate work to others shows that you are loyal, brave and true." The Prime Minister nodded in approval.
"You show your loyalty to the army and the country because you accept all tasks without complain. >
> You're brave to dare to delegate work even to your own senior, and tell an officer when he is wrong." Shang gasped loudly in terror when the Prime Minister paused to throw a sharp gaze at him.
"And I'm true because...?" Mulan asked gingerly.
"You're truly Asian." >
> "I'm Singaporean, not Malaysian, Sir..."
"Yes. Of course."
"And my true name is Fa Mulan."
"Well..." The Prime Minister paused, then chuckled a little awkwardly. "We can work on the True part later.
"Of course, Sir!" >
> "But more importantly..." The Prime Minister paused to take a deep breath, showing how crucial the next question was. "Are you able to spontaneously burst into tears in the middle of a speech, say in the parliament?"
= THE END AND THANK YOU FOR READING!!! =
Hey if you like my silly writing, you might want to check out my longer story of a SG Tomb Raider time travel to Qing dynasty to slap some concubines!