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I cannot express enough thanks to out_there for not only betaing this rather winding monstrosity but listening to me go on and on about characters from a series she hadn't even seen yet, and overall, helping to unfuck what might have been un-unfuckable. ♥ All remaining errors are my own.
Though this story is very much based on the fictional characters presented in the HBO series, I do, however, switch to book canon for the few scene in which it worked better for my purposes. In addition, some pertinent facts are taken from the first and last chapters of Nate Fick’s book, One Bullet Away.
Many of the quotes used in the Iraq sections are either direct or abbreviated direct quotes from the mini-series. Nate Fick’s conversation with Harvard’s admission counselor comes from his book. These are some eloquent people, yo. Can’t improve on perfection.
nigeltde’s GK timeline was a tremendous resource in writing this, and I’ve stuck to it as closely as possible. The actual timing of Nate’s pre-Iraq War days I suspect is very off (I’ve yet to read beyond the chapters mentioned), though the specific deployments that I listed actually did happen. The order of events after the war (i.e. Nate’s promotion, getting leave, Brad going to England) I know is wrong, but you’ll just have to forgive me on that one.
I will freely confess to over dramatizing certain scenes for purposes of The Big Epiphany moment. I plead artistic license? In line with this, the “advice” here is kind of utter bullshit.
I fell in love with Generation Kill because of the humanity of the characters, during the good times and the bad. Not to be a sappy pansy-ass bitch, but I hope they all get their happily ever after, in whatever form it may be.