Alnus City was built in too short a time. Have you ever heard the phrase 'Rome wasn't built in a day'? Well a City wasn't either. It was only due to the sheer circumstances that the City was built on that led to this amazing feat.
Let us explain in simple terms, as even someone viewing this scene objectively would not know how to describe it in more complicated terms. It is what is is.
The framework of Alnus City was created when the refugees of Coda village opened up a store to sell Wyvern scales. As merchants came to buy the very profitable scales, the refugees gained money to buy daily necessities and luxury items. In another world, the Coda refugees would have hired workers and dwarven architects to build stores and buildings for them, but unlike in that world, the USG had every intention to make the land around Alnus their own. So the Engineering Corp that traveled to this side of the Gate began building apartment complexes and buildings for Alnus City. The Coda refugees knew that they were, in some ways, immigrants to the USG. That was fine, as simple villagers, it was normal for them to be victims to the squabbles of Nobles, and the passing of control between lands mattered very little to them. Of course, it helped that the USG was the one that offered them salvation when they lost everything.
As such, unlike in a certain world, the architecture of Alnus City had a very Seran feel to it. While not grand in any way, it was still impressive to the eyes of the Coda refugees and Empire merchants. They weren't large building that would wow anyone, but they certainly had a very noble and wealthy feeling to it. None of them were made out of sturdy white mortar like New Anvil Gate, but they were still quality wood that was smooth to the touch.
The Engineering Corp helped reconstruct the Coda Villagers store, making it bigger and more wealthy looking, allowing the Villagers to sell more items, mainly weapons and Seran luxury items, pens and paper, that were given to them by the USG. As merchants came to buy these items, they were amazed by the architecture of the USG ranches, their produce, and the various exotic goods on sale. The increasing trade made it so that the Refugee shop had to continuously send requests to the Gate and to local merchants to restock goods in their shop.
This was the start of a vicious cycle. As more was asked to be imported, many entrepreneurs began realising that Alnus was a place where they could strike it out big. Both Seran and Falmart businessmen came to Alnus looking to start their businesses. Seran entrepreneurs opened up a canteen selling Seran food, a shop selling hunting goods, a bar, and a gym, with Seran workers coming to work; all of them ex-Gears by the way. Local entrepreneurs came to open their own canteen selling local food, shops to sell local arms, and an ironworks with a smith.
Merchants that traveled to Alnus brought with them mercenaries, and they both spent money in Alnus on both local and exotic produce. Traders then opened roadside shops to sell small tribal trinkets and gems, and mercenaries that followed these traders then decided to make Alnus their main base of operations. They lodged houses at Seran and local inns, and the constant travel of merchants meant they always had money to spend on the gym, on food, and on lodgings.
Since the Seran inns and canteens were being provided with the Seran ranches and farmers, local farmers from nearby villagers made the migration to Alnus, and they sold their produce with the local canteens and inns. Soon enough, the farming community in Alnus grew strong and Seran and local farmers began sharing techniques and produce. Before long the farmers families and local villagers began moving to Alnus. The Seran and local arms shops sold hunting equipment that farmers children and some villagers were able to make a living hunting and selling pelts and ingredients to the Coda refugee shop that was popular among Merchants and Sorcerers; thanks to the influence of Kota and Lelei.
Alnus City had, in a short time, become a cultural hot pot. Animal people, Imperials, League mercenaries, Alguna villagers looking for a fresh start following the turbulent rise of their next king, and various wandering magicians looking for a place to do their research came to Alnus City, turning it into what was essentially a tourist trap of not just exotic Seran wares, but exotic everything.
Italica and the USG benefitted greatly with the success of Alnus City. Italica, having a trade agreement with the USG, and by extension Alnus City, was able to buy various wares and sell them in Italica. They also had a discount of Wyvern scales which their blacksmiths were able to make quality products with and sell in bulk to various Kingdoms, with lesser qualities being sold to the Empire. It was no secret that Italica rested on a well frequented trade route but now with their near bandit free roads and straight path to Alnus, the amount of trade in the city was bustling. If not for the Imperial attack, the streets of Italica would have been packed with people.
The USG was able to buy items in bulk thanks to the merchants traveling to Alnus from all over Falmart. Silks, textiles, metals, and various ceramics were brought over in large amounts and paid for from the earnings that Alnus City and the importations of goods made. With these items, industry in Sera was coming back to life. Picture it like this, with a planet completely destroyed and infrastructure a shell of it once was, Sera had to practically start from scratch, but now, with an outside source of supplies, Sera was able to rebuild faster, kickstart production that much faster, and become independent again that much faster. Like it or not, for now, Sera was dependant on Falmart, but soon enough they would rebuild, and it was beginning in Falmart.
Newt and Hoffman knew this, so they made sure that Alnus City was still in the control of the USG. Since the Military Police were still needed on Sera, and the Gear forces on the other side of the Gate were still small in number - well, for both Falmart and pre-Locust war Sera standards - they had brought in former constables to formalize a police force in Alnus. Since Alnus City could be designated under occupied land, until the cease of hostilities between the USG and the Empire, Alnus City was considered under martial law of the Gears. Despite that, Newt didn't want to turn the inhabitants of Alnus City against them, nor did she want to use Gears patrolling the streets - just as an aside, they were very well made streets that garnered praise from many people - an act which could be seen negatively by the populace. It was then decided that a local police force, made up of local volunteers, would handle the daily crimes of Alnus City, and following the end of investigations, all relevant information of criminals and their person would be sent to Italica to await their judgement by Falmart law.
As mentioned above, Rome wasn't built in a day. Or in Falmart's equivalent, the Empire wasn't built in a day - it was built in hundreds of years of rape, slaughter, pillaging, and cultural genocide - and it was only due to some unique circumstances that Alnus City ended up becoming such a powerful contender against even Sadera as a trade city. It was even building a road to connect to Port Brave, which was still housing Taskforce Xenonaut, and if that were the case, it wouldn't be surprising if seafaring trade was soon to come to Alnus.
If Alnus City grew anymore, then in all likelihood it would be big enough to formalize its own army. Most of the Coda Village refugees now either worked on Seran ranches, leading to being paid generously by their employers, or owning and working in several shops. One Coda Village refugee had even asked whether or not he could purchase land, as the local farmers had, and he had been granted that permission. In a way, they now had nobles, albeit these nobles were still technically farmers, and while the USG was technically opposed to nobility the socialistic foundings of Alexiy Desipich didn't prohibit owning of land or privately owned factories and businesses but rather encouraged state-owned corporate business models and socialistic markets. As it stands, most of the USG was still squabbling to find worth in the dollar, and while most of the citizens of the USG - and by citizens we mean people who officially signed themselves on as USG citizens - didn't exactly follow Alexiy Desipich's political ideologies, and if they did, they had long since let them go. So the concept of nobility on the other side of the Gate would be met with very little opposition, though steps were being taken in Newt's administration to prevent Seran nobility from rising up.
As it stood, Alnus City didn't have a mayor, but Kato El Atlestan had become something of a representative among them, and managed most of the City's affairs alongside his apprentice Lelei La Lalena who dealt with the financial problems of the City, for both the Seran and Local businesses and residents. Since it was like this Newt wondered if a Seran Governor was needed, but for now decided that having a local man indebted to the USG in power wasn't a bad idea.
Thus, this concludes a brief summary to the formation of Alnus City. Now, onto the daily lives of our local protagonists.
0o0o A Tomorrow For Us o0o0
Lelei frowned as she read the papers and books in front of her, rummaging through her mind to correlate what she knew of the 'True Principle' of Falmart with the 'True Principle' these Serans had achieved. Their knowledge on 'Explosions' or in their terms 'Exothermic Combustion' was far more comprehensive than what Falmart scholars could achieve. Though she found some of the words difficult, and she was also quite annoyed at some of the unknown terminologies, since this was a treasured book given to her by that Engineering Scholar Damon Baird, she knew better than to return it before fully understanding all of the book's contents.
As an apprentice, the only way Lelei could ever get any books to study from was if she implored Masters to allow her to use their libraries. Since she was under Kato, she had extensive academic research materials pertaining to the Lindon school's knowledge on combat magic. But that was just that. Despite Kato being a world renowned sage, his library wasn't as large as most Masters, and while the books she had accessed to were brimming with information, they weren't all to detailed. So Lelei, as a student thirsting for knowledge, the books that the Serans had allowed her to use were the greatest gift she could have, enough that the Serans could have her under their servitude if they promised her more of them.
Of course she could make due without the plus one that had been trailing behind her all this time. Derrick, as what she had learned his name to be, was her 'Guard' and kept her safe as she was, in a way, in an office of power inside Alnus City. Lelei wasn't so vain or obtrusive to purposefully go out of her way to do as she pleased, and for the most part she was well-capable of ignoring Derrick, but in recent days he had been able to translate most of what she couldn't understand in the books for her and helping her with her Tyran.
"Freehk-shun," Derrick intoned as he pointed out the word. "Friction," he told her in the local language. Lelei nodded her head and scribbled down the words into a notebook. In everyday language, Lelei was able to interpret the Serans fairly successfully but some of the vocabulary was difficult for Lelei, especially when some of the language was written in speech suffix, as Derrick called it.
"Freshun molecui adeh la transferi," Lelei said. Derrick nodded his head to show she was correct and stepped back to the wall of the office, his hands returning to his back as he stared up at the ceiling. Lelei frowned and watched him for a few moments, then shrugged. "Derrick, are you a scholar?" She asked. That question had been tingling in the back of her mind every once in awhile. She knew that Damon Baird was, evidently, a technological savant among his people. An inventor. Since he was a soldier, rather than a scholar, Lelei wondered if all Scholars were required to join the military, perhaps to increase military technological growth?
Derrick scratched his cheek and pondered the question for a moment, but he didn't seem to be concentrating all that hard. Lelei knew what was going on in his head, he was worrying over the departure of Gears onboard their King Ravens just shy a few hours ago. In the time Lelei knew Derrick, he seemed to be a very serious soldier, as he took his duty of guarding her seriously, closely watching her whenever she was sitting idly. Guarding for the Serans seem to imply both physical protection as well as mental protection, as whenever Lelei even showed a bit of frustration, Derrick quickly came to help. So in knowing this she could understand the delay in his answer.
"I studied astronomy, in fact I joined the Gears to further my studies while I serve," Derrick told her. Lelei shivered. Astronomy was a touchy subject on Falmart. Ever since the first theorisation that the world was not the center of the universe, and that the world was not flat, the academic world began viewing astrology like a plague. The last discoveries in astronomy led in thousands of angry villagers to knock on the doors of the City, demanding they stop their 'witchcraft' lest they angered the Gods. Academy City had been close to being sacked many times due to astronomy, and even though there were many evidence that the world was round, the people still believed the world was flat, even among the scholars, and that the universe revolved around them. Of course Lelei knew about these findings and while she had been skeptical, new found knowledge among the Seran books had made her realise that the world was indeed round, the world was indeed not the center of the universe, and that space above was indeed more vast than she realised. Just the facts she learned about the stars in the sky, as in being lights emitted billions of years ago, no doubt its source already being dead, would probably cause great upheaval among the peasants.
"Then what is it like, studying astronomy?"
Derrick smiled slightly as he considered the question. "It's an interesting enough field, but even so, it doesn't mesh well with infantry lifestyle. If anything, I would have probably been more welcomed in the Navy."
"Is there any difference between our stars and yours?" Lelei asked as she looked at him. Derrick frowned and looked up at the ceiling for a moment.
"A lot. I've spent a lot of hours looking at your sky, comparing it to what I know of my home. My only conclusion is that we really are from different worlds. Nothing in that sky even resembles my own, all of the constellations and amount of stars completely surprise me," Derrick admitted truthfully. "If I could, I would like to observe them more academically, but then, as an active duty Gear, that would be selfish of me to say."
"Hmm, I don't think studying should be confused with simple personal gain," Lelei said. "Learning and understanding helps everyone, not just the scholar."
"We know that, ma'am," Derrick muttered. "It's...uh, it's difficult to explain. It's just how it is, ma'am. I can't really say anymore than that."
"Hmm," Lelei murmured. She turned back to the book on her desk and mulled over what he said. Perhaps she should ask for a history book next, maybe one of Seran culture? How many countries did Sera even have? Perhaps just one on USG culture, to keep things simplified to the ones directly affecting her. But then even the USG seemed to comprise many different cultures. "Complicated," she muttered, digging a hole into the book with her harsh stare.
Suddenly the ground beneath her began to rumble, and Lelei raised a curious eyebrow as she stood up to her full height. Derrick shifted his stance and glanced at the door to the window guardedly. "What the?" He muttered before running towards the window. Lelei followed after him and peered out at the window. Her office was located in a tower by the outskirts of Alnus City, facing New Anvil Gate, to make it easier for her to exchange information between the residents of the City and the Gears.
She squinted at the white mortar walls and just at the edges of her vision she could see Gears manning them suddenly turn back and run towards the base. Then, the all too familiar sound of gunfire echoed down into her office and she heard Derrick suck in a surprised breath. "An attack?" He said in surprise.
Lelei frowned and turned around, quickly moving to leave her office and make her way straight towards the base. "Ma'am, wait!" Derrick followed after her, his steps heavy as he tried to get her to stop. "If the main base is under attack, it would be best if you evacuate for now. There's no telling what could be happening in the base."
"I want to see," Lelei said as she traveled down the stairs, ignoring the shocked few members of the tower staring out the windows. Most of them were Italican maids sent to Alnus for work, so for the most part, they didn't try to stop Lelei from leaving the tower like how Derrick was doing.
"You're being unreasonable, ma'am," Derrick said. Perhaps she was, and perhaps that was true. Despite asserting herself as logical, Lelei knew she was constrained to her own emotions as anyone else. However, Lelei was not a defenseless mage, she was a student under the Lindon school of combat magic, she could very well defend herself. Her station in the City could also be managed by others, such as a few of the Italican maids, and there would be no decrease in efficiency between them. While perhaps unreasonable in the current view, from an objective far-sighted view, even if harm were to come upon her, very little of that would affect the City.
"Perfectly reasonable," Lelei said and began trekking up the pathway that led to New Anvil Gate. The path was used quite often by the Gear vehicles, so the ground wasn't that uncomfortable beneath her feet, if anything she was vaguely annoyed by the crunch of metal boots on dirt next to her.
"Ma'am, it doesn't seem reasonable at-" Derrick stopped as the ground beneath his feet shook and he glanced up at New Anvil Gate. The thumps continued to grow even greater in intensity and strength. A loud roar was heard, and the Gear felt his face grow pasty white as he stared up at the white walls of Seran make. "No way."
Lelei widened her eyes as a large reptilian creature crashed its way through the gate that led into the Gear base. "Brumak!" Derrick yelled, his voice shrill as he grabbed Lelei around her waist and tossed her towards the grass next to the pathway. "Wild Hollows!" The Gear yelled again as he pulled his rifle off his back.
When the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon was fired, only the Locust Horde was affected in any significant way. While the Hollows had been mostly drowned out or collapsed due to the Lightmass Offensive, a large number of Hollow creatures had been left on the surface or were forced to migrate with their home in shambles. Many of the bioengineered animals that the Locust created or native Seran subterranean creatures took to the surface and had been fighting Gear scavenger teams and Stranded for months after the end of the Locust War.
Wild Brumaks weren't exactly something new to Derrick's eyes, but this was the first time he would be fighting one on his own and with a rifle of all things. "Back, get back!" He ordered as he pulled his gun up. But to his utter amazement the Brumak only snorted at him before turning around and taking off running south towards Tybe Mountain. He stared at its back and then squawked in horrible realisation as even more Hollow creatures started appearing from the other side of the Gate.
Corpsers, Wretches, Reavers, Seeders; it was a monster gallery as dozens of each creature that the Locusts once bred in their subterranean hell hole began following after their Brumak cousin. Hell, there were even several other wild Brumaks chasing after the group behind them. "They're running?" Derrick said as he stared at the creatures completely ignoring Alnus City and the two humans before them to instead migrate towards the mountain. "What on Earth?"
However, seeing that the animals weren't chewing them down to bits, Derrick decided not to take a gift for granted and pulled Lelei under his arm and took off running back towards Alnus City. All the while Lelei stared in rabid fascination at the monstrous creatures that were streaming out of the Gear base, practically ignoring the weapons fire that the Gears were letting loose onto their tough hides. No, it would be better to say that most of the bullets just pinged off them. Lelei especially shivered when she saw several centipede like creatures that looked just as armored as a Flame Dragon trail behind the huge pack of creatures.
Suddenly Lelei thought she understood why most of the Gear soldiers were hulking behemoths. "Terrifying," she muttered as she stared at them all.
0o0o A Tomorrow For Us o0o0
"They're pushing on our flanks!" Dimitri yelled as he unloaded a full clip into a pack of Stormvermin slashing their way through onto their rooftop. Carmine was standing next to him, and tossed a desperate grenade into the mass of Skavens around them in order to hold them back.
"KR-One-Six, we need immediate support on our position, I repeat, immediate support," Cole's voice blared into the comms. Dimitri managed to look behind him at the burly Sergeant, just in time to catch a Stormvermin drag itself into view, its teeth snarling as a scimitar was grasped tightly in its hand.
"Down!" Cole ducked his head at the command, and DImitri fired a trio of bursts into the Stormvermin's chest. It gurgled out blood from it's mouth and slowly tumbled backwards before tripping over the edge. The Skaven behind it tossed the corpse underneath them and mercilessly stomped over their fallen brethren without pause. Dimitri tsked and ejected the spent clip.
An arrow whizzed past his ear, coated in magic and spiralling faster than he could track with his eyes, The arrow cut straight through the space in front of him and speared itself through a whole column of Skaven. "Good shot," Dimitri complemented Yao. The elf nodded her head and notched another arrow.
"I told you we should have stayed underground, but nobody ever listens!" Carmine groused as he punched the nearest Skaven in the first. Another one latched to his kneecap and the burly Gear struggled to shake it off him when Sam came around to blast shotgun pellets into its face.
"How did they zero in on us so quickly?" Sam muttered as she pulled Carmine back from the edges. "We were skirting the outer edges too!"
""Skaven have good senses," Yao said, breathless as she pressed her back against Dimitri's. "They must have smelled us!" Dimitri growled low under his breath and revved up his Lancer. A group of Skaven managed to get in close and he swung right, cutting three of them in one stroke. But the remaining Skaven managed to jump him, pulling him to the ground and causing his rifle to fall out of his grasp.
"I got you!" Cole kicked the Skaven off him, his heavy boot smashing the head into pulp as he rounded his shotgun up and fired a stream of pellets into the nearest Skaven's chest. "We need to hold out for the reinforcements!" The squad firmed up their formation, placing their backs onto each other as they fended off the wave of Skaven.
They had just gotten onto the city's streets when the Skaven horde suddenly rounded on them. It was quick and sudden. but Delta Team was nothing if not reactive. They quickly went into the buildings for better cover, and continually relocated until they reached the roof. It may not have been one of their fiercest fights since coming here, but it was definitely chaotic.
Cole punched a Skaven in the face, crushing its mouth and and caving in its skull. He pulled back, pulling his Lancer up to smack it overhead with the spikes of his chainsaw. The Sergeant kicked the corpse away and fired a steady stream of bullets through the throng of Skaven. Yao pulled up and notched one of her arrows again, this one with a sphere of fire forming at it's tip.
She fired and the arrow dug itself into one of the leading Skaven, propelling it back enough that it crashed into its brethren. Cole watched, amazed, as the Skaven's anguish screams was silenced immediately with a large explosion, scorching a dozen Skaven in their place. Cole gave Yao an appreciative nod, and turned to the sky when he heard the sound of blades slicing through the air.
The grin that came to his face was natural, as he fully expected Gear reinforcements to be in the sky, ready to rain down hell and give support to their beleaguered forces, but instead he saw a man spinning in the air, dressed in the same armor he had seen in the ravine below the city.
Cole blinked in surprise, caught utterly bewildered at the surreal sight, before the soldier came down right at the middle of the ranks of Skaven. The soldier, human native to Falmart from what Cole could see, roared out in apparent anger and he began slashing at the Skaven around him like a madman.
"Don't shoot him!" Cole ordered, confused but at least sated in knowing the other man was an enemy to the Skaven. But just in case he kept his gun trained on the man. The other soldier was comparatively the most berserk soldier Cole had ever seen in his life, and with every swing of his blade he managed to cut down a dozen Skaven.
"Fucking hell!" Carmine grunted as he watched the soldier. The Elben soldier pushed straight through the Skaven, spearing through them with ferocious swordplay. "Shit, he's coming straight for us!"
"Do not shoot!" Cole said again. "Cover him!" Sam and Carmine readjusted their aim and began firing down in quick sustained bursts to fell down several Skaven nearby the soldier. The Elben looked at the group in surprise, but nodded in thanks.
Cole, however, was staring at his eyes, which was glowing with black ethereal light. Now, Cole had seen some weird shit in his day, had been seeing a lot more weird shit since coming into this world, but that had to take the cake. The soldier's eyes was brimming with darkness and every time he swung his sword his eyes would gain a darker intensity.
It was about a few minutes later before all of the Skaven were either dead or had ran away, The members of Delta Team turned to the newcomer, their faces guarded. Yao, however, had a surprised and shocked look on her face as she stared at him.
"Hello...um...," the solder blinked, running his eyes around the group.
"Sergeant Cole," Cole greeted him, stepping forward with his usual smile. He pushed his hand forward to try and give a handshake but to his surprise Yao had darted forward and stopped Cole's hand from moving. The Sergeant blinked, and he would have cracked a joke at the movement had Yao not been holding his hand in a vice-like grip. She looked at him in the eyes and shook her head lowly.
Frowning, Cole turned around to stare at Dimitri and Sam, who both gave him shrugs. Carmine, as usual, was priming his gun just in case.
The soldier on the other hand looked at Yao as though what she had done was a very normal reaction and nodded his head to her. "It was right of you to stop him," the soldier stated, then he turned his eyes back to Cole. "Sir Cole, I am an envoy sent by His Majesty Prince Culan, the First Son of His Majesty King Duran of Elbe, the Unyielding, and the Protector of the Mountains of Elbe and of the Plains of Elbe. We had heard the sounds of your most fearsome battle and he had sent me here to discover your allegiance."
"There are others of you?" Dimitri asked. The soldier looked pointedly at Dimitri's but held his piece as he nodded his head.
"The Prince, pending Crown King, had launched an assault on the city to retake it from Skaven forces. Our men have been fighting a protracted war against the Skaven for many years, but they have recently begun their attacks in earnest after near three decades of rest."
"We hadn't realised that you were attacking the city. We didn't seen any signs of it just now or when we were attacked by the Skaven outside of the city," Sam stated, hefting her lancer up. The soldier looked troubled as he turned his eyes to the sky.
"So that was you firing those loud weapons in the forest? Commander Beffon had routed a formation of Stormvermin guarding the walls and when he went to chase after them he heard the queerest sounds of explosions, unlike anything he'd heard of before." The soldier shrugged his shoulders. "Am I to assume you are the soldiers from Beyond the Gate?"
"Yes, that's us." Cole replied, nodding his head. "There are more of us coming. We sent out a call for them to reinforce us when you came around to help us."
The soldier raised his eyebrows, his eyes widening in a disconcerting manner as it revealed more of the black ethereal energy oozing out of the sockets. "Then, the Prince would need to be informed. Benioff!" A squad of people with the same set of eyes as the soldier in front of them appeared from the street. Delta squad tensed their shoulders, watching the newcomers with wary gazes.
"Get a runner, a fast one to the Prince. He will need to be informed of foreign reinforcements soon to arrive," the soldier stated. Benioff hesitated, staring at the Delta's like they were a plague, before nodding minutely. Cole had already to surprise, so he didn't show much of a reaction when shadow-like tentacles sprouted from the ground to coat the person's leg, and he vanished into the darkness, flying away like a shadow.
"What the...," Carmine muttered. Cole agreed.
"What is this?" Yao hissed stepping towards him. "You reek of old god magic!" Cole stepped back, shocked at Yao's sudden outburst, but held his piece as he watched them both.
The soldier looked at Yao, his eyes trailing over her frame in disgust. "It matters little to you Dark Elf," he hissed.
Dimitri stepped forward, racking the bolt of his gun loudly. He growled softly in his throat. The soldier turned his eyes to him and Cole noted how the edges of his dark eyes sparked with wisps of what looked like lightning.
"Have you become so desperate that you've sold yourselves to the Others?" Yao muttered, her lips twisted in revulsion as she crossed her arms.
The soldier glowered at her then snapped his eyes to the sky. Cole frowned, wondering about his reaction, when he too heard the snapping cuts of helicopter blades in the air. He blinked and looked up, realising that the cavalry had indeed finally arrived. He shifted then turned back to look at the soldier. "Our friends here."
The soldier nodded his head. "So it would seem. Come, we best make post haste to the Prince so that we may meet on more.. ," he glanced at Yao. "Peaceful sides."
"Uh, yea." Awkwardly Cole made a one finger salute in place for a handshake. "The name's Cole."
The soldier looked at him, his brow furrowed, and nodded his head. "Commander Delmo of the Asterisk Corp."
This is just me setting up some more stuff. I don't really have much to say for this chapter other than that I hope the next chapter comes along quicker than this.