Forward Operating Base New Anvil Gate, was up and running within record time. The Gears had built a metal fortress around the dimensional opening, with fortifications, sandbags, and mortars setup to defend Arnus Hill from another attack that the primitive army might send.

The ground had been paved away for easy travel, with tents and prefabs set up and occupying the majority of Arnus Hill. Centaur Tanks stood at the forefront of the base, their cannons staring menacingly out into the wasteland of dead bodies and scorched earth, while King Ravens regularly patrolled the skies.

Overall, it was probably the cleanness and most organized base that Samantha Byrne had ever seen being used by a Gears for the past fifteen years. By the looks of things, so too did the rest of the 26 RTI agree, and were enjoying the clean and natural breezes - having long since gotten used to the stagnant air in the ruins of Jacinto.

"Man, oh man, does this feel good," Cole said happily as he stretched his back. Carmine was next to him and gagged when he got a face full of Cole's sweaty armpits shoved right at him.

"Agh-ewgh, gross! Get the fuck off me," he yelled in disgust. The Carmine pushed Cole back, looking like a child that his cookie stolen and stepped on right in front of his eyes. "That's disgusting!"

Cole laughed boisterously, slapping the Carmine on his back as he downed his cup of military sanctioned coffee. It was powdery and tasted like ass, but it was good. "Sorry man! It's just, can you believe this?! I haven't seen skies like this since my first and last thrashball game! And grass! When was the last time you stepped on dirt Carmine? I mean really step on it."

Samantha chuckled quietly to herself when Cole jabbed a meaty finger into Carmine's chest, causing him to flinch in mild discomfort underneath his cloth overalls. "I've been out on the Carmine farm plenty of times, being away from soil hasn't hurt me a bit!" The defensive tone that Carmine had taken while saying that had implied a different meaning though and caused Cole to burst out laughing. "Ah shut it," Clayton muttered as he nursed his cup of coffee.

"I think you hurt his feelings Cole," Sam teased. The sides of her eyes crinkled as she watched Carmine drop his head onto the table, shaking his head in annoyance.

"Hah! Sorry man," Cole apologised, though his wide smile said otherwise. A somber attitude then fell on them, each of them reaching the same thought as they stared at their cups.

"Dom would have loved this," Sam commented.

"Tai would have to," Cole agreed.

Carmine shrugged, knowing a few other Gears that would have loved to have had this opportunity too. "To the fallen," he said, raising his cup. The other three joined him, raising their cups in the air.

"And to a better tomorrow, yeah?!" Cole proclaimed. Laughs and smiles were shared as they drank their cups, an annoyed grunt leaving Carmine's lips as he pulled his helmet back.

"Next time we're drinking alcohol," he decided. Delta-One would have continued to share idle chatter, but somebody had stepped up and joined them around their table. The new Gear was wearing standard Gear armor, with the sleeves off exposing their arms. The only difference being that his armor was colored green with yellow stripes, and his short crop of light brown hair made it clear that he was not a Tyran.

"Private Dimitri Kashmir, are you Delta Squad?" Dimitri asked. It was clear as day to Delta-One that Dimitri was not COG, and even if he wore the uniform, his heart was still with the UIR. "If so, I have been reassigned to your unit."

Cole, being in charge of Delta-One, rose to his feet to greet the newcomer. A cup of coffee in one hand, and a wide smile over his face, Cole wrapped an arm around Dimitri's shoulders and corralled him towards the table. "Hahah, good to have you newbie! You're gonna fill in some shoes though, Baird's got a reputation he'd rather not have ruined by somebody other than him."

Dimitri was forced into a seat next to Sam, who smirked in amusement at the bewildered Gear. He blinked at her, and if Sam looked hard enough that she could pinpoint exactly where Dimitri came from. She guessed with a name like that he was from the Republic of Lauczi, which meant he had probably been part of some of the thickest fighting during the Pendulum Wars.

"Don't mind him," Carmine said, taking his hand out for a shake. "He get's like that. You may know him from Thrashball."

Dimitri grunted as he shook Carmine's hand, giving it a firm shake. "I'm a sharks fan myself," he replied evenly. Both Carmine and Sam laughed at what he said, even as Cole slapped Carmine on the head as he took his seat again.

"Well newbie, welcome to Delta-One," Sam greeted with a pat on the shoulder, and Dimitri nodded neutrally to her admission. Most of the bad blood between the UIR and the COG had slowly dried up after the remnants of each side called a truce for mutual survival. While grudges survived, it was noticeably more tamed, and after seventy-five years at war with each other, it was the best they could ever hope for.

"Well, welcome party's over," Cole said, pointing to Baird who was making his way towards them with a grumpy look on his face. When he noticed them, he nodded his head, and made a passing look at the newbie among them. "Baird!" Cole greeted.

"Yeah, hey guys," he replied, waving a lazy arm. "Got a mission for you guys."

"Already?! You got promoted just a few hours ago!" Carmine complained. Baird gave him a cheeky smirk and tossed a small rod at Cole, who caught it with a flick of his wrist.

"What's this?" Cole asked.

"A modification," Baird explained, "It's a scanner I built out of spare parts from an old drone. It'll work as good as JACK did, and you're gonna use it to scan for minerals."

"What for?" Sam asked, and immediately crossed her arms when Baird sent her a look. "I'm not taking a step unless I get a reason off you."

Baird sighed insufferably, and threw up his hands. "Fine," he groused, "You're being retasked to Mineral and Resources Investigation. Sera is seven days fucked in terms of power without Imulsion, we used up most of our fossil fuels and energy resources ages ago, right when we started a war for imulsion! So it's our jobs to find some here, in this lala fairy tale place and send some back to Sera to use."

"So we're stealing from them?" Sam said angrily.

"It's not stealing if they've never even knew it was there to begin with, besides, we're doing them a favor. Look at what happened to us! And if there's even a speck of Imulsion here then we are turning tail and leaving!" Baird countered.

"Alright enough, enough!" Cole broke the argument, holding Sam back and waving a placating hand in front of Baird. The former Delta-One leader grimaced as Sam shot him a 'We'll talk about this later' look, and sighed. With one last glance between them Cole dropped his hands and looked at Baird. "Alright, so where do you need Delta-One to go?"

"Caves, mountains, and caverns if you can find them. Press the button on the side of the drone, and then it'll activate and begin scanning the surrounding area and send the information back to me," Baird muttered, "From there we'll probably send out some miners to see if they can find anything. Dizzy will probably love that; get out of the military and start coming home to see his kids."

"We're going spelunking?" Clayton muttered. "Great, I'll go get the climbing gear." The Carmine shambled away, disgruntled at having his evening taken away from him.

"Is he okay?" Baird asked.

"He hasn't gotten laid in awhile, you know how it is," Cole replied. Baird raised and eyebrow, noticing Sam rolling her eyes with an amused smile while the Delta-One newbie had a very confused and bewildered expression on his face as he gripped his cup of coffee.

"Yeah, I can see that."

0oo A Tomorrow For Us oo0

Jace watched the scenery go by as the Armadillo sped through the plains. This place was very beautiful, Jace decided. It wasn't that Sera wasn't beautiful, but his homeworld was more of a beautiful ruin- an old dusty treasure room now forgotten. This world was beautiful in the sense that it was untouched; simple nature's glory. For a man of faith like Jace, he felt especially in tune to it.

"We'll be hitting the next village in a few minutes. Sun's setting right now too," Yash said. "Place seems friendly so far, reminds me of home."

"Yash something's been bugging you," Jace said, not staring away from the setting sun.

Yash glanced at Jace from the corner of his eye, not straying away from the dirt road too much. "No, why would you say that?"

"I make it a point to know how I mean feel," Jace replied, fiddling with his strap. "It's about the army isn't it? The ones we killed back at Arnus Hill?"

Yash didn't say anything, but his voice was hard; experienced. "A whole lot of men, Jace. Era like this? Soldiers are the same as law enforcement, and we killed enough to watch over all of Jacinto and more in the span of a night."

"They attacked first," Jace countered but Yash shook his head.

"I'm not saying it wasn't justified. But it still doesn't take away what it does. Lots of soldiers dead, and a lot of streets and pathways left open. You didn't live through the Pendulum Wars Jace, you didn't see what happens when COG or UIR forces left a town after it had been ransacked and reduced to a lawless shithole. Right now, whole plots of land are now free for bandits to play around with," Yash replied. "At the end of the day it isn't our fault, nor was it there's. It's just how the world spins."

"Is there a point to this?" Jace asked in annoyance, not comfortable of speaking about something like this after his time in Jilane; where women were used as breeding stock and were used as entertainment by COG soldiers. It left a sour taste in Jace's mouth, but he wasn't blind or deaf. In the land of lawless, the unbound and uncouth, stuff like that was natural and more often than not they fell into two things. Needless death and needless violence.

"I'm just saying, just because it looks pretty, doesn't mean it's pretty Jace," Yash said bluntly, staring at him. "Pesanga looks beautiful, it was safe when the Hammer of Dawn strikes came down, but after it did, that whole place went up in flames. Things happened, lots of it, and I saw a lot of it with my own two eyes. Just don't get your hopes up Jace, there's still a lot we haven't seen. Stuff we know we should be seeing."

Jace frowned but didn't say anything. The sun had fully set already, and there was nothing left to say. At the end of the day, Yash was right. Just because the place was beautiful didn't mean it was paradise. There was no doubt it had problems, even before the Gears arrived. Despondently, Jace knew it wouldn't be hard for him to stomach it if he ever saw it with his own eyes.

"There's something on the scopes, Sir!" Leana, a Gear at the back of the Armadillo, shouted as she dropped back down in the car. "It's a brumak that that size of a city hall and has wings!"

Both Jace and Yash turned to each other, eyes wide. "Where is it?" Jace asked tersely.

"Two kilometres ahead, it's breathing fire down somewhere," Leana reported, tucking her small bob of blonde hair behind her ear. "Sir, it's right on top that village that we were heading too."

"Step on it," Jace ordered, and Yash immediately floored the gas pedal. "Control this is Recon-Two. We are proceeding to objective village; be advised, there is an unknown boogey attacking it. It's a brumak twice its size and with wings, advise, over!"

"Roger Recon-Two. Observe the animal and wait for it to leave. Check the ruins for any survivors, and double back towards Arnus Hill," the COMM. Specialist replied over the line.

"Control, there is a possibility of continued attacks on passing villages, recommend evacuation of civilians, over," Jace said. There was a pause over the line, and Jace was slightly worried that maybe he would be denied.

"Interrogative, how many people do you estimate would be needing evacuation?" Jace glanced at Yash, and the Pesang shock trooper shrugged his shoulder.

"300-500, I didn't get a good look. I could be off a hundred though, I'm not sure," Yash said. The Pesang gulped and glanced at Jace, "450, say that. Though the chances to me being wrong are highly likely."

"Less than six hundred, Control," Jace said, wording himself to increase the possibility of an evacuation order. "Control, they don't have any vehicles to use, and no way to defend themselves against a brumak-like thing!"

"Roger, KR-One-One to One-Nine have been dispatched with spreading the news and transporting Gears to assist in evacuation," Control replied. Before she could say anymore though Bernie's voice took over the COMM lines.

"Lancers up Gears! I want those civilians away ASAP! Recon-Two do not engage the enemy at all, assist Foxtrot-One through Eight in the evacuation. Standard Lifeboat procedure! I'll be damned if any civilians die under our watch!"

"You heard her!" Jace said. "Step on it!" The Armadillo raced away into the forest.

0oo A Tomorrow For Us oo0

By the time they reached the village, the Winged-Brumak had already finished incinerating it, and had left as the fire raged on. Jace and his squad were forced to wait out the fire until it snuffed out before moving in. When they did, the ground was still smoking hot, and rubble was everywhere.

None of the Gears needed an order to know what to do, as they had more than enough experience handling scorched ruins after a Hammer of Dawn strike. "Don't touch the rubble directly!" Dizzy warned, and the Geaes carefully kicked rubble away with their feet, used their guns to scoop up anything out of place, and search for any survivors.

The burnt and shriveled corpses only got passing glances before they refocused on finding survivors. For the Gears, this was more like home than the grassy natural life they had seen before. Death and destruction was what they were comfortable with, and they didn't try to hide it.

"There's someone down the well!" Leana shouted, pointing down a hole in the ground. "Blonde girl, at the bottom of the water! Hurry she might be suffering hypothermia!"

"She might have gotten cooked alive!" Yash said back, and quickly tossed a rope down into the water. The Pesang Shock Trooper scaled down and Jace held his breath as he waited for any news. It was so simple, to worry about somebody else's life when you didn't know them. So easy to latch onto that feeling when you've been surrounded by countless losses.

"I got her!" Jace smiled, nodding as some of the Gears waited impatiently for Yash to bring her up. "Yea-she's...she's...holy shit she's a fucking elf!"

That caught everyone in a loop.

0oo A Tomorrow For Us oo0

Terror, that was all they had felt in that fateful night. When they had marched up that hill, waiting for a glorious battle, and watching their King marching ahead with the full intent of crushing their enemy. Instead flashes of fire and whines lit up the air, killing the men where they stood before they could swing their blades.

Death without honor, death without meaning. Just death, no sense of worth or contentment in the afterlife. The feeling still washed over them, of not being able to . Of one's life being judged and deemed worthless in the span of seconds as fire sealed their fates.

When they met their enemy, when they finally had a chance to fight. They fought not men, ogres, or trolls. They fought golems, wrapped in steel and built like oxes. Their swords broke, shattering to pieces, when they met them; making them feel and become powerless. Their courage sapped, as the golems swung their butchering blades, slicing men up by their entrails and crushing bone with fists and clubs.

It was like fighting demons given corporeal forms. No skill, no valor, no honor; just death, just brutality, just savagery. Their prides as warriors were denied, and their hearts left to quiver and shatter as their worlds were ripped apart.

What shouldn't be had become reality. What shouldn't be possible became possible, and all that was left was the feeling of being empty and hollow husks.

So they ran. They ran from battle, they ran from war, and thoughts becoming bandits filled their minds. Only spreading death would they get the war they deserve, the honor that they and their comrades had been denied.

But it was just not to be.

"You have ten seconds to surrender!" Alexandra Brand's voice was heard. KR-Two-One and KR-Two-Two, both housing members of Foxtrot-Six, hovered in midair as they sighted another remnant of the Arnus Hill enemy army. "Lay down your weapons, and you shall not be harmed!"

Surrender? That was impossible, they had already died, out on that battlefield, on that day. But their bodies had betrayed their soul, denied them what little honor they would gain striding up to those faceless golems as their butchering swords scree in psychotic fervor. If they surrender now, then they would lose their minds soon enough.

"A-attack!" The soldiers roared, swords drawn and fist thundering against their shields. The flying behemoth twisted its nose towards them, and just like on Alnus, they died to a massacre. To faceless monsters taking their lives as though it was meaningless, without value or importance. This was a slaughter that said 'Your entire life up until this point was useless'.

If the enemy was the truth, then the Empire was the means to the truth.

Blood jumped out from bodies struck by their potent magic, skin ripping apart and entrails dropping to the ground. They could do nothing, horror-stricken faces that bleached white as men fell in a line. It wasn't a battle, they knew that, it was lineup for the Grim Reaper to finish them off.

Their deaths were far from painless, far from alright in their minds, but as they watched more and more of their fellows die so easily and so gruesomely around them, their sanity disappeared to eagerness. And it became a lot more easy to accept their deaths as they ran to the flying behemoths, wanting nothing but to at least be spared of such a demeaning fate.

Thaqif: I've read those stories and while a like them, more or less, I'm trying to write A Tomorrow For Us in a different direction and goal. Primarily because the Gears don't really consider this a war, and more on culture shock on the Gears side than on those in Falmart. These guys have only known war for 88 years, and then only ruins and survivor living for 15 years. They are probably more out of depth than the Falmart's on them right now.

Now I just wanna get it out of the way, eventually this story will diverge from plot, little bits at a time If you've read FDA and understand my writing style, I like stacking little differences up until they completely become something else. The Gears do things differeny than the JSDF, because they're not as tied down politically, and they have more motivation to be in the SR. These different actions will lead to differrnt outcomes, different perspctives on their reputation and different overall events in the story.

It takes time, but on a side note; if anyone has any thoughts on it, speak your mind. Just be careful how you word it, I tend to flash over anything I think are flames, just cuz it's really not that hard for me to get angry, which is a bad tendency I know. I read all reviews, so don't think your opinions and suggestions aren't seen.

To the chapter itself, I had fun writing this. The GoW universe has this thing of fflip-flopping between seriousness and reallt cracky crack. The GoW universe is not a nice place, probably even worst than Falmart. People being eaten by monsters? Rape? Bandots? Dictatorial leaderships? All that and more. So, yea, there's that. Also, I have another fic I'm working on which is FDA, so I'm splitting my time up with that. Plus you know, exams are coming up soon, so, uh, yeah.