Never underestimate the challenges of life. Just when you feel you've fallen to the most painfully difficult level imaginable, the guiding forces in the universe may push you just a little bit further down the stairwell. Is it a test of your strength, of your faith, or just some sort of punishment for the way you have lived? For me, it was probably a little bit of each.

My friends and I, Jeremy Kelt, are self-christened "the Castaways of the Republic," a title that should perhaps now be expanded to include the Empire. It is a twisted tale.

Years ago, Colonel Sared of the Helic Republic attempted to use us as pawns in a scheme to raise himself to the level of a glorious hero. He gave us indestructible Zoids called "Plasma-Armored-Command-Wolves," or "PAC-Wolves" for short, then tried to have an assassin kill us. When we blew open his plans and ruined his career, he used the last of his authoritative powers to banish us all from the Helic Republic. We hid in poverty in the Guylos Empire for over two years, trying to scrape together a life as bounty hunters.

Sared's trump card against us was his daughter Katrana Sared, who betrayed us and left us open for attack by the Death Sniper, a sickeningly over-armed Gun Sniper piloted by Namor Bruticus. We barely managed to defeat him, ironically due to help from Katrana, who claimed to have seen the error in her ways.

Recently, she found us again, and gave us new PAC-Wolves. Like her father, however, she was just using us in a scheme. She had let Namor Bruticus out of prison so she could follow him and break open his criminal network, even though she knew that he would seek revenge on me. To gain his trust, she gave him access to a Zoid called "The Stone Dragon." Apparently it, too, was constructed out of Plasma Armor, and in the ensuing battle, Bruticus painfully wounded my friends Kellar Sifen and Harley Mansod. My best friend Kavid Deen is now missing, and since his Zoid was violently destroyed, I can only assume the worst.

Still claiming friendship to us, Katrana and our new ally Zaun Skyler, the Blade Liger Vampire, helped me defeat the Stone Dragon, but—damn my luck in life—I was betrayed by Skyler, and he and Bruticus escaped after Katrana was wounded.

My only unharmed friend is Kavid's old buddy from Engineering, Bruno Saltus, who has helped me in rescuing my wounded friends and load them onto his silver Gustav.

We are doubtful about our chances for survival out here in the deserts of the Southern Frontier. We are "Castaways of the Republic," and have now lost acceptance in the Empire, due to the fact that we threatened the life of Major Erem Nevets. For the past year, he was a corrupt Imperial Officer that allowed us to live in the town of Klaylos—as long as we paid a "rent." But that rent turned into blackmail, and when Katrana gave us the new PAC-Wolves, we turned on the major, humiliating him in his defeat. There is no doubt that his mind is focused on vengeance…especially towards me.

The Guylos Empire has been building up a considerable force in the Frontier for some time, and just hours ago, Bruno and I were witness to a massive air-invasion by the Helic Republic. The South is a wasteland, with very few resources and far more challenges than rewards, but it is land, nevertheless. To ancient rivals such as the Republic and the Empire, that is the only incentive necessary to start a war.