Diclaimer: I know Rokai isn't used often, and especially as of late I've found him to be quite an interesting character. Actually, most of you probably don't recognize him by his name. He was the Imperial deserter that was in the captial of the Republic. Later on, in his final appearance, he saved Van and Rudolph from being imprisoned before jumping into a river. The name Rokai comes from his dog tag that Rudolph picked up. The question of what if brought this fanfic idea around. After all, had Rokai stayed with Van and his group, he could've been a hero too! I don't own zoids (or Rokai). This particular story takes place just a couple of months after Chaotic Century, a long time before Guardian Force. I just own Terra and whatever minor characters I put into this story. On another note, Terra is just appearing in this chapter as a plot device. I have no intentions of bringing her back and definitely not pairing her up with poor Rokai.

The fall of Prozen's Deathsaurer caused both the Helic Republic and the Guylos Empire to heave a huge sigh of relief. The long war was finally over, and Emperor Rudolph was on the Guylos throne as he was born to do. Though victory didn't come without a price, it had come with deaths and those that were thought to be dead, missing in action. And that was merely during the war.

The Imperial capital had sustained major damage and it shown after the vital battle. The wanton destruction displayed by Prozen would be quite a chore to clean up. Water pipes had been hit by the dreaded charged particle beams and even some of the food stores had been hit among the countless other buildings. The city was a confirmed disaster area. The newly inaugurated Emperor Rudolph sent out a plea for any and all Imperial soldiers to help with the clean up effort. The call had been heard for the most part, though there were plenty of deserters that wouldn't dare show themselves. Those with military training, even if not in the military currently, were precious resources, or so a young man felt as he looked at a poster. It spoke of something he had thought was just a rumor.

He pulled at the hood of his tan cloak that was similar to a poncho in design, still unsure of what he read. Apparently, the capital was getting desperate for help as all of the soldiers that had deserted within the past few months of the war had been pardoned, just two months after it. Of course, that was just to make them come forward to work for the military again, and he just wasn't sure if he really wanted to go back at all. Although the main reason for his desertion had been the state of the military while Prozen had tried to take the title as Emperor, there were some inner demons that he didn't know if he could ever let go.

A sudden gust of wind blew the hood of his cloak back, revealing the semi-long brown hair that went a few inches past his shoulders, brown eyes, and a red rectangle mark on his right cheek. Slightly panicking from habit, he immediately pulled it back over his head and looked around to see if anyone saw him, or even cared. After a moment, he deemed himself safe and went to buy some supplies. He was running low on matches and a few other things. The forest he had been hiding out in had provided hm with most of the things he needed otherwise, but sometimes fish was just getting old. The young man still had no intentions of going home, there were too many memories, and he didn't feel he could go to a colony near home. He knew they would pressure him to go back into the military, it wasn't something he wanted to deal with quite yet.

"Rokai? Is that you?" a voice called out, making the said man cringe a little. He didn't think anyone knew him here. He turned to where he determined the voice had come from and his brown eyes widened. Oh crap.

A petite woman in an Imperial uniform showing the rank of an officer was nearby him. Her teal hair, grey eyes, and a red mark that was similar to a compass rose in shape on her forehead gave her away as to whom she was. He could have cursed under his breath but didn't. "Terra, this isn't the time," he said turning to leave. He was actually surprised that she made it into the military, let alone being an officer. She had been a girl in the colony near his old home, and more or less a friend or a sister figure. He remembered that she used to cry often, and had been labeled as a wimpy cry-baby from the other children of that colony.

"Why not?" she asked, somehow managing to run up in front of his path. "This is the first time in over a year since I last saw you. We know you became a deserter, and I was hoping you would show up and maybe think of re-joining."

Rokai just shook his head, dealing with her was a chore. "Terra, just leave me alone. I'm not in any mood to think about the military right now," he said ending with a slight sigh. Terra Nereid had quite the effect on people, not just him. With tears lightly brimming in her eyes, he knew that he had hurt her feelings. However, at that moment, he just wanted her to leave.

Though, she appeared to not take that as an acceptable answer from him. "You're a coward, Rokai! I joined this military because I wanted to prove to you that I wasn't just some child!" That was then they heard another voice.

"Lt. Nereid, we need to get going, Ma'am."

Rokai looked to where her gaze went and saw a couple of other Imperial soldiers, and saw they were enlisted as he was, shown by the gray uniforms they wore. With that, she lightly wiped the half-formed tears from her eyes and walked over to the soldiers. "All right, I just needed to get something off my chest."

He just stood there shocked as the group left. He wasn't shocked by her reason to join the military, as that would be something he would see her attempting, but to be called a coward...was that what he really was? All of his logic told him no, but his morals told him yes. Was he really a coward though? He had saved Rudolph before going away after all. He was positive that Terra didn't know that fact, and felt that she would think differently of him otherwise. She also didn't understand what it was that he had gone through, what he did, and the guilt he still carried due to those actions. The thought of what he did in New Helic City still haunted his dreams and at that moment also sent a chill down his spine.

The young man walked back over to the notice, going into such deep thought that half of the time he couldn't even see the words on that paper. After a few minutes had passed, he then stared intently at the poster, focusing as if it would just magically make all of the answers appear for him.

Schala85: So whatcha think? Should I continue this? Any ideas on what to have him do? I'm open to suggestion, as long as you don't flame. Please review.