Author's Note: So this is my first Gears of War fic, based on times long before the events of Gears of War I and II. I'll let my work explain itself from here on out, however, so please enjoy and feel free to comment. Thanks!

Land of My Fathers: Prologue: "Long Road Home"


Soft rains fell solemnly upon the ruined Consulate-General almost as if the skies were mourning over our seemingly lost cause and our doomed race. I myself opened my eyes to that familiar sight along with the tents, ragged civilians, and the grave-looking patrols of the Coalition of Ordered Governments, the only major power still managing to fight off the Locust Horde. As formidable as their name once was, however, I was growing certain that even their most battle-hardened soldiers were losing hope.

I am not a soldier, I am simply the youth of a man that once lead a great nation, a nation of which was completely ransacked and then absorbed by the Coalition of Ordered Governments over the course of the Pendulum Wars. My people were forgotten and left to suffer the worst of the Locust onslaught through Emergence Day. So that I may live, my father sacrificed his own spot on one of our last military helicopters leaving the capital to a more secure COG occupation-zone nearly five-hundred kilometers west from their principal safe haven at Jacinto.

Having not seen or heard from him since, I'm almost certain that he is dead.

With their army reduced to mere self-defense forces following their defeat at the hands of COG previously, the people of my nation easily fell before the overwhelming numbers of the enemy and were ultimately slaughtered over the months following Emergence Day. At least, that was what everyone in the outpost was convinced. In truth, no one was sure what happened to our people beyond the boundaries. An entire battalion of COG soldiers was deployed for a counterattack, but we civilians in the outpost have not heard of them since.

Losing count of the days since Emergence Day, I began to grow tired of the life of fear I lived. It was not only the fear that the Locust may one day figure out a way to create an emergence hole inside our very outpost, but also a fear for the COG recruiters that have started to conscript even younger civilians within the outpost. I knew that I would soon be targeted, and a very nauseous feeling beleaguered my stomach as three badly scarred soldiers from COG began to approach my small tent with which I shared in the company of a similarly young man who I addressed as Tai.

He was a handsome young man with uniquely long and fine black hair along with unusually narrow, brown eyes for a person coming from the same region I once lived in. Aside from that, he seemed pretty athletic and he stuck by me like an older brother, even though our ages were really only a few months apart, with him being the "eldest," so as to say.

"Don't worry; I won't let them hurt you. If they'll take one of us, I'll be the one to go. I'd like to help protect everyone myself," Tai spoke gently as if to reassure me.

"But how could you do that through COG?!" I exclaimed, still having not forgiving COG for what they had done to my country.

Tai smiled, closed his eyes, and confidently said, "I'll be able to change them somehow. Not only are that but the despair of our times today already reveal some changes with how they treat us."

Before we could further delve on our ideologies and Tai's mysterious past, the COG soldiers entered our small tent furnished very minimally with two bunk-beds, a sparsely occupied bookcase, and a rough, wooden chair.

"What's with this commotion?" The shortest of the three COG soldiers inquired as the party arrived at our tent.

"N-nothing sir," I weakly replied, lowering my head.

"Well I'm not a man for conversation so I'll make this quick. You two will have to be coming with us, now. You're both COG recruits," The oldest of the three, an officer, spoke somberly showing a near hint of regret, "Don't worry, I'll make sure we treat you young ones okay. I was reluctant to carry out this command, but we really are in a desperate need for people to protect this place, or we'll be done for in a matter of weeks."

"No!" Desperately not wanting to be taken by them, I drew a Colt Revolver my father allowed me to inherit from my faded, tan suede jacket and pointed it at the officer, "Please don't make me come with you…"

"Derek! Why?!" Tai's eyes widened with shock as he looked towards me.

The rough-faced and hardy officer whose head was almost completely shaven, having been threatened much more seriously in the past, was not intimidated by my abrupt actions and also did not seem to take it too critically in his judgment of me. In an attempt to appease the fact I was armed, he calmly raised his arms and approached me slowly.

"It's okay, I know who you are and I know how much you may not like COG guys like us, but I assure you that things have changed! I will show it to you, just please put down the weapon and come with me…" The officer lowered one of his hands and nearly attempted to grab my revolver.

"NO!"

I swung my gun-wielding arm up towards the top of the tent, fired my revolver, and then sprinted for dear life.

It took the soldiers to gain a grasp of the situation's change and their response was delayed. As they yelled for me to stop, they very slowly started to run after me.

They followed too far behind me and I managed to make my way into a manhole as I broke them turning at a corner of tents. I knew they would give up the chase before long, so I closed the manhole I began to climb down of, and made my way to the sewers below, fully aware that from then on out, I would be on my own.

The stench was revolting. Not only did I smell the wastes of everyone from that outpost, but I also smelled an odor much more distinguishable: the smell of decay. The blood and corpses of people forgotten and dead were probably flowing down that sewer. I abruptly vomited once the malodorous smell began to overwhelm my senses.

Before long, however, I continued on my way through the walkway of the sewer heading westward, away from the outpost, away from Jacinto, and most especially: away from the Coalition of Ordered Governments.

As I continued deeper and deeper through the sewers, I began to hear a voice speak above my head - possibly from the monitor speakers used by the controlling COG news networks all throughout my country.

It was a voice I was very familiar with. Although somewhat young, the man's words were authoritative and patriarchal. Despite this he spoke in a way he would completely appeal to a person without actually revealing any of his true intentions. He was a good liar - likely the most well-read Machiavellian in the planet, truly a model of Del Prince.

I never blamed him for his leadership abilities - what I will never forgive about that bastard, however, is the fact that he allowed my country to suffer so much without exerting any effort throughout the course of Emergence Day. As my father surrendered to him only a year back, I remember being told that Prescott presented himself and my nation's terms of surrender as if he would truly look out for the intentions and continued existence of my country.

But where was Prescott as most of my people were helplessly butchered at the hands of the Locust Horde? Hearing his voice once again in the realm that once belonged to my family, I wanted answers!

"Hear me, those of you under the Coalition who have been oppressed by the wrath of the Locust Horde: I am sad… as without warning or even any prior indication of their existence - they suddenly emerged from underground, slipped past our defenses, and killed without prejudice. Not only our fair men - but the women and children! I am filled with sorrow and rage that my armies had been too taken aback and overwhelmed by their initial assaults to have any power against the enemy's abrupt invasion."

Pausing for a moment, he gave time for his audience to completely take in the constraints of their present situation.

"I tell those of you who survived to take heart, however, as we have already endured nothing less than the worst of the enemy's blows. As long as I am here - as long as there are people to carry the standards of the legacy of humankind - the Coalition will fight back!"

Thunderous applause could be heard in the background, suggesting that several of COG delegates had somehow survived through Emergence Day and were present for the speech of the Coalition's leader.

"Likely being the only ones left on this planet we must rally and sally forth in defense of the continuation of our human race! As the chairman of our Coalition, I will utilize every possible resource available on this planet and beyond in order to effectively defeat the Locust Horde. Steel yourselves, the progeny of man, as we will now begin to take back everything we have lost and bring the fight back to those barbarian bastards!"

Cheers amidst the applause signaled the speech's conclusion, and soon, silence. I continued on my way through that entire address, and did not even hesitate or consider stopping once the speech ended. I was never bought by the superfluous authority of Chairman Prescott, and I would not so pathetically fall before his cheap act. Even if the Locust Horde took those lands - my land - from him, I wished to take back what rightfully belonged to my father.

I did not care that I was going deeper within the realm of the Locust Horde, I just wanted to see home again, no matter how ruined it may have been by that time. There had to be survivors, somewhere around there.

I won't let my people be subjected to any aggressor any longer, whether they are human or beast!