. A R M O U R E D . P R A Y E R .

Rating: M
Last Edit: Chapter Six [Minor]

Update (05.05.2011):

I just realized. I've never taken the time to individually thank everyone who faved or reviewed. And that makes me a terrible person. So.
THANK YOU.
To everyone who has taken the time to read, fave, or review Armoured Prayer. You're all fantastic, and my love for you is severe.

Another Update (06.09.11):

Okay, I know this is old, but I hate it. Hate. I'm in the process of minor re-editing (nothing can save this crap, but at least it can be grammatically correct crap) but please, I implore you: go read one of my other, better fics. Because this is cringe-worthy.

Also, seeing as I'm re-editing sloooooowly, there will be some inevitable discrepencies as I steamroll through the chapters. If something's not matching up, forgive me. The worst ones are going to be Anya's eye colour randomly changing between blue and green, and Fellings Station sometimes getting called Wolfe. Thanks for understanding; this will all be over in a few weeks.

Author's Note

1. AP takes place immediately after the end of Gears of War 2 (but has since been Jossed by one Jacinto's Remnant). As such, it contains major spoilers for GoW2 and Aspho Fields.

2. The ultimate goal of my submitting AP is to get as much criticism as possible. I am trying to improve my writing, so please, any concrit (no matter how harsh) is much appreciated.

Hmm? What's that? Ah yes, obligatory disclaimer. -ahem-

I own nothing but the OCs and the plot; all else belongs solely to Epic Games. But even then, I'm not overly protective of said OCs or plot. This was just practice.

So, without further ado: Enjoy. (...I hope)


Prologue

"Ten-SHUN!"

With a synchronous clamour that resounded in the quiet street, sixty-three recruits snapped to rigid attention as commanded. A single pair of massive metal boots kicked up plumes of dust as the sergeant paced before them. The men and women practically squirmed out of their fatigues when he looked at each one; his acid blue eyes seemed to unnerve them.

They were young, he realized. Not the usual, kiss-the-high-school-sweetheart-goodbye, write-a-letter-to-mom-every-Sunday kind of young. No, he expected that. These kids were worse; too many of them were actual kids. One gangly, pimply boy, a good foot shorter than the rest, couldn't have been older than sixteen.

It's the end of the world; what did you expect?

The sergeant finished his first go-round of scrutiny, turned, and paced back up the line. God, he hated this.

"My name," he growled, staring each rook in the eyes as he went. "Is Sergeant Fenix, and I'm here is to turn you into bullet-cranking death machines."

Marcus had drilled greenhorns before, and he used the same introduction nearly every time. But never, in all his years of fighting, had he ever seen recruits flinch so violently at a drill sergeant's voice. He could have bludgeoned one of them with his Lancer, and they probably would have kept more of their nerve.

He tried again. "Some of you are conscripts, some of you are volunteers, but sooner or later, all of you will be soldiers."

This time, his bellow was not met by a ripple of jerking unease, but something far worse: complete and utter despondence. After the initial fearful jump, the throng of new recruits only stared at the ground with half-lidded eyes, their hands hanging limply at their sides. Marcus could see it now; this motley collection of civilians was down and out, rubbed raw by the rapid succession of tragedy they'd been forced to endure. The sergeant looked into their faces, and he saw the face of humanity.

This was not a good turnout.