After quite a long time, I've decided to work on the sequel for "Armored Core: Redemption". Seeing as Armored Core 5 is not out yet in English, I won't be updating beyond this until some time after March 20th, but enjoy this lead in!

The boy looked up to his father as he closed the large book.

"Is that the end?" Sankari asked his father, taking the book and flipping to the back page. His golden eyes scanned the pages, looking for more. "There has to be more action…" The young boy whined.

Sankari's father chuckled. "Not all stories are like the ones nowadays." He gently took the book from him and placed it back on the makeshift shelf behind him.

"Dad…? Is that story real?" The boy asked, sitting back down next to his father.

Sankari's father gazed off into the distance. "I hope so. If that story is real, that means that the righteous Armored Cores in our world will soon triumph over the evil ones eventually." The man continued staring into the distance, his dark gold eyes worn down from the war.

"I hope you're right. We have yet to find a hero that can save us." Sankari sighed heavily.

The man smirked. "There's a reason we gave you the name 'hero' in Finnish, and made your middle name 'Silver'. We hope someday you will become that hero you speak of."

Sankari smiled happily before closing his eyes. "I know. I plan to become a great hero and stop all this destruction when I can pilot an Armored Core."

Both of them stared off into the distance as the sun set. They could hear the faint roar of an Armored Core, and hoped that it wasn't an enemy as Sankari started to drift off to sleep.

~-~-~-Armored Core: Renaissance-~-~-~

Sankari lurched out of his sleep to see his surroundings crumbling and shaking violently. His father had already picked him up and started descending the stairway hastily. The ceiling began to crumble upon them, the eroded plaster shattering when it collided with the floor, scattering shards of rubble in all directions. Sankari could see a bright orange light through his eyes, which had not fully adjusted to the light and movement around him.

When they rounded the corner of the landing, wall behind them gave way, sending large chunks of rubble flying at them. Sankari's father hugged Sankari tightly, shielding him from the projectile debris, but they force sent them both tumbling down the second flight of stairs. Sankari came loose from his father's grip, sliding across the harshly uneven floor.

Sankari's eyes finally adjusted, but his mind was too frazzled to entirely understand what was happening. He could feel his body convulsing from shock, fear and confusion, as well as pain from impacting on the ground level. The entire building he and his father had been hiding out in was now falling to pieces, painfully groaning as the weathered steel beams began to give way from all the excitement.

Sankari's father quickly pushed himself up, sweeping his son up and making a mad dash towards the side door before the ceiling they had once considered home crushed them both. The air roared with the snapping of steel and roar of destruction from outside the building walls. Just as they neared the blasted open doorway, a bright orange mass of chaos ran the building through, sending enormous heaps of debris sailing through the air. Sankari and his father were sent rocketing out of the doorway, once again skidding to a halt on the ground.

Debris continued to crash down around them, whipping up billows of sand and dirt. The dirt in the air lit up orange from the chaos erupting from what was left of the building. Now Sankari could hear the sound coming from the chaos, now out of the belly of the beast. A terrifying, high-pitched screeching could be heard amongst the ripping and tearing of plaster and steel.

As the dirt cleared, they could see clearly what was ripping apart their former home. An Armored Core stood in a deep stance in front of the building it was eviscerating with its horrific weapon. Neither of them could make out exactly what it was, because the section of the weapon that was being used was spinning too fast, trailing fire and light around it. Fire roared behind the Armored Core's heels as it retracted the weapon from the building, its rotating slowing down. Once the weapon stopped moving, it unfolded from around the machines hand, spreading all six glowing saws wide before folding behind the Armored Cores back neatly. Steam and fire billowed out from the mechs shoulders as its head-piece folded back to its original state, the once frightening eye replaced by a "Y" shaped red slit. The mech reached back and pulled out an assault rifle in its left hand and a folded sniper rifle in the other.

A maniacal cackle erupted from the Armored Cores pilot as the mech raised its assault rifle at the two cowering civilians.

"Looks like I've smoked out a couple scavengers, eh? Not much of a hassle, but can't risk havin' you all alive!" The pilot chuckled, steadying the rifle. "Too bad you never got to fight me in a real battle."

Sankari and his father closed their eyes as the deafening sound of gunfire erupted. Sankari felt blood cascade over him as multiple bullets littered the ground around him. He could hear the sound of metal grinding along the hard dirt ground, followed by the roar of boosters. Dirt pummeled his body as gunfire and explosions sounded off in the distance.

The warm flow of blood was still dripping off of his face as he opened his eyes, but he felt no pain. Nothing had hit him.

A chilling fear crawled up his spine as he looked around for his father. Behind him, sprawled out from the impact of the assault rifle bullets, was his father, or rather what was left of him. His head had been ripped off by one of the bullets, only leaving scorched and torn flesh at the base of his neck, still erupting with blood. His body had been hit at least twice, but from the size of the bullets, it was hard to tell.

Feeling tears rushing from his eyes, Sankari let out a scream of terror and sorrow as tears and blood pooled beneath him.