Chapter 1: Back From the Grave

Author's note: It's recommended that you know at least an overview of Valkyria Chronicles 3 before reading this, but even if you don't I've explained it anyway.

June 16th, 1939 - the Federation gained the upper hand in the war against Gallia after successful production of human Valkyrur and their numerous copies of Geriolul tanks. They captured Vasel, forcing the Gallian army right back to the Imperial side of Gallia's border. However, the army base in Vasel contained valuable information that the army was ordered to either recover or destroy before the Federation got their hands on it. A special task force, the Gallian Unified Tactical Squad or GUTS for short, was deployed for this task. The Federation was already at Vasel by the time they arrived and a battle ensued.

"Fire!" the squad leader shouted at the tank pilot.

"Not yet, sir. I'm waiting for them to cluster up!" the tank pilot shouted back.

"Hurry the hell up or we're all dead!" one of them shouted.

Pressured by his fellows, the tank pilot fired at the enemy's Geriolul with the infantry spread around it and missed completely.

"Take cover!" shouted the squad leader as the Federation's Geriolul readied its mortars. As they exploded, the soldiers dived into various ditches for cover while the Gallian tank was hit spot on with a mortar, killing the tank pilot. One of the lancers fired at the Geriolul and by a lucky shot presumably killed its pilot from the impact. Heartened by taking out the Geriolul, the leader urged his men to even greater efforts. In twenty minutes, the Federation was turning back.

"Go! Go! Go! Run, you grunts!" the squad leader shouted at his men, although he himself was at the very back. The men ran forward, but one of the younger ones stopped.

"Look, over there!" he shouted, pointing at a grassy area. Over there, not fully visible through the smoke, a figure collapsed onto the grass.

Two weeks ago, in Vasel, things were very different for the place in particular, but not for the country in general.

Anisette stayed in the medic's tent, her head hurting and her heart broken at the news she had just gotten. Late in the day, the medic came again with a bag.

"Someone sent this for you," he said. He set it by her mattress and walked out again. Anisette ignored it for a while, then decided to open it - there couldn't be anything in it to make her feel worse.

Inside were a jacket, a pistol and another letter - the writing was more childish on this one.

Dear Anisette,

These two things belonged to Zack - it's all they could find when they searched the area. I'm sorry to hear what happened and I thought that you should have something to remember him by. I made the jacket for him myself before we left for the mission, and the gun was his as well - although who made it we don't know. We couldn't find his sword, or I'd have sent that too.

Love,

Zanna.

Anisette put away the letter and looked over the gun and the jacket. The uniform looked pretty much like the Militia ones, except that it had Darcsen colors, clearly different from the clear blue of the Militia ones, it also had a piece of Darcsen cloth attached to the arm, it was made to look like as if it was tied around the arm but if you took a good look at it, you could see that it was just sewn on to it. It also had a coat of arms on both shoulders, on the left there was a raven and on the other side there was a wolf, both of them were darkly coloured. They looked really good even though she had no clue as to what they meant. The gun seemed to be custom-made. It was grey and its barrel had the Darcsen symbol engraved onto it. She wondered if Zack had made it himself. It didn't matter; they were his and that was enough. She hugged them to her as if they were precious and started thinking about the future.

By the time she'd decided, she felt a changed person. Getting up, she put on Zack's jacket and took his gun, and stepped out of the tent.

Three days later, she had joined Squad 422 of the Gallian army. What was curious about this squad was that only up to Squad 421 were officially listed in the army's record. Squad 422, also called The Nameless, was a special squad that carried out Gallia's black ops that would otherwise make it lose face internationally. It mostly comprised of war criminals, outcasts and traitors. In 1935 they had played a pivotal role in Gallia's victory, and they all carried on with their lives, but newer soldiers with dark pasts joined it. Anisette thought of it as the perfect place for her; everyone had their own sob stories to worry about so they wouldn't question her. No one did. They were so cut off from the normal world that they hadn't even heard of her as a singer. No one asked why she was wearing a Darcsen's uniform either. She just got accepted into the fold. The Nameless weren't given names either - they were called by their numbers. Anisette was No. 29, although there were only about twenty soldiers in the squad - the remaining eight were dead and open to be replaced.

June 16th, 1939 - the young soldier knelt by the figure.

"It's a Darcsen, sir," he said to the squad leader.

"Get him up," the leader said.

"Get up," the soldier said, shaking the Darcsen. He didn't stir.

Just then the rest of the soldiers started firing.

"Shocktroopers!" one of the shouted to the squad leader. The squad leader nodded and pulled the younger soldier up.

"But sir, the Darcsen!" he shouted.

"Worry about him later!" the captain said back as Federation shocktroopers surrounded the Gallians.

The leader then took a shot to the head and fell. Behind him, the Darcsen finally got up and swayed for a second then as he saw his surroundings something seemed to come back to him and he pulled out the leader's sidearm. Even though he had been unconscious minutes ago, he didn't seem disoriented at all as he took aim and shot the Federation soldiers along with the rest of the squad. Once again the Federation's troops lost.

"Damn!" said one of the soldiers when he saw that the leader was dead. "They must have been planning to attack us while we were celebrating."

The young soldier who seemed to be a good bit more human than his partners turned to the Darcsen. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," the Darcsen said.

"You're not a civilian are you?"

"No, I'm not."

"How did you end up here?"

"It's a long story..."

"I'm listening."

A week back

Anisette listened the rain pelting outside as she sat in the military camp, trying to rest after a particularly difficult mission. And that was her first one as one of the Nameless. She still felt full of adrenaline. She didn't mind how demanding the missions were anymore - it took her mind off what she thought about all the time: Lanseal, her friends at Lanseal, the bells, winning the Levatain Cup...

A Darcsen soldier came in, soaked from the rain. Anisette didn't know him by name. He was No. 15 and he was slightly younger than her. He'd been trying to be friendly with her since she started but she had refused to open herself up to anyone.

"Just got back from a mission," he said, shedding his equipment and gear.

"Mhmm," said Anisette.

"Pretty bad weather, eh?" he asked.

Anisette grunted in reply. Sensing that she wasn't in a mood to talk, the soldier went out to report for his mission. Outside Anisette heard him talking with someone who sounded a bit older than both of them.

" ... something really bad must have happened to make her this anti-social, even for us," said No. 15.

"So? Stop worrying about her. I don't like her. You'll keep trying to be friendly with her until she finally breaks your heart, just like that girl back in Bruhl. That's what drove you to join us, right?"

No. 15 sighed. "Yeah, that's it."

Anisette felt a sort of sympathy for him, but didn't think anything.

"Hey, No. 29! Get out here, new mission!" a gruff voice shouted. It was of their squad leader, No. 1.

"What? I just got back!" Anisette shouted back.

"It doesn't matter. Hurry up," No. 1 said.

June 16th, 1939 - "So I was buried alive there until some Federation soldiers came looking for me. I knocked them out, but nnot before they injured me too. I left most of my gear behind to make moving easier," the Darcsen finished.

"You sound like a good soldier for our unit. We'll draft you in if you want, but we need a name. What's your name?" the soldier asked.

The Darcsen hesitated. "Fine," he said. "It's Zack."

Author's note: Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Credits go to eric8teen for the design of the Darcsen uniform. And thanks to rnn21 for making me a favourite author - I thought I was horrible!