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We can't stop them. We don't know where they come from. We don't know what they want. They don't even seem to want territory. All they do is kill. We can't even begin to negotiate with them, or work out their objectives, because we just don't know the first damn thing about them. That's not an enemy, Mr. Chairman. That's a monster.
~ Chief of the COG Defense Staff, General Bardry Salaman describing the Locusts.

The Locust Horde are the main antagonists of the entire Gears of War video game franchise. They originally live a subterranean lifestyle beneath the surface of Sera by underground tunnels (known as the Hollow). These tunnels were spread out throughout the planet while different groups of humanity (COG and UIR) were at war with each other over Imulsion. This war would be known as the Pendulum Wars that lasted for 79 years. While this conflict was happening, the Locust were fighting other Locust that were infected with Imulsion (the Lambent). This civil war lasted for an unspecified time but it eventually forced the Locust out from the Hollow and invade the surface (this happened six weeks after the Pendulum Wars ended). When the Locust made their appearance known, the event became known as Emergence Day or E-Day. Any type of negotiation with the Locust failed and would lead into the events of Gears Of War.

History

Origins

The beginning the of the Locust Horde started at the New Hope Research Facility. During the start of the Pendulum Wars, many of the Imulsion miners who had taken part in the Gold Rush began contracting a serious illness after extended Imulsion exposure. The infected members of the population were gathered by the COG (Coalition of Ordered Governments) and moved to New Hope where it was hoped a cure could be found. Unfortunately, the Imulsion began to mutate and an early form of Lambency took hold. This resulted in the creation of the Sires (predecessors and parents of the Locust Horde). Fearful of the media and political response towards these mutated people, the scientists of New Hope sealed the Sires away and took their children to Mt. Kadar. The children of the Sires had Lambency in their cells and were mutated from birth, and so the first Locust were born.

To most of the people on Sera, the historical background on the Locust is generally unknown. Many theories on their origins have been suggested by the remaining human population. One such example is that the Locust came from a neighboring planet (or one of its moons) and feed on Imulsion. Other speculation exists saying they came from Hell. However these rumors are merely superstitions and were later turned out to be false.

The Creation of the Lambent and Emergence Day

Five years before E-Day, Imulsion started evolving in the Hollows. Exposure to this Imulsion mutated all biological creatures and became the Lambent. This started a war against the Locust Horde deep in the Hollows, forcing them to leave their homes. Queen Myrrah desperately entered into a pact with Adam Fenix. If Adam Fenix could find a way to stop Imulsion from spreading, thus saving the Locust race, they would not have to invade the surface in order to survive. However, Adam Fenix was preoccupied during the Pendulum Wars. Therefore he could not find a way to stop the Lambent in time. Adam used the last five years to finally create the Hammer of Dawn and end the Pendulum Wars between the Coalition of Ordered Govenments (COG) and the Union of Independent Republics (UIR). Before the peace treaty between the two Seran alliances was signed, Adam reflected on his pact with the Locust Queen hoping she would not invade the surface.

Unfortunately for Adam and humanity, they invaded six weeks after the Pendulum Wars were over and attacked every major city on Sera (this strategy was orchestrated by General Karn). The assault left billions of people dead in the first day. At first, the COG thought the UIR or the Gorasni were responsible. It wasn't until Chairman Dalyell's announcement that the attackers were subterranean in nature and not human. This gave the message to everyone on Sera they are not the only intelligent species on the planet.

The Battle and Eventual Destruction of Hallow Bay

6 weeks after E-Day, the Locust were led by General Karn and he coordinated a massive assault on Halvo Bay. Kilo Squad led by Lieutenant Damon S. Baird attempted to stop him with the Lightmass Missile in hopes that killing him would stop the Locust. This failed but they killed hundreds of Locust with the Missile and in their efforts to fire it. After a fierce fight with Karn and his mount Shibboleth, both were killed and the Locust lost their military leader. However, this was a minor victory as the Locust quickly replaced Karn with General RAAM and continued on their mission to destroy humanity.

Bringing Down the Hammer

The Locust at this time defeated the COG and were close to wiping out humanity. Humanity, however, in a last ditch effort, used the orbital laser weapons satellite known as the Hammer of Dawn. This destroyed 90% of the surface and killing everything trapped on the surface within the blast zones. The Locust survived the Hammer, but were not able to accomplish a swift victory like they had hoped.

Gears of War

With the COG's almost apocalyptic effort in using the Hammer of Dawn to potentially destroy some of the Locust Horde's forces, the Horde returned to continue their war against humanity. Having caught humanity off-guard and having slaughtered a vast number of the human population during the first five years of the war, they had the advantage of sheer numbers. With many hundreds of thousands of the most battle-hardened Gears in the COG Army having been killed in the initial attack, the COG was forced to recruit from the infirm, the young, and the imprisoned to try to hold off the advancing Horde.

As a result, not only did the Locust also benefit from an advantage in quantity of troops, but in the average quality of soldiers as well. As a result, the war went horribly for humanity, but went exceptionally well for the Locust, who seized Landown in 5 A.E. during the Winter of Sorrow, and the COG capital of Ephyra in 10 A.E. It was during the fall of Ephyra that the Locust supposedly killed the COG's most prominent scientist, Adam Fenix, the father of Marcus Fenix (protagonist in Gears of War).

In 14 A.E., Colonel Victor Hoffman, who was the highest-ranking COG military leader, directly underneath Chairman Richard Prescott, devised a plan to win the war and wipe out the Locust for good. Squads of Gears were deployed in what was known as the Lightmass Offensive across Ephyra city. Though many suffered heavy casualty rates, a single squad of hard-bitten veterans of the war, known as Delta-One, was able to break through the Locust forces and deploy a device known as the Resonator, a sonic-mapper that was, ideally, supposed to map out the tunnel networks of the Hollow.

However, the device barely mapped even a fraction of the network after it was deployed. Despite this minor setback, Delta-One was able to find a new data source, located in East Barricade, that provided a much more sufficient geo-mapping of the Hollow. Upon securing the data, the squad was deployed to Timgad East to retake control of the captured Tyro Pillar, a train which held the Lightmass Bomb (which was being guarded by a Berserker, Lambent wretches, Theron guards, and General RAAM). Delta-One was able to defeat all hostile forces, including General RAAM, and deployed the Lightmass Bomb. This act resulted in the destruction of the entire Outer Hollow, causing incredibly high casualties to the Locust Horde and the near-complete annihilation of the entire population of the Kryll.

Gears of War 2

Unfortunately, the Lightmass Bomb didn't penetrate deep enough into the Inner Hollows. Because of this, The Locust continued to mobilize and rebuild their forces, determined to extinguish humanity. Bolstered by the awakening of their deity, the Riftworm, the Horde launched a major counter-offensive across Jacinto Plateau, attacking the city of Jilane and butchering the entire population (sans a small group of renegades), depriving the COG of another breeding farm.

They proceeded to use the Riftworm to sink several cities surrounding Jacinto City, and destroy several COG military bases. Across the Plateau the COG suffered heavy casualties, mainly in the Pirnah Badlands and in several failed search-and-rescue missions in Tollen and Montevado. The Horde was also able to force the COG to abandon North Gate Agricultural Depot. However, this was just a precursor to the Siege of Jacinto, which forced the COG's hand into retaliating with a mobilization on the scale that had not been seen since 1.AE. However, most of these Locust attacks were done out of desperation; throughout the entire war with humanity, the Locust had also been fighting the Lambent, and they were losing ground in the Hollow at an alarming rate.

The Locust were eventually able to send a direct attack to Jacinto City itself, having cut off a great amount of its water and food supplies. The Horde made its first incursions by attacking Pomeroy Depot, and then later Jacinto Med, though this backfired for the Locust and were forced to retreat. Nevertheless, the attacks on the last stronghold of humanity showed the COG how truly desperate their situation was; their backs were against the wall, and they had no choice but to launch a desperate all-out attack on the Locust Stronghold.

It was a high-risk maneuver; the odds of a payoff were understandably low, and in the likely event it should fail, it would leave Jacinto utterly and totally defenseless in case of a Locust counterattack, but if it succeeded, it could buy humanity time to regain its footing, if not end the war entirely. As a result, a massive fleet of Assault Derricks, King Ravens, and Centaurs converged on the Locust-held city of Landown. This was the only spot to launch a massive and potentially successful grindlift assault right into the heart of the Hollow.

The attack did not quite go as planned for either side. The Locust, who were desperately fighting the Lambent, were preparing a final assault on Jacinto in an attempt to take the city and sink it, to flood their old home with seawater, to kill the Lambent once and for all. For the COG's part, during the initial assault, they found themselves attacking little more than staging areas and outposts rather than the heart of the homeland of the Locust forces, but Delta Squad did manage to kill the Riftworm preventing that method of attack from working again.

However, they were later able to pinpoint Nexus, the center of all Locust civilization, and in their own desperate bid to annihilate their foes, they ironically sunk their own city in order to wipe out their foe, leaving a majority of the Locust forces annihilated. Queen Myyrah's fate was left unknown as she escaped Nexus before the sinking, but Skorge, the new leader of the Locust Army, was killed when Delta Squad destroyed his Hydra.

Gears of War 3

Only hours after the sinking of Jacinto, Locust stragglers were spotted around Port Farrall, leading to multiple battles throughout the city. The continuous fighting eventually forced the COG to look for a new home. The COG would find one and that was an island in the lesser island chains on Sera, known as Vectes. Eighteen months after Operation Hollow Storm, the Horde had reorganized on the surface of Sera, but was a shadow of its former power. In addition, with Queen Myrrah missing for a long period of time, the Locust Horde was leaderless, causing some of the Horde to degenerate into a feral state, becoming the Savage Locust.

Others however acted as the Queen's Guard under Myrrah. The Locust captured the island of Azura, the last remaining COG stronghold where the COGs elite scientists were kept safe in the First Battle of Azura and captured Adam Fenix who was working on a weapon against the Lambent. Adam was capable of destroying the Lambent and Imulsion, but it would also destroy the Horde so Myrrah had Adam work on refining it so it would only affect the Lambent.

The Savage Locust and the Queen's Guard fought intensely against the COG, attempting to prevent the COG from reaching and retaking Azura. Myrrah's forces engaged in the Second Battle of Azura with the COG, the Gorasni and the Lambent. Myrrah and her Tempest personally attacked the human forces, attempting to keep Adam from activating his weapon, but were defeated by the Hammer of Dawn. After the weapon killed Adam, Myrrah emerged and was killed by Marcus Fenix with Dominic Santiago's commando knife and the weapon killed all of the Lambent as it was meant to as well as all of the Locust, making the species extinct. After the Lambent invasion, the COG would dispose of the remains of any Locust they found into mass graves across Sera.

Legacy

However, unknown to any of the survivors of the COG, the Locust were not rendered extinct. Instead the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon forced a genetic evolution within them, causing the Locust 'corpses' to become covered in impenetrable crystalline shells. Unable to dispose of the bodies, the survivors of the COG dumped the cocoons into highly classified locations across Sera, most notably the osmium mine beneath Fort Reval and the gorge beneath Tollen Dam. For twenty-five years there was peace, until shortly before the twenty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Locust War, the Locust began to re-emerge as the Swarm. The Swarm crisis began shortly after as the altered Locust, now seemingly imbued with higher intelligence and improved, stronger bodies, took command of the lesser mutations, all rallied under the banner of the Speaker. From here the Swarm began to grow its numbers by abducting vast amounts of Outsiders and several groups of COG citizens, allowing them to grow a large army in a short period of time. Following the events of the battle of Tollen Dam, the status of the Swarm is unknown.

Appearance

A common Locust drone is about seven feet tall, although many are taller than that size. They are bipedal, muscular creatures with tough skin. They are considerably more bulky than a normal human and notably stronger. Their bones are heavier and show signs of extensive thickening. Locust blood is a deep reddish-orange in coloration and have multiple internal organs. Locust require oxygen, though they seem somewhat more resistant to environmental hazards, most likely due to their harsh native environment.

Locust have large eyes with good depth perception in spite of the fact that they are a subterranean race. They have a noted vulnerability to flash overcompensation response (flash-blindness), a weakness many offset with polarized goggles or blinders. Some subspecies have particularly strong eyesight; it is strongly hinted that Locust can see perfectly in total darkness, and most seem to possess superior senses of smell.

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Trivia

  • The Locust are similar to the Chimera from Resistance because they both have a hive-mind mentality, they both are against humanity and another hostile race (the Lambent in Gears of War and the Feral Chimera in Resistance 3), and both want to take over a plant and become the dominant lifeform.
  • The humans and Locust could be a vague reference to the Eloi and the Morlocks in H.G. Wells The Time Machine.