Gears Forums

Joveus - A study of the Lambent, the Sires, the Locust and Myrrah - From Old Forum

This is an old thread being moved over from the old forums.

I’ll try to format it nicely over here…because we really don’t want it getting lost :slight_smile:

I’ll slowly be editing this thread to format it and bring it back to it’s former glory.
I wonder how much of it still holds up…



Background

On the Epic forums, a user by the name of Joveus pieced this together.
RoughDolphin560 then moved it to the old TC forums.
Nobody has moved it over here yet, so I figured I’d make a new home.

Joveus was able to locate his other threads, so I’ll be adding them to this thread - instead of creating a new thread for them. Will update when that’s done.

Is This “Theory” or “Fact”?

Well, through various posts by Epic employees or those involved in Gears development, it was heavily implied that the original thread was quite close. It was never officially stated that Joveus’ theories were correct, but heavily implied.

That said, being that nothing was officially confirmed in the games, books, comics, or elsewhere, any speculation/theory in this thread remains just “theory”. The Coalition now owns the franchise, and could take things in a completely new direction if they choose to.



“Everybody says they want answers. No, they don’t. Most people just want reassurance that the world is the way they already think it is. Genuine revelation – the knowledge that changes minds – upsets them. And they’ll hate you for doing it.”
.
^^^ Richard Prescott (Coalition’s End, Chapter 13)

After Gears of War 2 there were quite a few questions left unanswered; where did the Locust come from? What were the Lambent? What causes Lambency in the first place? What was the purpose of the New Hope Research Facility? What were the Sires? Is the Locust Queen human? If so, why?

After Gears of War 3 was released, some of these questions were explicitly answered; Lambency is caused by imulsion. Imulsion is a parasite that affects multiple life-forms. Other answers, however, were not provided. The origins of the Locust still hadn’t been revealed, New Hope and the Sires had not been explored any further, and while we now knew Myrrah was human, it wasn’t explained why she was with the Locust.

When contacting members of EPIC for clarification on these questions, their response was that the answers were already littered piecemeal throughout the series, all we had to do was look.

So let’s look and see what can be found.



The Lambent

“Sera’s dying Marcus, the whole planet’s infected. It’s the imulsion that’s killing it. It was always the imulsion, you see, and I can stop it. I understand it all now.”
.
^^^ Adam Fenix in his message (Gears of War 3 – Act 1, Chapter 1: Anchored)

“At the time of its discovery, there was no reason to believe that imulsion was a living organism. It exhibited no observable characteristics typical of life; no response to stimuli, no apparent method of reproduction, and no metabolic process. It has since become clear that this is not the case.

Though our examinations were sound, the assumptions upon which they were based-our narrow definitions of life-were not. It is very definitely alive, mutagenic, and highly invasive.

Viewed in this light, imulsion exhibits characteristics that resemble the structure and life cycle of many fungi. The bulk of the organism - in liquid form - is underground like a mycelium. The evidence of its existence that we have begun to observe on the surface in the form of stalks is the equivalent of fruiting bodies. Its periodic vapour-like emissions are perhaps best likened to spores. Its behaviour is parasitic yet simultaneously viral; It not only colonizes its host, it also reproduces in the host at the cellular level. Its life cycle appears to be a long period of dormancy followed by accelerated activity before maturation, but I cannot establish whether it has existed on Sera since the first origins of life or if it somehow developed or was introduced during human history.

A successful parasite does not kill its host, imulsion does. It may be inept, but I suspect the death of its host organisms - which appears to be every living thing on Sera, plant or animal - is part of its reproductive strategy, not an unfortunate side effect. Its high-energy content may be part of that.”
.
^^^ Fenix Research collectible (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

“Why’d they just drop off? They afraid of the imulsion fumes?”
“That… or somethin’ else. Keep your eyes open.”
“Hey, wait. What if we breathe in this ****?”
“Too late now.”
.
^^^ Dom and Marcus (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 5: Displacement)

In Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 5: Displacement, it could be seen that the Locust barges did not follow Delta’s commandeered barge through the imulsion vapours. In light of the above information it can be known that the Locust were aware that it was the vapours (imulsion spores) that caused Lambency as opposed to the imulsion itself. In Gears of War – Act 3, Chapter 5: Angry Titan, a Corpser is knocked into a lake of imulsion. Instead of turning Lambent, the Corpser simply burns and dies. In Gears of War 2 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Closure, a Brumak stands above many smaller lakes of imulsion and inhales large quantities of imulsion vapour. The Brumak is then seen to mutate quite rapidly and turn Lambent.

The Lambent, therefore, are the former members of other races that have become infected by the imulsion parasite and mutated into another life-form. The exploding nature of the Lambent allows imulsion to cover a larger area, and spores present within imulsion vapour are then released to infect other life-forms.

“Marcus, are we talking about imulsion? Is that it? God-damn imulsion?”
“Yeah, and how was it first discovered?”
“Oozing out of the ground. Pooling on the surface.”
“Yeah. Exactly.”
.
^^^ Dom and Marcus (Coalition’s End – Chapter 6)

“That luminous substance in the jars. Is all imulsion some form of Lambency, then?”
“I think so. It seems to have a long and complex life cycle.”
“So how much time do we have to beat this thing?”
“I only know that it’s spreading. So let’s assume we don’t have long.”
.
^^^ Prescott and Adam Fenix (The Slab – Chapter 4)

“Marcus, I gave your father nearly twenty years to deal with the Lambent. He will deal with it, but not at my people’s expense.”
.
^^^ Myrrah (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

Now, the Lambent were never really the source of any of the community’s remaining questions, since their existence and nature was thoroughly explored in Gears of War 3. However, what we now know about imulsion and the Lambent is important when it comes to answering other questions. Imulsion causes Lambency, and Lambency has been affecting the Locust for at least twenty years. But did imulsion only begin to have mutagenic effects twenty years ago? Or can instances of Lambency be traced back further, back even as far as the early Pendulum Wars or Gold Rush one hundred years ago?



How old are the Locust?

“One thing I still don’t understand. Have the Locust been down here, like, forever or what?”
.
^^^ Benjamin Carmine (Gears of War 2 – Act 2, Chapter 3: Disturbing Revelations)

“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.”
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^^^ Bardry Salaman (Jacinto’s Remnant – Chapter 3)

“We could have cooperated with the groundwalkers for our mutual salvation, but they are humans, and they only understand dominance and ownership. All that we have left is a war to the death. For all their so-called intelligence, humans are blind to the threat right before their eyes. We never stood a chance of enlisting their aid, so now we fight alone. And we will stand on their corpses to do so.”
.
^^^ Myrrah, the Locust Queen (Aspho Fields - Epilogue)

Certain occurrences and events are known to have taken place regarding the Locust. First of all, the Locust were fighting against the Lambent before E-Day. Secondly, Adam Fenix was in contact with the Locust five years before E-Day, and for a while worked with them to find a way to combat Lambency. Thirdly, when imulsion evolution progressed at a rate faster than Adam’s ability to analyse it, Myrrah led the Locust to abandon the Hollow and colonise the surface of Sera instead.

But how long have they been in the Hollow? Twenty years, since just before E-Day? One hundred years or so, since imulsion was first discovered? Or longer still, thousands and thousands of years?

“Despite her mother’s warnings, and the calls of the friends, Romily left the safe company of her friends and walked deep into the perils of the forest. She thought they would admire her independence, and respect her brave willingness to break ranks with the others. But she did not walk alone. The six-legged demon that had waited patiently beneath her house since her birth followed her, unseen, and joined the rest of his kind who rose from the depths to embrace her.”
.
^^^ Ancient Tyran fairy tale, on the popular and improving theme of monsters lying in wait for disobedient children (Aspho Fields – Chapter 4)

“Didn’t you read Romily as a child? The monster under the bed? How’s the monster always shown? That story goes back centuries, and the monster always has the same features – long front fangs and six legs // All monsters come from some reality. The six legs are a folk memory. Something like that once existed on Sera, and we reduced it to a fairy tale in the end, but now – I think I’ve found its nearest living relative // I think these [rock] shrews may be the remains of a genus that once included much larger tunnel-dwelling creatures.”
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^^^ Elain Fenix (Anvil Gate – Chapter 5)

The concept of monsters living under the ground is not new, the story of Romily has been passed down for generations and is often used as a source to argue that the Locust have existed for centuries – or at least as long as the fairy tale has been around. But it is curious, the six-legged demon in the fairy tale does not resemble a Locust. The Drones, Kantus, Boomer and Wretches are all humanoid, and while Corpsers and Reavers have multiple limbs, neither fit the boundaries of the story.

But there is one creature that does – the Polyps.

The Polyps are six-legged, possess large fangs, and come from under the ground in large groups. Elain Fenix compares the creatures in the story to the rock shrew she has found, creatures that live within and around the Hollow. If the name “rock shrew” is any indication, it could be similar in nature or composition to the “rockworm”, another Hollow based creature used as a food source by the Locust.

“The mutated shrew was long dead, but the bioluminescent parasite within it was still biding its time, just as Myrrah had said // [Elain had] thought the six-legged shrew was the descendant of a much bigger and extinct animal that had lived on in folk memory as monster myths. She couldn’t have known then that it was a much more recent mutation. She simply recorded the cell changes. This is what Lambency does.”
.
^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 2)

Elain Fenix was mistaken in one aspect in regards to her discovery – the vestigial limbs on the rock shrews are not the remnant of an old genus, but rather the beginning of a new one. The Lambent are the mutated versions of Sera’s native lifeforms – just as a Drudge is the Lambent mutation of a Locust Drone, Polyps are the Lambent version of these rock shrews.

But if the Romily legend is indeed referring to the Lambent, or creatures that will once day become Lambent, where did the Locust come from? Were they an ancient race, living underground undisturbed and unknown by humanity until the spread of the Lambent forced them above ground? This might well be the case. But there is evidence that may point to another answer.



Rustlung

“Symptom: Ruth is clearly experiencing extreme swelling in her joints and frequently cries out in pain during the night. She also exhibits rather erratic and unpredictable behavior, though this is quite understandable considering her situation and symptoms. There is a strange discoloration in her eyes, and her breathing often sounds labored. Her nails grow at a faster rate than normal, though her hair grows at a markedly reduced rate. I’ll keep trying to find some type of medication to alleviate her pain without adversely affecting our studies. "
.
^^^ Dr. Niles Samson - New Hope Medical File collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 2: Origins)

“Uh, what happens when you set off your glowie killer, Professor? Are we gonna feel anything?”
“That depends on how far the imulsion has colonized your cells, Damon. Do you have a fever? Intense muscle pain?”
“No.”
“Then you’ll be fine”
.
^^^ Damon Baird and Adam Fenix discussing the effects of imulsion contamination (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

The symptoms Adam Fenix describes are the same as those experienced by Ruth at the New Hope facility countless years earlier. These symptoms are the result of imulsion colonising the cells and are the same as those experienced by sufferers of rustlung – an imulsion based illness that is caused by inhalation of large amounts of imulsion-vapour;

“Rustlung, imulsion sickness. Cases have been popping up all over since the Lightmass Bombing. Sure is a horrible way for a warrior to die.”
“Uh, contagious?”
“They say it’s not, but I would keep my distance.”
“No argument here.”
.
^^^ Tai and Dom (Gears of War 2 – Act 1, Chapter 2 - Desperation)

Driver: Wayne Mitchell
Route: Timgad/Jacinto

Patient #1: 33 yr. old male
Symptoms: Coughing up blood & brown mucus, nausea, minor bleeding from
ears

Patient #2: 21 yr. old male
Symptoms: Nausea, coughing up blood & reddish-brown mucus

Patient #3: 36 yr. old female
Symptoms: Unconscious, blood & reddish-brown mucus coming from nose &
mouth

Patient #4: 24 yr. old male
Symptoms: Coughing up blood & dark brown mucus, complaining of severe
chest pain & trouble breathing”
.
^^^ Ambulance Driver’s Log collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 1, Chapter 1: Welcome to Delta)

"Patient Name: Jonathan Harper
Occupation: Sergeant [Echo Nine], COG Army
Age: 29
Height: 1.9 m
Weight: 91 kg

Patient is a 9-year veteran who has recently experienced vertigo, persistent cough, and insomnia. Was stationed at Timgad area for 2 months after Lightmass offensive, when assigned to Jacinto perimeter patrol last 4 months. Symptoms began about 1 month ago. Physical and diagnostic evaluation showed no chronic illnesses and no signs of bacterial infection. Prescribed a medium-strength antihistamine, released patient, and gave clearance for further duty. Expect a full recovery with no side effects. "
.
^^^ Dr. Vivian Merriweather - Jacinto Medical Center File collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 1, Chapter 2: Desperation)

"Dr. Nicolette Shannon.

Dr. Merriweather mentioned that she’s seen numerous patients exhibiting similar symptoms, even paranoia and aggression, but she appears to be less concerned than the rest of us. I’m starting to wonder whether her close ties to the COG administration could be affecting her judgment about the patients’ welfare. Going to follow up on this with the director tomorrow… If we aren’t taking care of our soldiers, who will?
.
^^^ Dr. Nicolette Shannon. - Doctor’s Journal collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 1, Chapter 2: Desperation)

“Is this how it starts?”
“Yeah. You seen this before? ‘Cause this ain’t just rustlung.”
.
^^^ Dom and a Stranded (Gears of War 3 – Act 3, Chapter 5 – Brothers to the End)

All the sufferers of rustlung present in Gears of War 2 were in the Timgad area during or after the Lightmass Bomb was used. The Formers in Gears of War 3 turn up in places with large amounts of imulsion – Mercy and Char are both imulsion processing townships. Rustlung, then, is the first step towards turning Lambent, and while knowledge of the disease may not have become widespread until after the Timgad bombing, patients with the same symptoms were being studied at New Hope.

But if rustlung is an indication of Lambency, other questions are raised. If rustlung is caused by exposure to imulsion why have there been no reported cases until now? And if rustlung is the first step to Lambency, why did sufferers such as Michael Barrick and Jonathan Harper not turn into Formers?

“There’d been classified matters that had sometimes woken him in the middle of the night and left him staring at the ceiling, gut churning and unable to get back to sleep again. There were things he’d quietly dreaded becoming public, background things like the real health risks of imulsion exposure.”
.
^^^ Richard Prescott’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 2)

“And imulsion did cause mutations in humans. He knew that all too well now, as the COG had known for years. But the process by which it changed from an apparently biologically inactive fuel to a live pathogen remained unclear, as did finding parallels between imulsion’s teratogenic effects and its behavior as a pathogen. Adam suspected they weren’t linear stages of the same thing but evidence that imulsion was evolving, diversifying just like the first life on Sera had done.”
.
^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 13)

The first answer is simple – as seen above, there have been reported cases, Lambency has been observed, and covered up, by the COG for almost a century. And the answer to the second is difficult due to the ever-evolving nature of imulsion. Barrick and Harper may well have turned Lambent given enough time, but the length of time it takes imulsion to colonize the cells and the form they would have taken cannot be known, as imulsion had not reached the stage in its life cycle that caused mutation into Formers.

For rustlung to have been the focus of the studies at New Hope it can mean only one thing – the patients had to have been exposed to enough imulsion to present themselves with the symptoms. Who could have been exposed to so much imulsion? Imulsion miners is the obvious choice, but anybody who worked in-depth with imulsion are candidates, including the families of the miners who would have moved to and grown up around the drill sites, as was common during our own coal mining here on Earth.

11 Likes

New Hope Research Facility

“What’s Azura?”
“Nothing to worry about. It’s an island facility built early in the Pendulum Wars because everyone was convinced that the conflict would end in global annihilation.”
,
^^^ Nevil and Prescott (The Slab – Chapter 3)

“And if that smarmy recorded voice from the PA system started up again, the one they said was Niles Samson himself, he’d lose it completely.”
.
^^^ Nevil Estrom’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“Whatever Dr. Samson’s nauseating cheerleading says, we cannot build Sera from the population here [on Azura] alone.”
.
^^^ Richard Prescott (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“We’ll have to move during the night, in the snow, and Chairman Monroe won’t even authorise the use of vehicles to transport the subjects.”
.
^^^ A recording of Niles Samson (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

“We’re talking about shrugging our shoulders and effectively dissolving a state that’s existed for -”
“Just under a century. That’s all // But the Allfathers were just an alliance of imulsion-rich states looking after their own interests during a fuel crisis.”
.
^^^ Hoffman and Michaelson (Coalition’s End – Chapter 21)

"To: Control
From: Delta-One

We’ve found some marks on the walls of a cell in the New Hope Wellness Facility. Unclear whether they represent days, weeks, or months, but it’s clear someone spent a long time here in captivity. Too long.

Delta out."
.
^^^ Captivity Marks collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

Before delving into what exactly New Hope did, it should first be established how old the facility is.

The COG was founded during the Gold Rush, shortly before the Pendulum Wars started 79 years before E-Day, and existed for just under a century before it was dissolved in 15 AE. The COG was based on the Octus Canon developed by minor political figure and fanatical socialist Alexiy Desipich some time before the Pendulum Wars. The first leader of the COG was Nassar Embry, Allfather Prime, but at some point rule over the state passed over to a series of successive Chairmen. Niles Samson worked on both Azura and New Hope, and his presence on the PA system of both facilities means that they were in existence at the same time – the early years of the Pendulum Wars. The presence of COG flags and the fact that there was a Chairman when New Hope shut down also limits the facility to being within a century old. The decrepit state of New Hope leads credence to the idea that New Hope was shut down earlier rather than later.

If rustlung was being studied at New Hope, and rustlung is the first step on the road to Lambency in humans, where do the Locust fit in? By looking at all the pieces, a timeline of mutagenic effects can be traced.

“Though many Imulsion miners had a shorter-than-average lifespan during the “Gold Rush” period following the energy source’s discovery, no one has proven that Imulsion exposure is a serious risk to human health.”
.
^^^ Rustlung section of the Beneath the Surface booklet (Gears of War 2 Special Edition)

“As many of you know, we recently experienced an internal information leak, and this had led some media outlets to make inquiries of the Department of Heath. Should you ever be approached with questions by anyone from the media or from someone who is not an employee of New Hope, I trust that you will all refrain from disclosing any information about the facility or its patients.

Please do keep this is mind moving forward, and continue with the great work that you all are doing. You are making the future a better place.

Best,
Niles.”
.
^^^ Interoffice Memo collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 2: Origins)

“I would begin exiting the facility if I were you. I tried to warn you. Now it appears that you have awoken the Sires. That could be very problematic // Those are irreplaceable specimens… a genetic bridge to our future. The Sires were not meant to be awakened yet. There will be consequences for a transgression of this magnitude. Severe, dire consequences.”
.
^^^ The Niles AI (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

“But does Lambency kill its hosts? Does it just change them? Is it even a survival advantage?”
“The Locust told Adam that some Lambent began to self-destruct – literally detonate. If you’re thinking it has a future as a defence against the Locust, I suspect you’d have had an interesting conversation with Dr. Samson.”
.
^^^ Prescott and Bakos (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“Dalyell had always been very cagey about [the Sires] existence and origin. Prescott had been kept out of the loop: it had suited him not to know about mutated humans, poisoned humans, but it was a gap he now needed to fill. All he could do when he took office was keep the New Hope facility quarantined and hope he never had to open the lid.”
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^^^ Prescott’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“And given the inarguable evidence of human mutation, this is research we also need to do in humans. Not cell cultures.”
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^^^ Esther Bakos (The Slab – Chapter 6)

Prescott thought she was still asking for access to the Sires.


TOP SECRET
**TERATOGENICITY STUDY **
(SAMSON)

“// This research into the teratogenic effects of imulsion was sealed years ago, but I think [Adam Fenix] should have access to it // We need to know what happened to the rest of Niles Samson’s New Hope research. The children with abnormalities.”
“If I had it, I would hand it over. We searched for those children for years.”
“We could go back and recover the Sires.”
“No. The facility has to stay locked down.”
“Sir, we know imulsion can cause changes in human physiology, and I think Adam’s established the link between imulsion and the pathogen.”
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^^^ Esther Bakos and Richard Prescott (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“Save the children, that’s what they always say. In this case, we’re truly doing it. Or at least, we’re giving it our very best shot. The trip to Mount Kadar won’t be an easy one, not by any means. We’ll have to move during the night, in the snow, and Chairman Monroe won’t even authorise the use of vehicles to transport the subjects. I will be leaving behind a semi-sentient security system to watch over the facility. I would hate for anyone to disturb the Sires’ rest, and we would all like the later opportunity to study them as they grow. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the security system is based of my personality-”
.
^^^ A recording of Niles Samson (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

“Were you aware of the health concerns about imulsion?”
.
“Emissions? Yes. Like any combustible material. Particulates, volatile fractions, that kind of risk.”
.
“I mean teratogenic. Mutagenic. Have I used the correct terms? Causing malformations and changes at the genetic level.”
.
“Oh. We suppressed those findings, did we? Can’t upset the imulsion companies with health scares. Share prices are hardly our biggest problem now, I suppose.”
.
^^^ Prescott and Adam (The Slab – Chapter 6)


Dr. Doug Sato.

"To: Stephanie Zimmer
From: Doug SATO
Subject: WTF?!

Steph, we need to talk. Seriously. I’m worried about our safety. Niles keeps saying that the subjects are harmless under sedation, but I just saw Sven get mauled by one of the males. Like ripped up, bloody mauled. This place isn’t safe anymore. Maybe it never was.

I’m already working on my resignation letter, you may want to as well.

Doug."
.
^^^ Memo collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 2: Origins)

"Dr. Stephanie Zimmer

Doug was right. These things, these ‘children,’ as Niles like to call them, are completely out of control. It’s like working with rabid dogs, except they’re much smarter, more conniving… and they’re brutal. Sadistic even. It’s like they were bred to kill and torture.

These things are going to be the death of us all.

This is my final entry. I’m getting the hell out of here.

I hope this place burns to the ground.

Dr. Zimmer."
.
^^^ Doctor’s Journal collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

Imulsion was first discovered on Sera pooling on the surface by an oil derrick. Almost as soon as humanity began working in depth with the substance, Lambency became an issue. The evidence of human mutation was inarguable and infected subjects, people who worked in depth with imulsion such as miners, began showing symptoms such as rustlung. The infected imulsion workers were covertly relocated to New Hope. Here, Niles Samson hoped to find a way to prevent the mutagenic effects of imulsion by studying these Lambent humans – the Sires. Niles hoped that the Sires represented a “survival advantage” as Prescott puts it, a “genetic bridge to our future” in his own words, a way to limit the effects of Lambency to a purely physical change that was capable of resisting further mutation. However, because of what happened next, Niles never finished his studies on the Sires.

In the process of studying the mutagenic effects of imulsion, Niles was brought into contact with its teratogenic effects – genetic defections caused by imulsion on a cellular level in newborns. The children of the Sires, or of Lambent humans who would eventually become the Sires, were born with Lambency in their cells. As they matured, so too did the Lambent mutation within their genes. As the mutations progressed it reached a point where the COG became too fearful of the truth and the effect it would have on both imulsion companies and the general public. New Hope was quietly shut down – while the COG erased all records of these mutated children, Monroe had the staff and subjects moved to Mt. Kadar.



The Locust

“It was hard not to put two and two together, but it was also unscientific, he knew that much. He tried to meet professionals on their own terms.”
.
^^^ Prescott’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 6)

“I ask you, how else do we secure our future? What is a culture without hope? It’s a shame. A dirty, rotten shame. // Did they know what was awaiting them inside Mount Kadar? Did they deserve what we did to them? Should we be punished? // When we are fully cleansed, and the truth comes forth, will we listen? … will we listen? Will we… listen? Listen… listen… listen.”
.
^^^ Niles AI (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 3: Rude Awakening)

The “children” that Niles studied at New Hope were not adult subjects or Lambent humans – they were very literally children, the offspring of the infected.

These “children” are the Locust.

The information on New Hope was sealed and the files restricted to the office of the Chairman and eventually to the scientists on Azura. After the Battle of Ephyra Prescott and Dr. Bakos were made aware of Lambency and both were able to make the, Prescott believes, obvious connection between the missing imulsion-mutated “children” who left New Hope and the race of imulsion-mutated, hitherto unknown, humanoids who emerged from underground one hundred years later. This information remains privy to a few essential personnel, though not restricted to Azura as Dr. Vivian Merriweather in Jacinto also seems to be aware of the true health risks of rustlung.

The Locust as a species, therefore, are already Lambent. They have imulsion in their cells. Even though they are not glowing and mutating and exploding, every single Locust is Lambent on a cellular level.

“Dad, what’s Myrrah up to? In your message you said she didn’t realise you can’t save the Locust.”
“This is a last stand for the Locust too, Marcus. My device will kill the imulsion, but it’ll harm the Locust too.”
.
^^^ Marcus and Adam Fenix (Gears of War 3 - Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

“Marcus Fenix seems to be as persistent as his father - and just as predictable. If he lives, our entire species dies.”
.
^^^ Queen Myrrah (Gears of War 3 - Act 4, Chapter 4: Hang 'em High)

At this point the evidence is damning. Only one result is possible – the Locust are the result of the experiments conducted at New Hope close to 100 years ago, they are the offspring of Lambent humans, the Sires – all of these species, Locust, Former and Sire, have Lambency on a cellular level.

But if the Locust are less than 100 years old, other questions arise;
How can this explain the age of Nexus and other Locust architecture, surely it is much older than 100 years?

“Hard to believe this leads to a Locust city. Feels too old.”
.
^^^ Dom (Gears of War 2 – Act 3, Chapter 5: Displacement)

“Still don’t get how they could’ve built this **** so fast.”
.
“Ah hell, we still don’t know how long they been down here.”
.
“And all this Imulsion… Are they thriving off of it?”
.
“Maybe. But that queen of theirs keeps talkin’ about reachin’ the surface.”
.
^^^ Baird and Marcus (Gears of War 2 – Act 4, Chapter 4: No Turning Back)

The Locust did not suddenly pop into existence on Emergence Day, they have been around for a while, but any species that has existed for a long time would have provided evidence of its existence at some point in its history. As seen with the Romily story, older races that once existed in the Hollow still leave their mark on the surface – the rock shrews found by Elain Fenix were discovered near the Hollow. The Locust do not do this.

Dom comments that the architecture feels too old to be Locust in design, while Baird comments that the Locust seem to have built too much, too fast. Together they ask a simple question – if the Locust are an ancient race, surely there would be some evidence of their existence. If they are a recent emergence, how can they be so large and so advanced?

When travelling through Nexus, a curious mesh of technological advancement can be seen – the architecture of Nexus is old enough to be considered ruinous at first glance, but new enough that the mechanical aspects such as the cable-car system, lever-controlled cover and computer systems are built directly into the city, not tacked on at a later date. The city may look to some to be older than 100 years, but considering the builders, is it not more likely that its construction was crude rather than ancient?

Another question is this – what about the size of the Horde, surely it is much too large to be a bunch of test subjects from New Hope?

“They breed by rape.”
.
“What, sir?”
.
“The Locust. I heard the females – the Berserkers – have to be tied down to mate. They’re not exactly willing.
^^^ Hoffman and Tai (Aspho Fields, Chapter 14)

“Baird here.

I guess this could be an invasion map, but it looks more like a kid’s drawing to me. Li’l Locust, do they have those?

I was just asking Marcus about this earlier… Why aren’t there any Locust brats around here? Figured we’d see some grub’s grub somewhere around this place.

Well, guess if the Berserkers are the females, maybe the males just wised up and quit laying the pipe to 'em. Man, that would be perfect… Locust go extinct due to the fugly, homicidal chicks they have to mate with.

Hey, one can hope.”
.
^^^ Locust Invasion Map collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 4, Chapter 6: The Best Laid Plans)

“What the hell are the Locust doing taking prisoners?”
.
“They’re locking people up in these things, taking ‘em deeper into the Hollow. They were gonna process me, man. Whatever that means…”
.
^^^ Marcus and Baird (Gears of War 2 – Act 2, Chapter 4: Sinking Feeling)

“The mice she’s been using – when they’re injected with Lambent cells, their fertility drops rapidly. Litter size fell to two or three pups and thirty percent of those offspring are sterile // Esther says look at the declining family size in southern Tyrus alone. High proportion of only children and childless couples. Siblings aren’t the norm. We don’t have the data because we didn’t investigate the motives, whether couples wanted fewer children or just didn’t conceive and never sought medical help for it.”
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^^^ Adam Fenix (The Slab – Chapter 11)

Imulsion exposure causes sterility. This is something that applies to all species, and is noted by Adam to have an effect on human populations. Since the Locust are themselves the children of Lambent humans and are already Lambent it would seem that there are no Locust children, another factor that disproves the idea of the Locust being an ancient race. In Aspho Fields Colonel Hoffman has heard that the Locust breed by rape, but when Baird enters the Nexus in Gears of War 2 there is no evidence of infant Locust.

When the Locust need to increase their numbers they have to resort to “processing”, to create more. But what exactly is “processing”? And how can so many people be kidnapped by the Locust without the COG or UIR noticing?

“Thousands of people are still unaccounted for, and rumors still abound on the whereabouts of the missing. Theories range from the implausible (the Locust eat humans) to the likely (the Locust are taking prisoners).”
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^^^ “The Lucky Died on E-Day” section of the Beneath the Surface booklet (Gears of War 2 Special Edition)

“Baird here.

Just found an artifact that looks exactly like the glyph on the back of that
lovely skin scroll.

From other writings I’ve found, I think I’ve pieced it together: This is
something called the ‘Trinity of Worms,’ and it’s probably the closest thing
I’ve seen yet to a Locust religious symbol. They really worship worms. We so do
not deserve to be alive.

As far as I can tell, there’s some kind of mantra on the artifact, about the
queen making drones, drones protecting Nexus… and I’ll have to work out that
last part a little later. I don’t work well under gunfire.”
.
^^^ Trinity of Worms Artifact (Gears of War 2 – Act 4, Chapter 5: The Best Laid Plans)

As stated in Beneath the Surface, thousands of humans have been taken by the Locust since E-Day. Using the Locust Runes the Trinity of Worms can be seen to state “The Queen makes Drones, the Drones protect Nexus, Nexus covers the Queen”.

Having seen that the Locust do not breed, the only other interpretation would be that the Queen literally makes Drones. Taking what we have learned about the Locust origins from New Hope and the role imulsion plays in their development, it can be concluded that Drones are created through imulsion exposure.

But there must be more to it than that, otherwise exposed humans would just become Formers. “Processing”, therefore, must include another element. Since the Locust origins were at New Hope, and at least some of the scientists travelled to Mount Kadar with the “subjects”, the method of “processing” must have been passed down. And who makes the Drones? The Queen.

“Here’s what I don’t understand. They never press home their advantage. Is it won’t or can’t?”
.
“If we knew that, we’d be halfway to beating the *******s.”
.
“I think they lack capacity and have to keep restocking their menagerie, for lack of a better word.”
.
“Is that a guess, sir?”
.
“An educated guess, I suppose. What kind of force launches a global assault that takes out a quarter of the population in a few days, and then spends more than a decade unable to finish it off despite overwhelming numbers?”
.
“An enemy with its own supply problems, running out of steam.”
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^^^ Prescott and Hoffman (The Slab – Chapter 12)

How does the Locust Horde seem to have such overwhelming numbers? Short answer – they don’t. Long answer – as they continuously lose lives to both the Lambent and the COG, the Locust run low on their numbers and have to process more. Prescott is able to figure out how it all works after making the connection between New Hope, the “children” and the Locust – if the Locust did not periodically process more Drones into their ranks, they would have been wiped out early into the Locust War by sheer attrition.

“Diz, are they aliens or something? How did they get here? Did they land? I mean, I know everyone’s saying they came out of holes in the ground – but how come we’ve never seen them before? You don’t just get a whole new breed of things come out of nowhere like that.”
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^^^ Milos to Dizzy (Coaliton’s End – Chapter 4)

“What are the Locust? We don’t know what they are… Most scientists believe they’re a mutated version of Sera’s native life forms. A minority claim they’re aliens. Ask any Gear and they’ll tell you the Locust come straight from hell.”
.
^^^ What are the Locust section of the Destroyed Beauty booklet (Gears of War Special Edition)

The Locust are a mutated version of Sera’s native life forms. So if the humanoid Locust were all former humans, or the descendants of Lambent humans, what about the other Locust species; Wretches, Brumaks, Kryll, Rockworms, Reavers, Leviathans and so on? Were all the other Locust variants also created artificially like the humanoids?

“DNA analysis indicates these were bred by the Locust Horde from smaller native apes.”
.
^^^ Brumak section of the Destroyed Beauty booklet (Gears of War Special Edition)

“Elain would have been fascinated by their skill at engineering other species into living weapons for their war effort.”
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^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 2)

“The Locust must be pretty proficient in biotechnology in their own way, given the mutations they’ve bred for their own purposes.”
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^^^ Richard Prescott (The Slab – Chapter 11)

“You still feel sorry for them, don’t you?”
.
“No, but I do respect the extraordinary understanding of genetics it takes to create living weapons that bring global powers to their knees.”
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^^^ Dury and Adam (The Slab – Chapter 13)

“Ah, so that’s where Corpsers come from.”
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“When a mommy Corpser and a daddy Corpser love each other very much…”
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^^^ Cole and Baird (Gears of War 3 – Act 2, Chapter 4: Trench Run)

“We’re seeing more of those kryll things at night. The only good news is that the grubs don’t seem to like them either, so it looks like it’s cut down on their incursions after dark. But that means the things are either one of their own engineered creatures gone wrong, or something else entirely.”
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^^^ Hoffman (The Slab - Chapter 12)

Yes and no. The majority of the beast Locust did not exist before the humanoid Locust created them, and they were engineered and bred specifically for use in combat – Brumaks, Reavers, Wretches, Corpsers, Seeders, etc. A few, such as the rock shrews, rockworm and Riftworm, seem to have evolved naturally underground and are domesticated in a very fragile way. In either case, all of these creatures are grouped together under the moniker Locust due to their shared trait of Lambency within the cell structure.

All of this information - the declassified New Hope files through to the studies on the Locust - are likely detailed on Adam Fenix’s disk witnessed in Act 5, Chapter 5 of Gears of War 3.

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Myrrah

“Listen to me, Marcus Fenix! I will not let my people die! We have a right to live, a right to this world! Your father must complete his task!”
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^^^ Myrrah (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

“Okay, I really need to know what Myrrah was yapping about. She knew your dad before E-Day? How? I mean, she looks human, did she join the Locust country club for ****s and giggles or something?”
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^^^ Baird (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

“You humans! Why do you think your lives are worth more than ours? Don’t you realize who we are? Don’t you recognise all your most admirable qualities in us? Oh yes… we are genocidal monsters! Just like you!”
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^^^ Myrrah (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 6: Threshold)

Finally, we come to Myrrah, the decidedly human-looking Queen of the Locust. The first question regarding her is whether she is human or not.

“You know what we are, Adam. He could hear her voice more clearly than Elain’s sometimes; authoritative, patrician, human. You know where we come from. We deserve to live, we have the right to live, but you’ll never let us. Just remember that what’s killing us will one day kill you. And I shall be there to see it.”
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^^^ Myrrah (The Slab – Chapter 2)

“Adam, you knew this day would come.” It was a familiar voice: silky, imperial, polished, and utterly human.
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^^^ Myrrah (The Slab – Chapter 5)

Twice in the Slab Myrrah is referred to as being human. In Gears of War 3, the queen is unharmed by the imulsion countermeasure activated in at the climax of the story, meaning that she does not possess lambency in her cells. This is important for two reasons – first, it means that she is not in the process of turning Former; second, it means that she cannot be Locust in any capacity since, as has been discussed, each and every Locust has lambency.

A popular idea is that Myrrah must be Ruth, the patient from New Hope whose medical file was present as a collectible in Gears of War 2 and is quoted above. If this was the case though, it doesn’t quite add up, Myrrah doesn’t have the swelling in her joints, long nails or lack of hair that Ruth did. The physical description indicates that Ruth is turning into a Sire or Locust. It can be seen that Myrrah shares nothing in common with the Sires or Locust and therefore nothing in common with Ruth. If Myrrah was Ruth then she would have lambency, and would have been killed by the imulsion countermeasure.

Another argument states that Myrrah must be the one patient from New Hope who was cured of lambency and immune to imulsion. Unfortunately, there is little that supports this idea – why was the cure not taken to Mt. Kadar when the scientists relocated there? Why were the Sires left in stasis in the first place if a cure had been found? And why would Myrrah not use the cure on the Locust if she was indeed immune to the effects of imulsion?

And just because there’s always one…

“He’d found some of [Elain Fenix’s] remains in the tunnels – arm bones and scraps of fabric he recognised all to well.”
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^^^ Adam Fenix (The Slab – Chapter 2)

… She’s not Marcus’s mother.

So how did a human end up leading the Locust Horde?

“Queen Myrrah. It was an odd choice of title. It smacked of termite colonies and ants, an analogy he knew she’d find offensive, but he suspected she’d chosen it in an attempt to make herself feel more embedded in Sera’s history, more Seran than the humans who’d long since discarded their monarchies. You know that’s not true, Myrrah. You know all about your origins. But this is no time to argue that with you.”
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^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 4)

Myrrah is not a Locust. Myrrah is not Lambent. Myrrah is not royalty by succession; she has taken the title of Queen for herself. Myrrah possesses knowledge that allows her to create Drones, something that no other human on Sera has. Taking what we know so far, we can deduce who she must be.

Locust are the offspring of Lambent humans, but considering the high infertility rate caused by lambency, breeding is difficult. In order to process humans and create more Locust large numbers and careful planning is required – humanoid Locust must be bred just like all the other beast-like Locust they command. Myrrah is in possession of knowledge that no-one else has – how to create Locust. The only people who knew how to do this were those who worked at New Hope. The scientists of New Hope moved to Mount Kadar. Myrrah’s palace is at Mount Kadar. Myrrah is not a Locust.

Therefore, Myrrah is a descendant of the scientists of New Hope, imbibed with the knowledge of how to create Locust, her people, her children, whom she was born and raised with deep under the earth. She considers herself a Locust, not a human, and she has taken the title of Queen and the cause of vengeance to fight for a race that was literally forced underground.



The Kantus, Nexus and the size of the Horde

A popular theory is the idea that the Kantus are the original Locust, having existed undeground for millennia. This theory states that the Kantus built Nexus, New Hope was set up to create Kantus-Human hybrids, most of the Locust we see in the franchise are failed versions of these hybrids, and Myrrah is the only successful one. The primary arguments for this are threefold;

  • The Kantus are too different from the other humanoid Locust to be related.
  • Nexus is too large and looks too old to have been built within one hundred years.
  • The population of the Horde is too large to have been formed in one hundred years.

While I will not delve too much into these here, I will comment briefly on each point.

First; the Kantus possess similar biological features present on multiple forms of humanoid Locust. Indeed, elements of the Sires, Drones and Berserkers can all be seen on the Kantus. Imulsion’s ability to evolve down divergent paths causes multiple mutations from the same source, as witnessed with the Drudges. The Kantus are, like the other humanoid Locust, descended from the subjects at New Hope.

Second; considering the Gold Rush period of Seran history and the amount of people working in the mines, it is not unreasonable to assume the numbers of infected miners were far larger than just the Sires witnessed at New Hope. The Sires are considered the most extreme cases of imulsion exposure, many of the exposed would not have been mutated to this extent. I argue then that it was not just the Locust that were moved from New Hope to Mt. Kadar, but also a good portion of their parents, those early Lambent Humans - sufferers of rustlung who were walking, talking and on par with the likes of Adam Fenix, Michael Barrick and Jonathan Harper.

Third; there are no signs of Locust children, something Baird points out while in Nexus, but there are no signs of older Locust either. Given the lambent nature of the Horde on a genetic level, I argue that the Locust do not age at a rate similar to humans. Imulsion exists as a single organism, a hive-mind-like entity, and elements of this have transferred to the Locust - such as their almost telekinetic communication ability witnessed in RAAM’s Shadow. The Locust, therefore, age at a slower rate or may not age at all.

For a more detailed look at these issues, please see my thread on the Kantus.

Chaps edit - sorry…can’t find this thread…please let me know if you know where to find it!!!



Conclusion

By looking throughout the series, the following observations can be seen;

  • The Locust are NOT an ancient race, they have only existed for a century.
  • New Hope was NOT set up to splice the DNA of Locust and humans to create halfbreeds.
  • The Kantus did NOT exist prior to the Pendulum Wars, they are also descended from New Hope.
  • Myrrah is NOT Marcus Fenix’s mother.
  • Myrrah is NOT Elain Fenix.
  • Myrrah is NOT Ruth from New Hope.

And the following conclusions can be drawn;

  • Imulsion is evolving all the time, what once caused humans to mutate into Sires 100 years ago now causes them to mutate into Formers.
  • Lambency has been around since imulsion was first discovered.
  • New Hope was set up to research Lambency on both adults and their children.
  • The Sires were Lambent humans.
  • The Locust are the children of Lambent humans
  • Most of the beast Locust were genetically engineered by the humanoid Locust.
  • Imulsion causes sterility. Both humanoid and beast Locust struggle to reproduce.
  • Humans are periodically kidnapped, tortured, processed and bred to create more humanoid Locust.
  • Myrrah is not a Locust, she is human.
  • Myrrah is a descendant of the New Hope scientists, throughout the existence of the Horde humans have always been in charge.
  • Myrrah considers the Locust more “human” than modern humanity, and will fight and die for their right to live.


What are the Locust? What were the Sires? Why is Myrrah human?

When contacting members of EPIC for clarification on these questions, their response was that the answers were already littered piecemeal throughout the series, all we had to do was look.

And they were right.

Provided throughout these posts have been quotes from throughout the franchise that, when pieced together, provide the answers.


Epilogue - The Nashtyboy thread and comments by EPIC

An essential stepping stone in the creation of this thread was the Nashtyboy thread. Some who have read this will already have heard of the thread, many will not. Some places on the internet, including these forums, inaccurately quote what was presented in that thread. Here I will set the record straight on what exactly EPIC have said regarding the origins of the Locust, in chronological fashion.

In September 2006, a month or so before Gears of War 1 was released, a thread was started on these forums questioning how the Locust knew English. In that thread, an EPIC designer named Dave “Nashtyboy” Nash posted the following comment;

Without giving away too much of the story, the Locust know english because they are former surface-dwellers.
This was before Gears of War 1, before New Hope and the Sires in Gears of War 2, long before Gears of War 3 and the Slab. This was before Joshua Ortega and Karen Traviss, this was before everything. Right at the very beginning, EPIC said on these very forums that the Locust were former surface dwellers. However, this managed to pass pretty much under the radar - for the next few years a large majority of people assume the Locust are an ancient race that have evolved naturally underground. This is the assumption many people made going into Gears of War 2.
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^^^ Originally Posted by Nashtyboy

Skip forward a few years to after Gears of War 2 is released. TAO Devil posts his Locust origin theory. In this theory he states that the Locust were likely created artifically at New Hope, but that the Locust Drones we encounter are failures or defects. He theorises that Ruth is Myrrah, and that she is the only successful or “true” Locust, he uses the term Locust-Human hybrid. The Kantus were the original builders of Nexus, the “original” Locust, and existed underground long before the Drones came along. This theory is popular and word spreads. By the time Gears of War 3 is released many people already have their hearts set on the outcome - the Locust are an ancient race, or at least the Kantus are, and Myrrah is the perfect genetic hybrid between human and Locust created at New Hope.

When Gears of War 3 came out, many people were stunned. Where were the answers? The Queen is a Locust-human hybrid, right? The Locust have existed underground forever, right? After a week or so, Dave “Nashtyboy” Nash reappeared and posted the following in a few discussion threads.

Chaps Edit - For Formatting - The following are all quotes from "Nashtyboy"

The back story is that sires were imulsion miners… the first to be mutated by it. The gov’t rounded them all up to study them and find out what was causing it, and perhaps find a cure. This occurred at the outpost that you guys visited in Gears 2.

(Myrrah is) a descendant of the scientists who first studied imulsion-infected miners at the outpost in G2.

Think of the sires as locust 1.0… or 0.5 or something. We’ve only really hinted at it, but if you pay close attention to origins and rude awakening in G2, you can pick up on some of this stuff. Also, just think about what the word ‘sires’ means in the traditional sense.

When the COG found out that people who worked with imulsion over the long term began to have ill effects, they rounded them up at the super-secret base that you were able to see around the middle of G2. Eventually, some of the scientists took most of the subjects up to mount kadar, thinking they would be killed when the COG found out about the crazy mutations and what not that imulsion causes. Remember, the video from niles said something like “save the children… that’s basically what we’re trying to do”. It’s the children of the miners they’re talking about. The scientists thought they might be born mutants and that the gov’t would want to kill them. They were sealed inside of Mount Kadar, and nobody heard from them for a long, long time…

Without spelling it all out, let’s just say that the sires were the first warning that people could become affected/infected by imulsion. The COG didn’t want that to get out to the general public, so they took all of the people who were showing signs of this out to the kadar outpost from G2 (new hope facility). Things didn’t go well for some of those subjects, and most of you ended up shooting THEM with a shotgun. But the scientists ditched that place long ago and took a large group up of the “test subjects” to kadar, as was shown in that video marcus & dom watched in the rude awakening chapter. Remember, he said they were saving the children. They thought they could save them by taking them deep inside the mountain, never to be found by humans again.

Originally Posted by Nashtyboy

Well we never said how long ago everything that went down at the outpost was, but that place was in pretty bad condition, so one might draw the conclusion that these happened many many years ago.

Asrial collected together all these quotes in a thread called “The DEFINITIVE Fact(s) About the Sires and Myrrah (AKA The Nashtyboy Thread)” and while the thread no longer exists, the quotes have been sourced from here. Shock! Horror! The Locust were not an ancient race? Myrrah is not a Locust-Human hybrid? Blasphemy! I refuse to believe! This franchise has lost its path and I will never touch it again! There were debates with myself and Pandut representing the opposing sides. It was civilised for the most part, but near the end some really angry people got involved. The idea that the Locust came from New Hope was so appalling, so gut-wrenchingly antagonising, that people were raging against myself, Nashtyboy, EPIC as a company, anybody who presented themselves as a target. In the end a sort of stance was reached by the opponents of the idea, which was essentially - Who is Nashtyboy? Some level developer? If Cliff Bleszinski or Rod Fergusson or Karen Traviss tell me it’s true, I’ll believe it, but not if it’s some level developer. How do we even know he works for EPIC anyway?

To that end JacktheBlack, a member of these forums and the admin of Gearspedia, contacted Karen Traviss on Twitter in an attempt to ascertain the truth of the situation.

@KDP3200 Here’s my credo. Details should emerge in storytelling not outside it. Or else it sucks the joy out of it for the majority of fans // But if I or my colleagues say something is so…then you’ll accept it as so. Even if you disagree. Deal?
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^^^ Karen Traviss on Twitter - Part 1, Part 2.

This had a mixed reaction. Since the tweet did not specify that that the colleague she was referring to was Dave Nash, little progress had been made. Not that it mattered in the end, as the thread was deleted the following day. The language and attitude in the thread had descended rapidly, and the admins and EPIC staff were bombarded with demands for answers. It was almost inevitable that the thread vanished, but not before the content was incorrectly quoted and began to spread throughout the forums and further afield.

Played straight in Gears of War 2 with the Locust Queen Myrrah, who strangely looks like a human woman wearing a squid on her back. Although this appears to be a plot point, this is never explained in game. On the forums, it was revealed that Myrrah was experimented on as a child up until some point prior to the games, eventually becoming a Human-Locust-hybrid. The facility she was in got destroyed, with her being the only survivor. Guess who found her?
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^^^ TV Tropes page on Gears of War

Scientists run tests on the locust and begin to attempt to mix his genes with some of the miners who had developed rustlung, and then subsequently the children of those miners. The Miners were too far gone, but the children were born with altered cells and presented a higher probability of success. This was done at the New Hope Research Facility. The experiments were largely a failure, and the children are taken into the mountain while the miners became sires. This is why the sires are so different, as they are humans mixed with locust genes with a tiny bit of lambent.
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^^^ Queen Myrrah and the Sires explained thread on Gamefaqs.

People sourced Nashtyboy as a reference, but the story revelations they supplied were actually from TAO Devil’s theory. The prevailing argument in the thread was that Nashtyboy’s revelations didn’t make sense when compared to what we already knew about the universe. How could Nexus be less than 100 years old? How could the Horde grow so large in such a short period of time? Many people wanted the Locust to be an ancient race, and those who didn’t reject Nashtyboy’s comments outright tried to incorporate it into what they already believed, even after TAO Devil himself said that people were quoting a theory that was two years old and had been disproven.

Over the next two days Karen Traviss responded a few more times to questions asked on Twitter.

A single timeline for The Slab. More things will become clear, but then I think they’re clear already…hiding in plain sight. I’m always surprised by questions people mail me about things already in the books. Some hints, but some already spelled out.
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^^^ Karen Traviss on Twitter - Part 1, Part 2.

I thought it would be obvious by now. Maybe it’ll be clearer after The Slab. The clues throughout have been pretty frequent.
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^^^ Karen Traviss on Twitter here

All this occurred within a week of Gears of War 3’s release. After this, there was a long period of silence. Dave Nash had told everybody the answers, but they were rejected. Karen Traviss told everybody the clues were pieced throughout the series, but was unwilling to step into an argument. For the next few months tensions ceased and simmered down. People forgot what Nashtyboy actually said, and TAO Devil’s ideas were attributed to him instead.

Cut forward a few more months and after a conversation with NFI regarding Nashtyboy and the Locust origins in a different thread, I decided to create this one. The idea was that the revelations Nashtyboy told could actually be corroborated by in-game evidence. I argued as much at the time, but never went through the series to source the material anywhere near as much as I have here. And so the first version of this thread emerged, prior to the release of the Slab and Dirty Little Secrets. Over two or three revisions the it reached the point where nearly every relevant quote regarding the Locust had been gathered from the series. At the same time, an opposing theory emerged by Snorkelbottom, developed after a discussion in this thread. A second EPIC developer, Jim “Entropy” Brown, responded;

Couple points re: your theory

Conspecificity (spelling?) is an interesting theory, but if you read the books, you’ll find that the lambent infection has crossed the species barrier several times, and is affecting sea life, livestock, even dogs.
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^^^ Originally Posted by Entropy

New Hope is significantly older than Adam Fenix, and his career path is well documented in the supporting materials (comics, novels).

Marcus’s mother (a field biologist) was actually the one to “discover” the Locust, and Myrrah continues the dialogue with Adam after she dies. But Adam is a physicist, so he’s not as qualified to figure all this infection stuff out. He often muses about how he wishes his wife were around to help him because he’s fumbling in the dark. More detail on this forthcoming in The Slab.

Actually New Hope is significantly older than you’re thinking, and at the time of its heyday, Rustlung / Lambency was indeed a super dooper top secret mystery that they were experimenting on and the general population had no idea of its existence.
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Originally Posted by Entropy

So there it is, comments regarding the origins of the Locust by Dave “Nashtyboy” Nash (Campaign Lead Level Designer), Jim “Entropy” Brown (Multiplayer Lead Level Designer) and Karen Traviss (Lead Writer on Gears of War 3 and the books and comics). Nashtyboy never said that the Locust were an anceint race, or that Myrrah was a Locust-Human hybrid. He never said anything about Myrrah being immune to lambency, or that the Kantus were the original Locust race and built Nexus. All of these ideas are TAO Devil’s. Regarding the Kantus, EPIC has never said anything regarding them in any capacity. Feel free to insist they were the original Locust and built Nexus, but is nothing that supports or refutes this idea. When looking elsewhere on the internet be wary of what you read, the actual content of the Nashtyboy thread has been reproduced above, and those involved in that thread - namely Asrial, Pandut and myself - can verify that.

One last thing…

On Friday September 14th 2012, almost one year after the release of Gears of War 3 and four months after the release of the Slab (and the last major update to this thread), Cliff Bleszinski participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Naturally, probably inevitably, he was asked “Why is the Locust Queen human?”. He gave the following reply;

You can find the answer to this by digging online. The Gears community has basically solved this as well as the origins of the Locust. Also, Karen’s books delve into some of this a bit more.
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^^^ Cliff Bleszinski’s Reddit AMA, full version viewable here.

Is Cliff Bleszinski referring to this thread? Given the above quotes from Dave Nash, Jim Brown and Karen Traviss, I am confident enough to say he is.

Phew, I hope you enjoyed the read if you reached this far. Want more? Yeah!? Then check out The Kantus and Adam Fenix’s Disk for some observations that use conclusions reached in this thread to address other elements of the Gears of War mythos.



Chaps Edit - Sorry for the missing links - the original thread is gone

Even without those though…if you made it this far, hopefully you enjoyed yourself, here’s a cookie:
:cookie:
…or if it’s more your style: :fortune_cookie:

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Nice idea moving it. Will have to make a tea and reread it.

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Make “a tea”…more like “make 5 teas” :stuck_out_tongue:

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Cake, too!

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We will be getting an answer for the New Hope Facility in Gears 5, let’s see how close Joveus got.

awesome thread here on the Origins of both the Queen and the Locust , maybe in Gears 5 we get the rest of the story

I remember reading this way back when. I was never around on the EPIC forums, but it has always been such a fascinating read that I like going through it again from time to time. I kinda hope they stick close to EPIC’s final version, if only because it took a lot of effort and skill to piece this together and I believe such work deserves to be rewarded.

That being said, with what happened with Reyna and what Kait appears to be going through, it’ll be interesting to see how much they’ll retool Myrrah’s story.

Always loved this thread. With the synopsis they released for Gears 5, sounds like we’re about to get some answers

I’m glad you’ve managed to bring this thread across, it’s such an interesting read. Thanks for bringing it back to life again.

nice one. will refresh the knowledge on the topic, before actually visiting New Hope and Mount Kadar in Gears 5.

Thanks for reposting. Definitely worth another read through. I so wish we had gotten a GOW2 remaster prior to Gears 5. Would have made so much sense based on what we see in the teaser trailer. As much as I hate the movement in Gears 2 now, I’m going to replay the campaign once or twice prior to Gears 5 release. While I think Gears 5 will end (cliffhanger) before true answers are found, it will be nice to further the backstory.

This post is too long to read lol I will never finish

I’m expecting a bunch of this to be wrong these days. There’s definitely some deeper connection between Myrrah/Reyna/Kait and the Locust/Swarm than just a human leading monsters - telepathy or… something… I couldn’t even make an educated guess with what we’ve got so far.

I’m not on these forums so much these days. For somebody who likes to 100% a game, Gears 4’s loot boxes, time specific skins, and real world promotional DLC almost destroyed my interest in the franchise. I haven’t been a fan of the Coalition’s business practices so far, but I’ll be tentatively watching Gears 5 from the shadows.

Especially when they gated completion to Skill cards from last summer’s update, basically trying to compel us to spend money while defending it with the flimsy argument that “achievements are content.” but I digress.

You were right about one thing, though, Gears should have ended at 3.





Kantus Thread

Original Thread Here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140316191324/http://forums.epicgames.com:80/threads/890570-The-Kantus




I have not included the contents of this thread in my “Origins of the Locust” thread because of the different methods used to obtain my results. Whereas the other thread uses word-based statements from throughout the series to back up its points, this thread uses things that are not written, but rather seen.

Conclusions reached in my other thread form the basis of arguments made in this one. For information regarding the Sires, New Hope and the age of the Locust as a species, please see my other thread.


Origin of the Kantus

“And imulsion did cause mutations in humans. He knew that all too well now, as the COG had known for years. But the process by which it changed from an apparently biologically inactive fuel to a live pathogen remained unclear, as did finding parallels between imulsion’s teratogenic effects and its behaviour as a pathogen. Adam suspected they weren’t linear stages of the same thing but evidence that imulsion was evolving, diversifying just like the first life on Sera had done.”
.
^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 13)

This is crucial when it comes to understanding the differences in nature and ability between all the different classes of humanoid Locust - not just the Kantus, but Drone, Boomers, and Berserkers too. The lambency within the descendants of the Sires did not create a single template - instead multiple mutations could be witnessed. All the different types of humanoid Locust are different evolutionary routes taken as imulsion diversified. Since the Kantus have been singled out as the exception we will focus on them, however, this evolution and diversifying of imulsion helps us to understand the foundation that created all the different humanoid Locust sub-species.

“The Forefathers of the Locust, these beings are neither fully Human nor Locust. Sires are to the Locust as Neanderthals are to humans. Whereas the Locust take cover, give orders and are generally organised these bipeds are savage and attack with hand to hand attacks.”
.
^^^ Design document on the Sires from Gears of War 2, viewable here.

The Sires were the forefathers of the Locust, the first examples of lambency in humans and the basis of everything that came after. This limits the Kantus, like all Locust, to being roughly 100 years old. How then can we explain the nature and the abilities of the Kantus? In many ways they are so different from the Drone class of humanoid Locust that they could be considered to be a different species.

  • 100 years ago, the first examples of Lambent humans began to appear. These are the Sires.
  • The children, or descendants, of these Sires were raised in Mt. Kadar. These are the Locust.
  • As imulsion evolved, the already mutated cells of the Locust changed further. These are the Lambent.
  • As imulsion evolved, Lambent humans 100 years later were different from the Sires. These are the Formers.

Taking the above into consideration, where do the Kantus fit in?

Sire
Kantus
Drone
Lambent Drone
Former

The biology of the imulsion-infected races comes into play here, and multiple physical characteristics can be seen that allow one to trace a natural line throughout the species.

Let’s begin with the Sires. These are the first studied examples of lambency in humans. Note the thin, skeletal nature of the left arm when compared to the bulkier, more Locust-like appearance of the right. Observe the multiple spike-like protrusions that extend up the left arm, something later witnessed in the Formers. We can also see that the feet have changed shape and form and the heel has lifted, and the digits on the left hand are long and thin

Next we have the Kantus. Of note here are the large, bone-like protrusions present on the elbows and shoulders as well as the unique nature of the feet when compared to the other Locust. These larger, three-toed feet are similar to those seen on the Sires as are the similar long, skeletal fingers.

Next is the standard Locust drone. Their rough, patchy skin above the chest and shoulders can also be witnessed on the Sires. The major features are their increased muscle mass, the up-turned, pug-like nose, and the heavy, protruding bone structure present on their brow.

The Lambent Drone is a mutated version of a Locust Drone as opposed to a human, as can be seen by the presence of the up-turned nose and bone-structure along the brow. Of note here are the elongated fingers and the change to the outer flesh as witnessed on the Formers.

Finally, we have the Former. As can be seen, Lambency has caused the formation of large, calloused areas of toughened skin over the head, arms and torso, similar to the Sires. Another common feature with the Sires is the presence of spikes and jagged protrusions on the upper arms and shoulder. Also note the skeletal disfigurement of the arms, especially below the elbows. Finally, the presence of the sharpened claws at the end of each digit is visible.

Obvious similarities arise when analysing these images. Certainly we can expect the Sires and the Formers to share many common characteristics - both are humans mutated by imulsion at different stages of its life cycle, but it is the similarities between the Sires and the Locust that are of note. Present on the Sires are physical similarities with all of the other races – the feet and elongated digits of the Kantus, the twisted skeletal structure and bone-like formations on the outer body possessed by the Formers and the Lambent, and the absence of ears and increased muscle mass embodied by the Locust.

Now let’s compare the Kantus. When observed closely, the Sires and Kantus share similar feet, something all the other races do not. Lambent Drudges, and presumably other humanoid Locust, still possess a five-toed structure. The Kantus also possess long, thin fingers, something that is present in the Lambent but not the Locust. In addition, the bone-like exoskeleton present on the Kantus can also be witnessed in a more severe form on the Lambent humans and Locust.

A pattern emerges. When a creature begins to turn Lambent certain traits carry; a hard bone-like exoskeleton forms; the skeleton itself is twisted, elongated, the body becomes taller and extremities on limbs are lengthened.

Finally, compare the clothing of the Kantus when compared to the Sires. They possess similar bandage like wraps around the upper thighs, both wear a basic crotch-guard, both wear similar articles of closing on the upper arms and calves.

When compared to the Formers, Locust and Lambent, the Sires and Kantus have much in common. They have further imulsion-colonisation within their cells than the Drones do, and they err more on the Lambent side of the scale than the human.

This is all well and good in theory, but physical comparison only gets us so far. To add credence to the idea that the Kantus are more imulsion-infected and therefore more Lambent than the other Locust on a cellular level, their unique abilities come into play.



Abilities of the Kantus

“It is not known how the Locust direct or guide the Riftworms towards their targets. Some believe that pheromones are used: others maintain that explosives are detonated to “encourage” the worm in another direction.”
.
^^^ Design document on the Riftworm from Gears of War 2, viewable here.

It is shown in Gears of War 2 – Act 2, Chapter 4: Sinking Feeling that the Kantus priest Skorge is the one responsible for controlling the Riftworm. Control is maintained through the use of chants, the same chants that are employed by the Kantus of the battlefield to reinvigorate injured comrades. As can be evidenced in the Beast Mode portion of Gears of War 3, these Kantus chants are capable of healing not just humanoid Locust, but also Wretches, Tickers and other beast-like Locust.

“Baird here.

So we’re barely 30 minutes in the Hollow and I’ve already found irrefutable,
incontrovertible evidence that the Locust are, absolutely, without a doubt,
insane. Like I didn’t already know that, but hey, when you find a scroll made
of human skin, well…

I’m still trying to decipher all the Locust runes, but from what I can tell,
the scroll has something to do with communicating with ‘worms.’ Yep, that’s
right… haven’t figured out the first part yet, but the second verse says:
‘The’ Worms answer, my name is Horde, for we are many with…’ It cuts off
after that, and there’s also a glyph I’ve never seen on the back, but I’ll
have to figure that out later. But gut-check here, guys: Our enemy talks to
worms. if they’re outsmarting us in this war, then we probably deserve to be
extinct.”
.
^^^ Kantus Scroll collectible (Gears of War 2 – Act 2, Chapter 2: Indigenous Creatures)

It would also seem that Kantus interaction with the Riftworm extends beyond simple control or issuing of base commands, the communication between Kantus and worms seems to work both ways.

It can be seen in Gears of War 3 – Act 4, Chapter 5: Bon Voyage that the Armored Kantus exhibit a noticeable luminescent glow from within their throats when they chant, a trait that is shared by all variations of the Lambent. The Armored Kantus, therefore, are more Lambent than their regular Kantus brethren – imulsion has colonised their cells to a greater extent. The Kantus exhibit a similar glow when they chant, though not to the extent of that featured by Armored Kantus or the Lambent.

The Kantus chants are used to control and communicate with multiple different variations of the Locust, from Riftworm to Wretch, including the humanoid Locust, and this action exhibits Lambent qualities. What do all of these creatures have in common? They all have significant imulsion colonisation within their cells.

Imulsion exists as a single organism. As seen in Anvil Gate, Coalition’s End and throughout Gears of War 3, imulsion can detect imulsion, it is all connected. Taking what we know about imulsion, and the physical qualities of the Kantus chant, it can be argued that the Kantus chant is in fact the ability to stimulate the imulsion cells within other creatures.



Physiology of the Kantus

A theory has now been formed - the Kantus are different from the Drones because they possess a larger amount of imulsion colonization within their cells, leading to differences of appearance and ability. But while they are different from the Drones in some ways, certain common features arise. In addition, they are similar in many ways to other humanoid Locust.

Compare the Locust Hunter with the Kantus (easiest if compared to the Skorge image to get a full torso shot). The Kantus are not all that different from the Drone from the front, both possessing the same smoother while-flesh like skin and the hollow indentations present on the chest, but very different from the back. The obvious differences between Kantus and Drone are the hardened exoskeleton, second row of teeth, forked tongue and Sire-like legs. Now compare the image of Skorge with the Berserker. Notice the similarities? The same exoskeleton is present on both the Kantus and the Berserkers, specifically the back and arms of the Kantus. The Berserkers also have 4 toes on each foot, something unique to them, while the Drones have 5 and the Kantus have 3 (prominent ones at least, like the Brumak and Wretch).

To note is that the Kantus and the Berserkers have more in common from a physical point of view than the Drones and the Berserkers, the Kantus possessing traits present on both Drone and Berserker that are not shared by both.

Next, the Kantus are not the only Locust creatures that have a second row of teeth.

The Leviathan has a second row just like the Kantus. The Leviathan, however, is clearly an entirely different type of Locust from the Kantus, so what is the connection here? The Leviathan lives near imulsion, much closer in fact than any other Locust species. In Gears of War 2 - Act 3, Chapter 5: Displacement, the Leviathan swam right through the imulsion when it was following Marcus and Dom, whereas the Locust on the gunship made a deliberate effort to avoid it? The Leviathan, I argue, is another of the more Lambent members of the Locust, like the Kantus.

Here’s a quote from the Destroyed Beauty booklet that came with the Limited Edition version of Gears of War;

“DNA analysis indicates these were bred by the Locust Horde from smaller native apes.”
.
^^^ Brumak section of the Destroyed Beauty booklet (Gears of War Special Edition)

Notice the feet on the Brumak and Wretch? Exactly the same as the Kantus feet. All apes have a five-toed structure - and the Brumak’s have definately been bred by the Locust from smaller native apes. If a five-toed ape can be exposed to imulsion and mutated in a way that produces a Brumak, then is it not so surprising that a five-toed human can be exposed to imulsion and mutated in a way that produces a Kantus; similar physical traits emerge. Also, if you look at the unarmored picture of the Brumak, the rock-like toughened skin progresses much further along its back than can be witnessed on most other Locust, something else that conforms to the idea that the more lambency has colonised the cell structure, the more the exoskeleton progresses (also seen on things like the rockworm and in a more profound form on Lambent Drones and Drudges).

Compare the Brumak against the Lambent Brumak. In Gears of War 2 - Act 5, Chapter 5: Closure, the Brumak grew a second and even third jawline in the process of turning Lambent, something that can be seen in the images. But most intriguing is this – the Lambent Brumak has a forked tongue like the Kantus . Compare the “Brumak - no armor” image against the “Lambent Brumak – Face” image. The Brumak clearly has one, single tongue before it went Lambent, and a Kantus-like forked tongue after it went Lambent.



Nexus and the size of the Horde

A popular idea concerning the Kantus, originating from TAO Devil’s Locust Origins thread, is that they were the original Locust, existing underground for millennia, and it was them who constructed Nexus and began worship of worms long before the fleeing refugees from New Hope moved into Mt. Kadar. This idea, while not impossible by any means, is not indicated at nor supported anywhere in the Gears of War series. There is just as much evidence pointing toward the Kantus building Nexus as there is pointing towards the Tickers building Nexus - that is, none. The reason for the popularity of the idea is threefold;

  • The Kantus are too different from the other humanoid Locust to be related.
  • Nexus is too large and looks too old to have been built within one hundred years.
  • The population of the Horde is too large to have been formed in one hundred years.

Let’s look at the size of the Horde. The Locust are descended from Lambent humans who worked in depth with imulsion - Imulsion miners. Considering the Gold Rush and the fever that consumed Sera in its grasp for imulsion, there would have been tens of thousands of imulsion miners in COG territory alone. Imulsion was the cause of the Pendulum Wars, and both sides would have been trying to stockpile as much as they could. The numbers of imulsion miners would have been far higher than the fifty or so Sires seen at New Hope. Dave “Nashtyboy” Nash once made the following comment (see Origins of the Locust for more information).

Without spelling it all out, let’s just say that the sires were the first warning that people could become affected/infected by imulsion. The COG didn’t want that to get out to the general public, so they took all of the people who were showing signs of this out to the kadar outpost from G2 (new hope facility). Things didn’t go well for some of those subjects, and most of you ended up shooting THEM with a shotgun. But the scientists ditched that place long ago and took a large group up of the “test subjects” to kadar, as was shown in that video marcus & dom watched in the rude awakening chapter. Remember, he said they were saving the children. They thought they could save them by taking them deep inside the mountain, never to be found by humans again.
.
^^^ Originally Posted by Nashtyboy

This gives the distinct impression that the “some of those subjects” referred to are in fact the minority of sufferers. That would make the Sires the most extreme cases of Lambent humans, the majority of the infected would be more like Adam Fenix - walking, talking and capable of higher thought. The Locust as we know them may not have come along until later, meaning that when New Hope evacuated and moved to Mt. Kadar, their numbers were already in the thousands or tens of thousands.

In Gears of War 2 there are no Locust children in Nexus but there are no old Locust either. The killing of children is a subject avoided by most video games, but we see a child at the beginning of RAAM’s Shadow get eaten by a Corpser. We also see loads of oldies; Hoffman, Bernie and whatnot, and even older, infirm people like Chaps. But not with the Locust. With the Locust we don’t see any young or old. And sure, if there are Locust children they may be born and raised outside of Nexus, but what about the old?

Lambency will ultimately infect and kill all life in Sera, but in the 100 years since its discovery it is still in a period of evolution and expansion. It is not until recently that imulsion entered the critical stage of its life cycle. Imulsion doesn’t age, imulsion isn’t affected by disease, and imulsion cannot be killed except by a targeted radiation weapon. The Sires were put in stasis, but they also didn’t age or decay while they were there. The point is this - what if Lambent creatures do not age?

Imulsion mutates stuff. After it appeared on the surface 100 years ago it began to mutate humans; years before that it appeared in the Hollow and mutated natural Hollow-dwelling creatures; but what about even earlier than that? In the book Anvil Gate they notice that the Stalks come through the mantle as they break through the surface, meaning the bulk of liquid imulsion is actually very deep inside Sera, far deeper than the Hollow. On its journey to the surface the first place it would emerge would be the same as volcanoes here on Earth - deep sea trenches and geo-thermal heat vents in the oceans. As deep sea dwelling creatures Leviathans could well be the oldest naturally mutated form of Lambent life. Since imulsion as an organism does not seem to age this would mean the lambent are able to live for far longer than humans, at least until imulsion enters the critical stage of its life cycle and everything dies. Some of the Leviathans living in the deep, dark places of Sera are the same Leviathans from hundreds of years ago, and in the same way some of the Locust from New Hope are the same Locust we see now.

Imulsion exists as a single organism, a hive-mind-like entity, and elements of this have transferred to the Locust - such as their almost telekinetic communication ability witnessed in RAAM’s Shadow. The Locust, therefore, age at a slower rate or may not age at all so that even though the Locust are not having children, they are also not dying of natural causes. That means that for the last 100 years the population would not remain level or steadily increase, instead every time they kidnap humans, or create lambent humans to breed and create more Locust, there population would only go up, and up, and up. After 100 years of that, the population would be huge.

This is relevant now that we look at Nexus. Consider now that the patients from New Hope were Lambent humans, not Locust, and their numbers would have been quite large. The fact that these humans are Lambent does not detract from their abilities - namely, that of miners. There are now thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of skilled manual labourers with in depth experience of turning an underground cave into a functioning hive of activity. In charge of these people stands a team of experienced bio-geneticists looking to secure hope for the future, and all of these people would have been born and raised during the Era of Silence - a period of unnecessarily ornate construction.

The sewer was one of the grand old Age of Silence wonders, an amazing construction project for its time, but it was showing its age. The brick lining of the vaulted ceiling had crumbled away in various places. // The pillars and walkways along the length of the sewer were beautifully decorated with stylized flowers and rope-edged borders. It did seem a waste of effort. “Because they could,” Dom said. “Kind of proving how rich and sophisticated they were.”
.
^^^ Dom’s opinion of the Ephyra sewers (The Slab, Chapter 13)

Nexus is exactly the same. A large scale project created by a segment of the elite who were convinced they were setting the foundations for the future of humanity. The size and scale of both the Locust Horde and Nexus can both be accounted for even if both are 100 years old. For arguments sake, let’s assume that the Kantus have existed for millennia and did construct Nexus. If this is the case then we can expect to see signs of their history littered throughout the Locust stronghold.

"Baird here.

I think this thing’s like the Locust equivalent of a calendar or a clock… it
says something about ‘every season having its opposite,’ and I also see some
glyphs for ‘Nexus,’ ‘queen,’ and maybe ‘Imulsion’… can’t quite tell.

I’m guessing it has something to do with the ebb and flow of Imulsion, but I’d
have to do a lot more research to confirm that.

Considering that I’m about, oh, 3 kilometers deep, right square in the guts of
the enemy, you’ll have to forgive me if my vast empirical skills aren’t exactly
at their finest right now."
.
^^^ Locust Calender collectible (Gears of War 2 - Act 4, Chapter 4: No Turning Back)

It can be seen here that the Locust adhere to a 12 season calendar:

  • Queen
  • Imulsion
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Drone
  • Human
  • Leviathan
  • Kryll
  • Danger
  • Secure
  • Nemacyst
  • Seeder

There are a few things worth mentioning here. First of all, the fact that humans are on this calender at all is surprising. This means that the Locust are aware of humanity, either because this calender has only been in use since the last 20 years (after meeting Adam Fenix) or because the Locust were aware of humanity before then. If they were aware of humanity before then, how? Why are they considered the opposite of Drones? The Queen is the opposite of imulsion; the Queen representing everything great to the Locust, the imulsion (and lambency) respresenting everything bad. The Queens presence gives an indication as to the age of the calander, since Myrrah was the only person to adopt a monarchistic title;

Queen Myrrah. It was an odd choice of title. It smacked of termite colonies and ants, an analogy he knew she’d find offensive, but he suspected she’d chosen it in an attempt to make herself feel more embedded in Sera’s history, more Seran than the humans who’d long since discarded their monarchies. You know that’s not true, Myrrah. You know all about your origins. But this is no time to argue that with you.
.
^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 4)

The calandar is only as old Myrrah’s claim to the title “Queen”. Since this was before meeting Elain or Adam Fenix, and because she places herself as the opposite of imulsion or lambency on the calander, this means she must already be aware of humanity and lambency by other means. As a descendant of the New Hope scientists, Myrrah knows about humanity and the Pendulum Wars from the stories passed down to her by her parents, grandparents etc from New Hope, and that’s why she’s drilled the “superior race” mantra into the Locust and believes humanity is only capable of destruction.

The important thing here is this - where are the Kantus?

If the calender is one of the cornerstones of Locust society and the Kantus are the original Locust that lived in Nexus for generations before the Drones came along, why are the Queen and the Drones on the calender and the Kantus are not? As argued in Origins of the Locust, the Locust do not breed - I still argue this, not just in the case of the Drones but the Kantus too. If the Kantus are an ancient race then, because of their genetic imulsion-based nature, they would also struggle to breed. The lack of humanoid Locust children applies to the Kantus just as much as the other humanoid Locust, if not more-so.



Conclusions

To go full circle - all the different types of humanoid Locust are different evolutionary routes taken as imulsion diversified; Drones, Boomers, Berserkers and Kantus. The Kantus, like the other humanoid Locust, trace their origins back to New Hope. Their unique characters, while separating them from the Drones, are present on other artifically created Locust. Their biology conforms to the idea that the more Lambent on a genetic level any type of Locust is, the more differences of a physical nature can be observed. This also helps explain the unique physical characteristics of the Berserker, something that has never truly been questioned nor explored. Kantus, Berserker, Wretch, Leviathan, Brumak and even the Tempest with its imulsion-like beam - these particular types of Locust seem to have greater imulsion colonization within their cells when compared to the standard Drone.

A parting question - the Armored Kantus possess a Lambent-like glow in their throats when they chant, and their voices are quite deeper and harsher than the regular Kantus, almost Drudge-like. Ever noticed how the Armored Kantus is covered literally head-to-toe in armor? The actual Kantus under there cannot be seen. If the Armored Kantus are, as I think they might be, Lambent Kantus, do you think their ability to stimulate imulsion-based cells allows them a greater degree of self control than the other Locust? Enough to keep their free will and loyalty to the Queen instead of going full glowie? Before thinking “If the Armored Kantus are Lambent Kantus surely they would have much more Lambent qualities than just a glowing mouth, like the Lambent Drones, Lambent Berserker and so on”, observe the Wretch -

Wretch
Lambent Wretch

Food for thought…




Adam Fenix’s Disk

Original Thread: https://web.archive.org/web/20131020032210/http://forums.epicgames.com:80/threads/923557-Adam-Fenix-s-Disk?p=30673017#post30673017





One of the plot points left unresolved at the end of Gears of War 3 involved the contents of the disk Adam Fenix gave to Baird. Introduced at the 11th hour, this disk was mentioned briefly in a single conversaton, handed over, and then never addressed again. Subsequent interviews with Karen Traviss, the lead writer of the game, revealed that it was deliberately left unanswered. The reasons for this I do not know but I do believe that, similar to figuring out the Origins of the Locust, the contents of the disk can be unravelled if you know where to look.

First, a little bit of clarification. There are two disks in Gears of War 3; the first was stolen from Prescott by Hoffman during the events of the book Anvil Gate, and Baird attempted to hack into this disk throughout Coalition’s End. By Gears of War 3, he had gave up, but a dying Prescott hands over the encription key for the disk allowing Hoffman and company to decript it at Anvil Gate and discover the blueprints for Azura. The second disk is in the possession of Adam Fenix on Azura, and handed over to Baird just before the final encounter with Myrrah.

  • A. Fenix - “If the imulsion hadn’t reached a critical stage, I might of found a way to save the Locust as well and they could have gone back underground.”
  • M. Fenix - “Tell me you don’t feel sorry for them.”
  • A. Fenix - “Responsible, not sorry. It’s my fault they’re here, Marcus. I failed to stop the imulsion spreading all those years ago, it drove the Locust out of their warrens. I tried to pursuade Myrrah to keep her people underground, but they couldn’t, so then-”
  • D. Baird - “Wait, wait, wait, did I hear right? The government knew E-Day was coming, and none of you bothered to warn us?”
  • A. Fenix - “No, just me. Even Prescott didn’t know, not until much later. I had so many ideas, just too little time.”
  • M. Fenix - “Dad, stop this. Come on.”
  • D. Baird - “Whoa, what else don’t we know?”
  • A. Fenix - “You’re a scientific man. Look at this later and try to understand what I wanted to do, and what I had to do.”
    .
    ^^^ A conversation between Adam Fenix, Marcus Fenix and Damon Baird (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

In this conversation we can begin to narrow down what the contents of the disk may be. Of importance is the last line - what did Adam Fenix want to do, and what did he have to do? As seen earlier in the same conversation, we already have our answer - he wanted to save the Locust, but instead he had to kill them along with the Lambent in order to save the rest of Sera. The question becomes rather simple - what information could be contained on the disk that is relevant to Adam’s desire to save the Locust?

“At the time of its discovery, there was no reason to believe that imulsion was a living organism. It exhibited no observable characteristics typical of life; no response to stimuli, no apparent method of reproduction, and no metabolic process. It has since become clear that this is not the case.

Though our examinations were sound, the assumptions upon which they were based-our narrow definitions of life-were not. It is very definitely alive, mutagenic, and highly invasive.

Viewed in this light, imulsion exhibits characteristics that resemble the structure and life cycle of many fungi. The bulk of the organism - in liquid form - is underground like a mycelium. The evidence of its existence that we have begun to observe on the surface in the form of stalks is the equivalent of fruiting bodies. Its periodic vapour-like emissions are perhaps best likened to spores. Its behaviour is parasitic yet simultaneously viral; It not only colonizes its host, it also reproduces in the host at the cellular level. Its life cycle appears to be a long period of dormancy followed by accelerated activity before maturation, but I cannot establish whether it has existed on Sera since the first origins of life or if it somehow developed or was introduced during human history.

A successful parasite does not kill its host, imulsion does. It may be inept, but I suspect the death of its host organisms - which appears to be every living thing on Sera, plant or animal - is part of its reproductive strategy, not an unfortunate side effect. Its high-energy content may be part of that.”
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^^^ Fenix Research collectible (Gears of War 3 – Act 5, Chapter 5: Ascension)

The Fenix Research collectible in the same room contains Adam’s analysis on imulsion and the Lambent parasite. Since this information is presented here, it is unlikely that the same information will be contained on the disk. In the same vein, does the content of the Fenix Research collectible bear relevance to Adam’s attempt to save the Locust? No, it appears not. Something that would be relevant is information regarding the Imulsion Countermeasure itself. The design and specs of the device would be very important, and reading and understanding them could lead to a way to alter the device to save the Locust. Perhaps the disk contains this information?

“You know the island better than I do, Nevil. Is there anywhere inland where we can hide our research?”
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“Take your pick, there’s a limestone cave network that runs for kilometers.”
.
// “Nevil, take my research and hide it in one of those caverns.”
.
“You wouldn’t be trying to send me somewhere safe, of course.”
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“If I’ve guessed wrong about Myrrah, you’ll need to start rebuilding the device somehow.”
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^^^ Adam Fenix and Nevil Estrom (Dirty Little Secrets, Part Six: No Hiding Place)

As seen in the final comic, the research regarding the Imulsion Countermeasure is in the hands of Nevil Estrom, Adam’s long time co-worker, who fled with it and hid in the cave system of Azura when Myrrah and the Locust occupied the island. Whether he survived or not does not really matter, the important thing is that since the Imulsion Countermeasure research is elsewhere, and so that also cannot be on the disk. So what does that leave?


TOP SECRET
TERATOGENICITY STUDY
(SAMSON)

“// This research into the teratogenic effects of imulsion was sealed years ago, but I think [Adam Fenix] should have access to it // We need to know what happened to the rest of Niles Samson’s New Hope research. The children with abnormalities.”
“If I had it, I would hand it over. We searched for those children for years.”
“We could go back and recover the Sires.”
“No. The facility has to stay locked down.”
“Sir, we know imulsion can cause changes in human physiology, and I think Adam’s established the link between imulsion and the pathogen.”
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^^^ Esther Bakos and Richard Prescott (The Slab – Chapter 6)

DRIVE A
FOLDERS:
FENIX_E_COPY
PROJECT_NEW_HOPE
PROJECT_BNO
PROJECT_HOYLE
PROJECT_WHITTLE
AJF_PERSONAL
AJF_FOR_MMF
SELECT FOLDER: AJF_PERSONAL
SELECT FILE: JOURNAL
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^^^ The contents of Adam Fenix’s computer (The Slab, Epilogue)

“Queen Myrrah. It was an odd choice of title. It smacked of termite colonies and ants, an analogy he knew she’d find offensive, but he suspected she’d chosen it in an attempt to make herself feel more embedded in Sera’s history, more Seran than the humans who’d long since discarded their monarchies.* You know that’s not true, Myrrah. You know all about your origins. But this is no time to argue that with you.
.
^^^ Adam Fenix’s thoughts (The Slab – Chapter 4)

Adam Fenix is already aware that the Locust came from Lambent humans, only possible because Myrrah herself told him. And while Adam studied Locust corpses shortly after E-Day, he did not have access to the detailed information regarding the Sires and the early days of the Locust. The New Hope information was declassified to Adam Fenix shortly after his transfer to Azura, 5 years before Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad travel to the facility in Gears of War 2. As seen in the Epilogue of “The Slab”, this information resides on Adam’s personal computer along with a copy of Elain Fenix’s research and other COG projects that have not been delved into within the franchise.

This is the information that is likely contained on the disk. With the New Hope data Adam now has access to studies exploring the state and contamination effects of imulsion from 100 years ago. With this he is able to compare the differences between imulsion as it existed 100 years ago, and the evolved imulsion as it exists today. Adam wanted to save the Locust while at the same time destroying the Lambent, and the only way to do so would have been to find a way of altering the Imulsion Countermeasure so that the radiation affected the evolved imulsion cells, while at the same time ignoring the Locust imulsion cells. Unfortunately, he never found a way to do this and in the end, when the Countermeasure was activated, all Lambent lifeforms died - including the Locust.

And so, when Baird finally looks at the content of the disk he’ll find the Teratogenicity Study conducted by Niles Samson, as well as Adam’s own research on the Locust. With that in hand it will be pretty easy to understand what Adam wanted to do, and what he had to do.

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Thank you for posting this, just finished reading it while waiting for my sister at the dentist!

Once im done with the books ill come back to this, amazing.