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"We must, now, take this fight to the Locust!"
—Chairman Richard Prescott during his speech to the Gears before Operation: Hollow Storm.

The Assault on the Inner Hollow was a major battle of Operation: Hollow Storm. It was meant to be a turning point during the Locust War with the Coalition hoping that taking their forces underground to the home of the Locust would finally end the war. Thousands of Gears are escorted from Jacinto City to Landown through the Stromson Forest by the Assault Derricks, King Ravens, Centaurs and APCs in order to launch underground in Landown. Upon several hours of fighting, the Coalition realized that their information was incorrect. While they managed to strike a significant Locust citadel, it was not the home and source of the Locust and their leader, Queen Myrrah. During the battle, the Coalition discovered that a gargantuan worm known as the Riftworm was responsible for sinking the cities of Tollen and Montevado as it sunk the city of Ilima during the assault. Hundreds of Gears were killed and captured by the Locust, signifying a loss in the Locust War, though the battle led to the destruction of the Riftworm.

Prelude[]

Order of Battle[]

Launching in the Inner Hollow[]

Thousands of Gears began to launch into the Inner Hollow via Grindlifts. However, many Grindlifts went off course due to the granite bedrock and boulders in Sera's crust - causing many Gears to be separated from their own squads. Sigma-One was somewhat successful in deploying as Pvt. Augustus Cole was able to deploy with most of his squad - but was separated from Cpl. Damon Baird and Pvt. Tanner. Sigma-One then focused on rendezvousing with Cpl. Baird and Pvt. Tanner. Alpha-One managed to deploy successfully, but lost contact with the surface partly due to Nemacyst infestation by a Seeder, in which Alpha-One began to hunt in order to reestablish communications with Control and other squads. Alpha-One was then successful in eliminating the Seeder and reestablishing surface communications. Alpha-Seven, led by Cpl. Jayson Stratton, then deployed successfully in the Inner Hollow and began the assault.

Delta-One was somewhat successful as Sgt. Marcus Fenix and Cpl. Dominic Santiago deployed into the Inner Hollow, but were separated from Pvt. Benjamin Carmine, whose lift went off course. Pvt. Carmine was also without his jump-mate, Cpl. Tai Kaliso, who got off board before deployment in order to assist Pvt. Dizzy Wallin against Ketor Skorge. Pvt. Wallin managed to deploy, and then shortly after use the Grindlift to return to the surface in order to take Rig 314 back to Jacinto. Cpl. Kaliso was then captured as a prisoner of war and taken into the Inner Hollow to be processed. Pvt. Carmine contacted Sgt. Fenix and informed him that he went off course and was without Cpl. Kaliso, but spotted Echo-Five's Grindlift zone up ahead. Sgt. Fenix ordered Pvt. Carmine to not engage the enemy but to defend his position.

As Sgt. Fenix and Cpl. Santiago began to make their way to Pvt. Carmine and Echo-Five, large Locust forces began to attack. Upon arriving to the drop-zone, all members of Echo-Five were killed except for Pvt. Carmine. Sgt. Fenix and Cpl. Santiago were able to eliminate the threat from behind enemy lines and rescue Pvt. Carmine. Requesting for directions deeper into the Inner Hollow, Sgt. Fenix was informed by Lt. Stroud that access into the Inner Hollow was beyond the cavern wall 30 meters thick. Sgt. Fenix then had JACK repair the parallel Grindlift in order to dig through the cavern wall. During the repair, another wave of Locust forces emerged in the cavern. While JACK repaired the Grindlift, Delta-One was able to repel the attack of Drones and Tickers. After the battle, JACK successfully repaired the Grindlift as Delta-One used it to dig through the 30 meters of the cavern wall in order to reach the Inner Hollow network.

Omega-One deployed on the other side of the cavern wall and was immediately attacked by Locust forces, wounding and killing many of the Gears. Upon accessing the other side of the cavern wall, Delta-One found Omega-One requesting for reinforcements as they were attacked and about to be overrun by Locust Drones and Reavers. While Delta-One assisted Omega-One, Cpl. Stratton of Alpha-Seven spotted Locust forces and requested assistance. Gamma-Three then deployed into the Inner Hollow. Despite drilling into an underground lake, they safely deployed after drilling through the lake. Omega and Delta continued to fight in the cavern as Tickers and Boomers arrived on the battlefield. With Delta's assistance, Omega-One was able to repel the Locust attack and began to secure the area in order to move their wounded. Meanwhile, Echo-Nine deployed in the Inner Hollow, led by Sgt. Jonathan Harper. Echo-Nine quickly engaged the enemy, but were soon overrun and captured. Sgt. Harper was then taken aboard a Torture Barge and transported to a Locust prison camp near the Nexus Highway, where he and hundreds of other captured Gears and Stranded were imprisoned and tortured.

Fighting the Staging Grounds[]

As the assault on the Inner Hollow began, the Locust became desperate to hurry their plans to sink cities on the Jacinto Plateau. Ketor Skorge, aboard his Hydra mount, began to use the Kantus Scrolls to communicate with the Riftworm and begin burrowing underneath Ilima City, causing massive seismic activity. Control, including Lt. Stroud, contacted Delta-One and informed them of the massive seismic activity beneath Ilima City. Fearing Ilima might befall the same fate as Tollen and Montevado, Control had Delta and nearby squads attempt to find the source of seismic activity. Delta-One then continued into the Inner Hollow. Delta-One and numerous other squads then discovered a large, worm-like creature - burrowing through the cavern walls - known as a Rockworm, an indigenous cave creature nearly indestructible due to its rock-like skin. The Rockworms were only dangerous when provoked in their path, but otherwise were not threatened, but instead focused on hunting for glowbes, which were glowing red fruit hanging from the cavern ceiling.

Locust Forward Base attacking Delta-One.

Delta-One then continued towards beneath Ilima City. Splitting up between Sgt. Fenix and Cpl. Santiago with Pvt. Carmine - the three engaged in a Locust checkpoint armed with a Troika Heavy Machine Gun. A Rockworm burrowed through the cavern wall and allowed Sgt. Fenix and Delta-One cover as they fought the Locust staging area. After eliminating the Locust checkpoint, Cpl. Santiago was concerned that they weren't fighting a Locust army base or city. Sgt. Fenix then reasoned that it must be deeper in the Inner Hollow. Delta-One continued through a cavern just as the Riftworm burrowed right by them, causing massive seismic activity. An Emergence Hole opened in the cavern, but another Rockworm offered Delta-One cover as they repelled the Locust attack. After the Emergence Hole, Delta-One came to a narrow ridge adjacent to another staging area manned by Snipers and defended by Reavers. Delta used another Rockworm for cover as the fought the Snipers and Reavers while navigating down the ridge. Sgt. Fenix was then able to detonate an Imulsion tanker, which destroyed the checkpoint and eliminated the Snipers.

Delta-One then arrived at another staging area and took out the Drones, Reavers, Tickers, Wretches, and Boomers stationed there. After eliminating the main staging area, Delta-One received contact that Alpha-Two deployed across the river from them. Immediately after deploying, however, Locust began to attack on their side of the river and heavy mortar and turret fire from the staging area near Delta-One. Delta managed to eliminate the last of the staging area and used the mortars and Troika to defend Alpha-Two from the Locust across the river. Dozens of Locust Drones and Reavers attacked Alpha-Two, but they managed to advance when successfully assisted by Delta-One. The cavern was then cleared by Alpha-Two and Delta-One, but it then became unstable as the squads witnessed the Riftworm burrow through the cavern. While Alpha-Two went to regroup with Alpha-One, Delta-One went in search of the Riftworm.

Assault on the Locust Citadel[]

Sgt. Marcus Fenix and Cpl. Dominic Santiago fighting a Kantus from behind Rockworms.

Shortly after witnessing the Riftworm burrow in the caverns, Delta-One began the search to locate and destroy it. Delta-One then discovered an underground citadel guarded by a Kantus. Using its vocals, the Kantus summoned a squad of Drones, a pack of Tickers, and a Rockworm. Delta-One engaged the enemy, but the Kantus would be able to revive downed Locust Drones from afar by using its voice. Delta eliminated the Kantus and was able to put down the other Drones, but was met by another Kantus accompanied by a pack of Wretches. Delta-One was able to eliminate the guards outside the citadel and entered the temple. Inside, Delta-One split up between the upper floor and ground level in order to get the drop on any Locust inside, with Sgt. Fenix on one path and Cpl. Santiago and Pvt. Carmine in another.

Upon navigating the citadel, a stationed troika on the ground floor opened fire, with no available cover. From the upper floor, Delta-One was able to shoot the glowbes from the cavern ceiling in order to attract a Rockworm for Delta to use as cover against the troika. While on the upper floor, Delta pulled a switch that allowed both upper and ground floor doors to open. In doing so, a pack of Wretches attacked, but all were eliminated. Delta-One then regrouped in the rear atrium of the citadel where Kantuses and Drones attacked, reinforced by Boomers and Tickers. Taking out the Troikas and Kantuses, Delta-One was able to eliminate the Drones, Boomers, and Tickers. Upon exiting the rear of the citadel, Delta-One witnessed Ketor Skorge, aboard his Hydra mount, chanting from the Kantus Scrolls. Moments later the Riftworm burrowed right in front of Delta and sunk Ilima City. The Coalition then realized the Locust were using a gargantuan worm to sink the cities.

Aftermath[]

Locust War
0 A.E. Emergence Day (Emergence in Jannermont · Emergence in Mattino Junction · Emergence in Ilima · Emergence in Porta Ogari · Emergence in Ephyra · Fall of Gorasnaya · Evacuation of Mercy) · Battle of Nordesca · Battle of Kinnerlake · Destruction of Halvo Bay (Destruction of Old Town · Battle of the Museum of Military Glory · Siege of Halvo Bay Military Academy · Evacuation of Seahorse Hills · Battle of Elliott's Mansion · Raid on Onyx Point · Bombing of Downtown Halvo Bay · Ambush on the Halvo Bay Courthouse · Battle of the Plaza)
1 A.E. Battle of Kaia (Battle of Jasper · Battle of Autrin) · Battle of Bonbourg · Second Battle of Jannermont · Fall of Ostri · Battle of Andius · Ambush on Voslov Bridge · Hammer of Dawn Strikes · Assassination of Ukkon (Mission to CIC Aldair · Rescue of Echo-Five · Assault on Industrial District · Mission to Claybourne · Rescue of Alpha-Two · Mission to Nedroma Health Institute · Battle of Imtik Imulsion Rig · Mission to Winlock Outpost · Mission to the Badlands · Mission to Zenic Province · Battle of Ukkon's Laboratory) · Battle of Oblivion · Skirmish in the Live Zone
5 A.E. Fall of Landown
9 A.E. Battle of Noroa · Riverside Skirmish · Evacuation of Ilima (Ambush on Checkpoint Zeta · Assault on Ilima Savings and Trust · Mission to Ilima High School · Battle of Downtown Ilima · Battle of Dr. Wisen's Orphanage)
10 A.E. Battle of Estana · Skirmish at Shenko Falls · Fall of Ephyra
11 A.E. Skirmish Outside the Wire
12 A.E. Raid on Ginnet Drive · Incursions at Endeavor
13 A.E. Battle on the Andius Highway · West Barricade Campaign · Raid on the CIC
14 A.E. Operation: Midnight · Jilane Massacre · Siege of the Slab · Lightmass Offensive (Battle of Embry Square · Mission to House of Sovereigns · Ambush at Tomb of the Unknowns · Mission to Old Ephyra · Assault on Franklin's Outpost · Mission to Lethia Imulsion Facility · Mission to East Barricade Academy · Battle of Haldane Hall · Mission to Timgad · Battle on the Tyro Pillar) · Ambush at Sovereigns Boulevard · Evacuation of North Gate · Mission to Tollen · Battle of the Tollen Dam · Evacuation of Speyer · Evacuation of Fort Reval · Battle Outside of Jacinto · Mission to the Pirnah Badlands · Battle for Fucked · Mission to Montevado · Battle Near Jacinto · Unidentified M.O.U.T. Battle · Liberation of Jilane · Siege of Jacinto City · Operation: Hollow Storm (Battle of Stromson Forest · Assault on Landown · Assault on the Inner Hollow · Battle of Ilima · Destruction of the Riftworm · Mission to New Hope Research Facility · Assault on Mount Kadar · Siege of Nexus · Battle of the Royal Palace · Sinking of Jacinto City) · First Mission to Merrenat Naval Base · Skirmish South of Port Farrall · Second Mission to Merrenat Naval Base · Battle of Port Farrall · Ambush Outside of Port Farrall
15 A.E. Skirmish in the Kashkur Foothills
17 A.E. Skirmish at Endeavor · Siege of Azura · Victory Day (Attack on the Sovereign · Battle of Centennial Bridge · Ambush on Hanover Coast · Battle of the Deadlands · Battle of the Anvegad Plains · Battle of Anvil Gate · Mission to Halvo Bay · Skirmish in Concord · Mission to Mercy · Mission to Char · Battle of Endeavor · Incursions in the Serano Ocean · Battle of Azura)
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