- "Get your ass in, Dom. You got babies to worry about."
- —Bai Tak's last words
Sergeant Bai Tak was a Pesanga volunteer and Gear commando in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army who fought in the Pendulum Wars, and took part in the Siege of Anvil Gate, the Raid on Gralia, and Operation Leveler. He was the brother of Seng Tak, married to Harua Tak, and a close friend of Victor Hoffman. He died saving the life of Dominic Santiago during the Battle of Aspho Fields.
Bai was a hill farmer in rural Pesang. His father had served in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army, and raised his kids to believe it was honorable and good work. Tak had attempted to join the army before, but was denied because he was too short. His brother, Seng Tak, did join the army, and became wealthy enough to buy a house and start his own business. Tak married a woman named Harua, and joined her in working on her family’s farm in the hills of Pesang.
Joining the COG
A Failing Farm
- "Sergeant, I tried to join before. They said I was too short."
"That was then, son. You're just the right height now."
- —Bai Tak and a recruiting sergeant, whom Tak impressed enough to join the army
In 17 B.E., Bai and Harua's farm was undergoing significant difficulties. The past winter had been harsh, and the summer was no better. As he took the cattle out for their daily grazing, he considered having to butcher some of them and dry their meat for the next winter, and sell the hides and bones in town. Harua collected firewood for the next winter, but was having difficulty cutting it with her little blade. Bai headed down the hill to use his machete to help her, and they discussed their options on what to do. Bai decided to head into Narakir for a couple of days to try and find some work to pay for help on the farm. Once he arrived, he found many other farmers doing the same as him, and was unable to find any work. He stopped at an inn for a cup of tea, and overheard a radio broadcast taking about the war, and several men talking about how the COG was taking a pounding from the Union of Independent Republics. Bai suddenly decided he would attempt to join the army again, and asked the other people at the inn where the nearest recruiting station was. They told him it was in Paro, and a dozen other men decided to come with him and join up as well. After arriving in Paro, Bai and the others were greeted by a recruiting sergeant, and Bai stepped forward to tell him that he had tried to join before, but was denied because of his height. The sergeant was impressed with him, and told him he was just the right height now.
- "Sir, I come from the borders. We had a lot of trouble with Shaoshi raiding our herds. I'm good at ambushes."
- —Bai, volunteering for a mission in dangerous territory
Bai signed on for five years with the army, which deeply upset Harua, who wasn't even calmed down by the large bonus he had received for signing up. However, Bai was not worried, since Harua now had enough money to keep the farm running while he was away, and replace the animals that had died. He was shipped out to the divisional headquarters of the Pesanga Brigade of Rifles in Gulan Province, and began training, quickly learning to understand Tyran, but not speak it. He became friends with Cho Ligan and Lau En, and was overwhelmed with the amount of food that they were given to eat. As they ate lunch in the mess hall one day, Lau wondered when they would be sent to fight, and Bai thought they might send them to Shavad, which was the site of heavy fighting. After they finished eating, they went to the rifle range to practice with the Lancer, which Bai was having trouble adjusting to. The training was stopped by a Major who asked for six volunteers for a mission in dangerous territory, and Bai volunteered along with Cho, Lau En, Naru Fel, Jati Shah, and Gi Shim. Bai told the Major he was good at ambushes due to his fighting against Shaoshi raiders along the border. The Major was pleased that Bai clearly knew what they were expecting of them, and informed them they were heading to Anvegad, in Kashkur, which was under siege. Bai was nervous about heading there, as he had heard about the heavy fighting going on in the region. As they got their supplies for the mission, Cho told him that he was nuts for volunteering without having qualified with the Lancer, but Bai told him that the Major didn't seem to care.
Siege of Anvil Gate
Arrival at Anvil Gate
- "Sah, no more armor. How we move around all quiet? How we climb in those? We fall and get damn dead, sir."
- —Bai, explained to Hoffman why the Pesanga troops wore little armor
Bai and the others then boarded a helicopter, and were flown over the mountains towards Kashkur. Cho told him they were supposed to report to a Lt. Victor Hoffman at the fort, and that no one there spoke Pesan. As they approached the fort, the pilot pointed out where the Indie positions were to the south, and told them he was going to land north of the fort, and to give the call sign to the guards so they wouldn't get shot. Bai was worried about the whole situation, but kept his doubts to himself. After they were dropped off, they began making their way to the fort, but heard someone else out amongst the rocks. They hid, and listened as whoever it was got closer, readying their machetes. Bai was able to identify the person as a Gear from the sound the boots made, and an explosion lit up the night, and Bai was scared to see the Gear standing in front of him, tattoos and red hair covering his face. The Gears jumped, scared by the sudden appearance of the Pesangas, and was impressed by their ability to stay hidden. Bai introduced himself to the Gear, and the man told him he was Pvt. Padrick Salton, and that he was glad to have them there. As he lead Bai and the others to the fort, Pad admired their machetes, and asked Bai if it was true they couldn't put them away until they had killed someone. Bai was unable to put the words together in Tyran to answer him, so he grinned back at him, which gave Pad the impression that they really loved their work. Pad escorted Bai and the others to Hoffman, and Bai introduced himself and the others. Hoffman was concerned with how young they were, and how little armor they were wearing, and told them to get heavier armor from the armory. Bai explained to him that they needed the light armor to move around silently, and Hoffman realized that Bai and the others knew what they were doing. They then settled into their quarters, and went to the briefing room, where Sgt. Samuel Byrne showed them a map of the area, and pointed out certain key landmarks. Bai and the others made notes on their maps about them, and when Hoffman arrived, Bai reassured him that they would find any Indie soldiers hiding in the hills around the town.
Patrolling the Hills
- "They can't be special forces. Unless they're just not very good at it."
- —Bai's thoughts on the Indies in the hills around Anvegad
Three days later, Bai escorted the head engineer, Carlile, on an inspection of the river that supplied the fort, which had been dammed by the Indies. Bai had quickly learned to speak more Tyran, impressing Carlile. When they got to the river, they found it was not entirely blocked, but the water was not getting to where the fort could collect it. Bai thought that the Indies might come back and try to block the river completely, and decided to try and find the source of the blockage so he and the other Pesangas could ambush the Indies. After locating the source of the blockage, they headed back to the fort. At night, he went out with the other Pesangas, splitting off with Cho. After two hours, they found an Indie soldier, who was beginning to assemble a mortar. They both drew their machetes, and approached the Indie from two directions. As they got closer, the Indie spotted Cho, but Bai rushed from behind him and swung the machete into his skull. After managing to withdraw his blade from the Indie's head, Bai helped Cho gather the supplies the Indie had, including the mortar and a sniper rifle. After leaving the body, Bai found a rock formation to hide in while he cleaned his blade, and reflected on his first kill. He thought he might be in shock, but felt good that he had stopped an attack on the fort. After several more hours, they returned to the fort, where they showed off the supplies they had captured and Bai was congratulated on his kill. In the weeks that followed, Bai and the others continued to go out at night, often getting kills, and bringing back supplies to the fort. Bai emerged as the leader of the Pesangas, and had earned Hoffman's respect.
Guarding Geril Atar
- "Tough, sah. You did right. Right don't always feel good, though."
- —Bai, to Hoffman after the execution of Geril Atar
Three months into the siege, a civilian named Geril Atar was found stealing supplies from the fort. Bai guarded the room Atar was being kept in, and opened the door to the cell for Hoffman and Alderman Buyal Casani when they came to see the prisoner. Hoffman ordered Casani to execute Atar, as was his duty as the civilian leader of Anvegad, but Casani refused. Hoffman decided to do it himself instead, and ordered Bai to stand clear. As Bai moved, he locked eyes with Hoffman, and nodded to him that he was doing the right thing. After the execution, Bai left the room with Hoffman, and followed him out into the street. He told him that he had done the right thing, but that right did not always feel good. Hoffman thanked him for his support, and then told him that they were going to use the excess amount of fuel they had to try and end the siege, and ordered him to gather the rest of the Gears. Bai was worried about what Hoffman was planning, and asked what he was going to do. Hoffman told him that they were going to surrender, and let the Indies into the fort, but with a surprise waiting for them.
Breaking the Siege
- "Anvil Gate to RR One-Seven, this is Rifleman Tak. Lieutenant Hoffman, he injured but he says, where the fuck you been, lady?"
- —Bai, to a King Raven pilot as reinforcements arrive after the battle
At two in the morning, Bai met Lau and Fel at the gate as they came back from scouting the Indie lines. Bai told them to hurry, and that Hoffman was waiting, but Lau expressed his reservations at what Hoffman was planning, questioning if he knew what he was doing. Bai told him that he did, and that Lau just needed to report what he had seen. They joined the others in the meeting room, where Bai listened as Lau reported that there were two hundred Indies outside the fort. Hoffman then explained his plan: fake surrender in order to allow the civilians to leave, let the Indies in, use the fuel and explosives to kill as many as possible, and use ambush points to kill the rest. Bai watched as Hoffman contacted the Indie commander and put the plan into motion, feeling sorry for him having to do something against his morale code in order to carry out his orders to defend the fort. Bai and the other Gears gathered the civilians into a convoy, save for a hundred men who wanted to stay and fight. During the battle, Bai led Cho and Shim into an alley in pursuit of Indie soldiers, and found a shop with five Indies in it. Bai and the others entered, and using their machetes, killed all of the Indies. As they exited, they found Hoffman, who had come to assist them, and they told him there hadn't been enough room to draw their Lancers. They joined the rest of the survivors at the fallback point, and Bai picked up a message coming in on a COG frequency. Hoffman was to numbed with grief to answer, so Bai did, and they learned a large number of COG reinforcements were arriving all over the country, and would be at Anvil Gate in an hour. Bai and the others were overjoyed, but Hoffman was horrified that his plan had been for no reason, and that many Gears, Indies, and civilians had died needlessly. Bai took one of the watercolor paintings that the fort's previous commander had made off of the wall, and gave it to Hoffman, in order to take it back to his wife as a gift in celebration of the victory they had won, not realizing Hoffman's state of mind.
Stationed at Camp De La Croix
- "And they know we're here, so we got no surprises for them."
- —Bai, on the advancing UIR army
Two months later, Bai and the other Pesanga's were transferred to Camp De La Croix on the Sarfuth-Maranday border, along with the 26th Royal Tyran infantry. Bai worked with Hoffman on commando missions, and one morning he arrived at Hoffman's tent and presented him with a machete as a token of friendship. He startled Hoffman, who asked him to try to make more noise when coming to see him. Bai said he would try, and gave him the machete. Hoffman was worried he wouldn't be able to handle the weapon, but Bai assured him that it was easy. Hoffman told him that the UIR forces were heading down south to attack them, and Bai was worried that the Indies knew exactly where they were, preventing any ambushes. Hoffman told him that Major Baxter may have something planned, and had Bai follow him to the Major's tent and wait for him outside during the meeting. Afterwards, Bai gathered with Pad, Cho, Baz, and Pvt. Sommers, and Hoffman informed them that they were going to attack Gralia, a radar outpost in the Republic of Lauczi, but they would have to cross through neutral Maranday to do so.
Raid on Gralia
- "Now we do things the Pesanga way. Everybody...quiet."
- —Bai, as he leads the commando squad in approaching Gralia
In order to cross the border of Maranday, Bai, Cho, Pad, and Baz hid in the back of a transport while Hoffman and Sommers drove it past the border checkpoints. They made it through, and hid the truck five kilometers away from Gralia. Bai led the way to the base, keeping the others quiet as they moved. Once they arrived, Pad set himself up in a tree to provide covering fire, and Bai and Cho entered the base by cutting a hole in the fence. Bai cut the throat of a guard near the radar pylons, and the rest of the team entered through the hole in the fence. As they placed the explosives, Bai and Cho kept watch, and spotted a group of guards approaching the team. They alerted the others, and fled the compound, detonating the explosives as they ran, taking out the facility and their pursuit. They got back into the truck and drove to the border, but were forced to shoot three Maranday border guards to get past. They reached the town of Senio in Sarfuth safely, and Hoffman contacted control to let them know they had made it back.
Preparing for the Operation
- "They happy to make satellites to kill civvies, yes? They not worry about their souls. Least you got the guts to do it yourself, sah."
- —Bai, convincing Hoffman that he could kill the scientists working on the Hammer of Dawn if he needed to
Fifteen years later, Bai had been promoted to Sergeant and was selected to take part in Operation Leveler by Hoffman, who had been promoted to Major. While on board the CNV Pomeroy, Bai joined the rest of the Pesang volunteers and COG commandos in practice runs for the insertion to Aspho Point by dropping into the sea in Marlins carried by a Sea Raven. The day before Operation Leveler, Hoffman briefed Bai and the rest of the strike team, telling them that the Operation was a go, and to get some rest before the battle. Four hours before the Operation began, Tak brought coffee to Hoffman, and found him looking at the pictures of the scientists they were supposed to capture or kill. Bai could tell that killing them bothered Hoffman, and offered to do it for him when Hoffman remarked he was uncomfortable with assassination. Bai told him that it was stupid that he was getting worried over this, since the scientists were building a large weapon to kill their Gears and civilians, and didn't seem to worry about their souls. Hoffman thanked Bai for his advice, and decided to do it himself, which Bai admired. Bai then left to rejoin the rest of the squad.
Infiltrating Aspho Point
- "Roof man, he down now, one down."
- —Bai, after taking out an Indie commando on top of Aspho Point
Bai rode in the Marlin piloted by Pvt. Malcolm Benjafield, and was a part of Red Troop during the Operation. He accompanied Hoffman as they swept through the living quarters of the facility and rounded up all the personal and herded them into a hallway. They captured their three targets, and tied up the rest. As they headed to assist Blue Troop in laying explosives, Bai asked Hoffman what they were supposed to do with the other civilians, and was ordered to turn them loose when they began the extraction. When a UIR commando squad approached the building, Bai and Shelt Morgan were ordered to go to the rear of the building and ambush them. One of the UIR commandos climbed on top of the roof, and Bai killed him with his machete. Hoffman eventually ordered Bai to take some of the other Pesanga troops and take out the remaining commandos on the shoreline. He and five other Pesangas then snuck down to the shore and took out two more UIR commandos, sneaking up behind them and killing them with their machetes and capturing their machine guns. Bai reported their success to Hoffman, and he ordered them to stay near the shore and guard the Marlins, and to keep an eye out for Indie helicopters.
- "You move others. This thing sinking fast."
- —Bai, telling Hoffman and Dom to move the other Gears out of a sinking Marlin and not worry about him
As the extraction began, Hoffman ordered Bai to get onboard their Marlin, but Bai boarded Sgt. Cho Ligan's Marlin instead, and told Hoffman that he needed to apply first aid to Shim Kor and Lau En, both of whom had been wounded in the fighting. However, as they moved away from the shore, two Khimeras began pursuing them. One opened fire on their Marlin, damaging it and injuring several of the Gears and civilians, and the boat began to sink. The Gears on the second Marlin shot down its wingman, and it broke off to try and help the crew. Bai was thrown into the water by an explosion on the Marlin, but managed to cling to the side of the boat. He helped Pvt. Dominic Santiago rescue some of the others on the sinking Marlin by transferring them to the second boat, and Bai insisted on loading the civilians they had captured. Hoffman kept ordering him to get into the other Marlin, but Bai refused and continued to move others over instead. After the Marlin fully sank and everybody who could be rescued had been, Bai was left floating in the water with Dom and several others. There was not enough room in the Marlin for everyone, so Bai shoved Dom into it, telling him that he had to survive to take care of his children. Bai clung to the outside of the Marlin as they continued to try and escape. However, the second Khimera returned and fired on the Marlin, hitting the Marlin and causing it to start sinking as well. Bai and the others who were holding on the side were either hit by fire from the Khimera or knocked off by an explosion, and they all drowned.
After the Operation, Hoffman sent his Embry Star to Harua, feeling that Tak deserved some kind of recognition for his sacrifice after the COG refused to. He also sent a modest bank check that would be a small fortune to an impoverished farmer. Neither Tak nor any of the other Pesangas ever received Embry Stars because of xenophobic tensions at the time. Years later, when Colonel Hoffman returned to Anvil Gate, Bai's wife and children and grandchildren, who had survived the Locust War, came to join the community there with his wife telling Hoffman that his family survived in part due to Hoffman's generosity.
Personality and Traits
- "Someone with a small gun aimed at you, you shoot, it's okay. Someone with a gun so big you can't hold it, but it kill you all anyway-you can't shoot. That is dumb, sah."
- —Bai to Hoffman about him being reluctant to shoot scientists, demonstrating part of his philosophy about warfare
Bai was a loyal follower of the Coalition of Ordered Governments and its philosophy, and a longtime friend of Victor Hoffman. Like most Pesanga troops, he was able to effortlessly move around a battlefield silently. He possessed a remarkable clarity towards warfare, regarding all threats equally and caring only about how to best neutralize them. Bai was willing to sacrifice his life for his fellow Gears, and did so during Operation Leveler, making sure Dom survived to see his newborn daughter.
- A Pendulum War Story
- Aspho Fields (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Anvil Gate (Appears in flashback(s))
- Coalition's End (Mentioned only)
- Dirty Little Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Gears 5 (Mentioned only)