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"We must, now, take this fight to the Locust."
Chairman Richard Prescott, during his speech

The Battle of Stromson Forest was a major battle that marked the beginning of Operation: Hollow Storm as the COG forces traveled to Landown to launch an assault on the Inner Hollow. This involved a mass transport of Assault Derricks, King Ravens, APCs and Centaurs escorting thousands of Gears from Jacinto City through the Locust occupied Stromson Forest and Landown Highway in order to reach the city of Landown. The Locust met with the COG forces by Nemacysts and mortars, Reaver squadrons, several Brumaks and Corpsers and thousands of Locust Drones.

Prelude[]

In Gale of 14 A.E., the Coalition of Ordered Governments launched the Lightmass Offensive, an operation utilizing the Lightmass Bomb to destroy the Outer Hollow and the Locust Horde. However, the cities of Tollen and Montevado mysteriously sunk and the Locust incursions on the Jacinto Plateau became more occurring, signaling to the COG that the Locust not only survived, but returned with a greater force which was enough to sink the entire cities. After the Siege of Jacinto City, the COG feared that Jacinto would be the next target by the Locust to sink, leaving humanity with no safe place left on Sera.

The Coalition devised Operation: Hollow Storm, a massive assault on the Inner Hollow and destroying the Locust stronghold. In order to launch thousands of Gears into the Inner Hollow by using the Grindlifts, the Coalition ordered a mass escort to the nearby city of Landown that was occupied by the Locust. It was decided based on historical context, being Winter of Sorrow when Landown was taken by the Locust, as well as strategic, being the nearest place on the Jacinto Plateau that the Locust could dig through. The COG massed thousands of Gears, ranging from fresh recruits, conscripts and former prisoners to hardened veterans. For Chairman Richard Prescott and the COG leadership, this was humanity's last stand.

Order of Battle[]

Preparing for the Battle[]

On the morning of 2nd Frost, 14 A.E., thousands of Gears were in attendance at Wrightman Base for Chairman Richard Prescott's speech. The speech was broadcasted on numerous radio and television news stations - as Chairman Prescott delivered a speech on the history of Sera and the Locust War, and rallied the Gears to go underground and finally take the fight to the Locust Horde and their home, to end the war after fourteen years of fighting and nearing extinction.

The Gears were then transported by numerous King Ravens, Armored Personnel Carriers, Centaurs, and Assault Derricks. The Gears prepared for departure at a staging grounds outside Jacinto City. Many of the Assault Derrick pilots were former Stranded men now conscripts due to Operation Lifeboat. Several Gear squads were then assigned to ride and defend the Assault Derricks to Landown. After the arrivals and repairs, the massive escort convoy launched. Half of the convoy drove through the Stromson Forest while the other half took the Landown Highway.

Locust Attack in Stromson Forest[]

Upon arriving in Stromson Forest, Centaur Zero-Nine began to clear the path and reported no hostiles. Immediately after, the Locust began their assault on the convoy with Nemacyst mortars. Centaur Zero-Nine then reported Locust contact. On the Landown Highway, KR Four-One was hit and destroyed by a Nemacyst mortar while escorting the Assault Derricks. An Assault Derrick piloted by Pvt. Corey attempted to pass Rig 314, piloted by Pvt. Dizzy Wallin, on the Landown Highway but was hit by a Nemacyst mortar and slammed into the side of Rig 314 and fall of the ledge. After numerous Nemacyst mortar strikes destroyed the King Raven escorts, the Nemacysts focused on the Assault Derricks. One Nemacyst mortar hit the side of the cliff and caused a large boulder to roll down the Landown Highway, nearly knocking Rig 314 off the ledge. Sgt. Marcus Fenix then used the Chain Gun on the roof of the Assault Derrick to take out the remaining Nemacyst mortars.

Reavers attempting to destroy the Assault Derricks.

After securing the Landown Highway from Nemacyst mortars, a squadron of Reavers attacked the ridge and took out Rig D11, killing all onboard. With D13 being one of the last Rigs on the ridge, the Reaver squads focused fire on them. Sgt. Fenix, Cpl. Santiago, and Pvt. Carmine were able to repel the Reaver attack and survived the first wave of Locust attacks in the Stromson Forest. KR Three-Six then reported that path towards Landown was clear and that they would help defend the ground forces. Among them was Rig D28, piloted by Pvt. Henny and boarded by Cpl. Damon Baird, Pvt. Tanner, and Pvt. Augustus Cole; and Rig D77, boarded by Pvt. Tai Kaliso - acting as the rear guard Rig in the convoy. Rig 314 then broke down and were forced to stop and repair, slowing the human advance and leaving them vulnerable to the mortar attacks and Locust ambushes. As Delta-One guarded Pvt. Wallin while repairing Rig 314, several Emergence Holes opened in the area, releasing Locust Drones. Struggling to defend the Rig, several Rigs and Centaurs, including Rig D28, came to reinforce Delta-One. However, most of the Rigs and Centaurs defending Rig 314 were destroyed by Nemacyst mortars and Drones. The Locust attack was repelled despite heavy losses and Rig 314 managed to get repaired, joining Rig D28 and Rig G53 back into the Stromson Forest.

Surprise Siege at Ferro Bridge[]

Brumak assault on Stromson Forest.

As the Assault Derricks neared Ferro Bridge to cross over the river to Landown, the convoy was attacked by a coordination of large Emergence Holes in their path. Thousands of Drones and Boomers were released onto the surface and accompanied by a Brumak that destroyed numerous Rigs. Rig G53 was then hijacked by Drones using grappling hooks. Rig 314 attempted to escape the attack and cross Ferro Bridge. During which, numerous Grapplers attempted to board and hijack the Rig. Delta-One was able to secure the Rig from Locust hijackers. Before arriving to Ferro Bridge, Rig G53 returned on the Highway hijacked with Locust Drones.

With only one Derrick being able to fit across Ferro Bridge, the Locust on Rig G53 attempted to prevent Rig 314 from reaching the bridge by pushing them to the side in order to drive them off the cliff into the ravine. Sgt. Fenix attempted to shoot at the Locust driver, by Pvt. Wallin interjected that the windshields were bulletproof and began to repeatedly drive Rig 314 into the side of Rig G53, using the corner to continually break the windshield. Rig G53's windshield managed to break, which then allowed Sgt. Fenix to kill the Locust pilot. Pvt. Wallin was then able to push Rig G53 off the side and into the ravine - managing to cross the Ferro Bridge successfully.

Traversing the Landown Highway[]

After the mass convoy of Assault Derricks crossed the Ferro Bridge, Landown was in sight. Lt. Stroud and Control began to determine the launch coordinates as the Rigs began to arrive at Landown. However, multiple Brumaks emerged from the Stromson Forest on the southside of Landown to attack the Rig groups on the highway. One Rig was destroyed by a Brumak's rocket launcher. Another Brumak emerged from the forest and began to attack Rig 314, but was shot in the face twice and killed by a Centaur. Control, by Lt. Stroud, then ordered to commence an attack on Landown, but a patrolling King Raven demanded reinforcements before being shot down by a Brumak.

KR Three-Six then informed Control they were being overrun and recommended that they evacuate all Rigs to Landown. Lt. Stroud complied and ordered all Rigs to break off from each other and race for Landown to avoid the Locust onslaught. While evacuating, Sgt. Fenix managed to kill the Brumak that shot down the escort King Raven. However, dozens of Locust Drones entered the highway and began to grapple on the Rigs. Rig 314 and others managed to repel the grapplers, but another Rig was flipped over and destroyed by a Brumak. Rig 314 continued to drive on and escape the Brumak. A Corpser then emerged in front of Rig 314 but was shot back down into the Hollow. Another Corpser climbed a ledge and jumped down onto a Rig, taking it underground and destroying it.

At the end of the highway leading directly into Landown, a Brumak was stationed and opened fire on the convoy. Sgt. Fenix ordered Pvt. Wallin to keep driving toward it, while Cpl. Santiago advised someone to man the chain gun above. Sgt. Fenix manned the chain gun, and with supporting fire from Cpl. Santiago and Pvt. Carmine, was able to destroy the Brumak's wrist-mounted chain guns and rocket launcher. The Gears were then also able to destroy the Brumak's face, blinding and incapacitating it. Pvt. Wallin then sped the Assault Derrick up and hit the Brumak, killing it. The convoy was then given a clear route to Landown on the highway.

Aftermath[]

Appearances[]

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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