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"And I'm fucking Bernie Mataki, Two-Six RTI! And I will rejoin my fucking regiment!"
—Bernie to Hugo Muir after hearing the recall orders eight years after the Hammer of Dawn strikes[3]

Sergeant Bernadette "Bernie" Mataki, SM, or Boomer Lady by Augustus Cole and Granny by Damon Baird, was a Gear soldier in the Coalition of Ordered Governments armed forces. Bernie was born on the island of Galangi in the South Islands during the 33rd year of the Pendulum Wars. She was the daughter of a farmer, who came from a Northerner family, and was the sister of Mick Mataki. After joining the COG at eighteen years of age, she became one of the best snipers in the army. She spent most of her career in the 26th Royal Tyran infantry, serving in several different companies. She fought in several of the most important battles of the Pendulum Wars, including the Battle of Shavad and the Battle of Aspho Fields. After Emergence Day, she was stranded on her home island until she heard about the recall to Ephyra, and decided to go on a several year trek across the world to rejoin the COG, eventually reaching the Jacinto Plateau. She reunited with her oldest friend Col.Victor Hoffman, restarting a relationship with him, and served in Delta-One briefly after the Lightmass Offensive and again after Operation: Hollow Storm, as well as during the Stranded Insurgency and the beginning of the Lambent Pandemic. When the COG collapsed, Bernie traveled with Hoffman, several hundred Gears, and thousands of civilians to Anvil Gate.


Early Life

"Galangi. That's mostly livestock. Grew up on a beef farm."
—Bernie, telling Dilland Jonty about the island she grew up on

Bernie was born on the island of Galangi in the South Islands,[4] hailing from a Caucasian migrant.[5] She grew up on a beef farm and had one brother, Michael, but did not get along with him very well,[6] since their father left the family farm to her and not him.[7] When Bernie was young, she was scared by news footage from Kaia that showed animals dying from a livestock epidemic there, and by the fact that the grown-ups were afraid of it as well.[8]

Pendulum Wars

Joining the Army

"I swear that woman could shoot the balls off a gnat at a thousand meters."
—Helena Stroud during the Battle of Shavad, on Bernie's sniping skill

Bernie joined the army when she was eighteen years old when a male recruiter told her women did not make good snipers,[9] and served seven years in a support position before being allowed on the frontline.[10] She met Victor Hoffman early in her career, and considered him her oldest friend.[11] She dated him for a time, until he was promoted to the officer corps and was forced to break up with her,[12] an event which deeply hurt her because he did it suddenly.[13] At some point after this, Bernie got married to a man named Neal. He often complained about her never being home on leave when he needed her help to run the farm,[14] but he dutifully kept the farm running for her while she was gone.[15] Seventeen years before Emergence Day, Bernie fought at the Battle of Shavad as a part of Timgad Company, in the 26th Royal Tyran infantry, and her skills as a sniper were renowned throughout the unit.[16]

Bernie talking with Marcus after Maxon's death.

Acastu Imulsion Fields

"You lose people. It never stops hurting. But we get out there and do it again, every day, until we finish the job."
—Bernie, reassuring Marcus after Maxon was killed during an Indie raid

In the 75th year of the war, Bernie was a Sergeant, and was a member of C Company of the 26th RTI. They were sent to the Acastu Imulsion Fields in Dushin to provide security for the refinery. Major Helena Stroud met with her and Sgt.Daniel Kennen, and told them that she would be relying on them to help the new recruits, and Bernie said she would do her best. Helen mentioned how the refinery had not been raided in a long time, and that the Indies would likely try again soon. Bernie hoped that the bigger troop presence would stop them, but Helena told her that the UIR was disputing ownership of the fields with the COG, and accusing them of drilling over the border from Dushin. Two days later, a team of Indie troopers attempted to sabotage the Imulsion Fields, and Bernie drove a Packhorse with Kennen in the turret to assist a squad of Gears in fighting the Indies. When they arrived, Kennen hosed the Indies, killing several, and the rest retreated. Bernie got out and inspected the bodies, but the Imulsion wells on the other side of the base exploded. Pvt.Marcus Fenix was horrified by this, but Bernie told him to focus and leave that to the firefighters, and told him they needed to get Cpl.Maxon, who had been wounded, to safety. She drove to the medical building, but Maxon did not survive. Bernie went out to where Marcus was waiting, and told him she was sorry Maxon did not make it. Marcus remarked that it was a terrible start to the tour, but Bernie told him that they could have blown the whole pipeline, and that he had stopped them. Marcus protested that Maxon had gotten killed, and Bernie interrupted him and said that they lost people in war, and it never stopped hurting. However, they had to go out every day and continue doing their job until they no longer had to. Marcus told her he understood, and Bernie told him that they were good soldiers, and did what they were trained to do. She then led Marcus, Pvt.Carlos Santiago, and Pvt.Quinn to finish the patrol of the base.[17]

Training Commandos

"If any of you are vegetarians, it's tough shit."
—Bernie, while teaching a class on how to kill and prepare chickens

One year later, Bernie became a part-time survival instructor for the 26th RTI. Three years before Emergence Day, Bernie taught a group of commandos, including Pvt.Dominic Santiago and Pvt.Georg Timiou, who were under the command of Hoffman. She informed them that she was going to teach them to live off the land, because they would be operating in areas well outside of their normal support. She pulled out a chicken from a cage, and told them that if they were vegetarians, that they were out of luck because tomorrow was roots and fungi. She told them that she would teach them how to trap birds and small animals later, but since most of them were city boys, she needed to teach them how to properly kill a chicken. The commandos stared at her silently, and Bernie told them that they were all commandos, and that they could shove a knife into a guy’s throat. Timiou said that the recruitment poster did not mention anything about strangling chickens, much to her amusement. She told him that they were not going to strangle the chicken, but were going to kill it humanely. She demonstrated how to snap the chickens neck without pain, but the commandos were disturbed by the flapping wing. She reassured them that that was just an involuntary reflex, and proceeded to pluck all of the feathers from the chicken, and showed them how to prepare it, and warned them that rupturing the bowel was a bad idea. Bernie told them to make sure to hide the feathers afterwords, as they could be used to track them, and mentioned to try and find the liver, as that was the best part. She told them that they would get this right before she sent them back to Hoffman, and that she had never had a trainee fail yet. She helped Timiou kill his, and then told Dom to stop checking his for a heartbeat and cook it. After he did so, Bernie took his chickens liver because he did not like it, eating it as she examined the other commandos work.[18]

Battle of Aspho Fields

Preparing for Operation: Leveler
"I just hate water. Water should come out of a shower or a glass. Rivers- fine. Bigger than rivers- sod that for a lark."
—Bernie, complaining about the upcoming naval landing

Two years before Emergence Day, Bernie was a platoon commander in C Company of the 26 RTI. After a training exercise at Merrenat Naval Base, Bernie gathered with the rest of the company in the woods to eat breakfast. She exchanged rations with fellow South Islander Pvt.Tai Kaliso, and told Carlos not to worry about having fallen into the water during the exercise, and mentioned she hated naval ops. Carlos said he thought she came from the South Islands, and she told him she came from inland, and would much rather parachute into an operation.[19] Two days before the operation, she boarded the CNV Kalona at Fesor Naval Base. She attended a briefing in the hanger deck two hours later, where Major Helena Stroud told them what the operation and objective was: to defend Aspho Point while commandos, led by Bernie's old friend Major Victor Hoffman, captured important data and personnel. Bernie asked Helena what the significance of Aspho Point was, and she told her it was weapons research, and that she did not know anything beyond that. Bernie overheard Carlos mummer to Marcus that this was what he could not tell them about, and Bernie asked who "he" was. Carlos told her that Dom had been training for some secret mission, and that this must be it. She also became concerned about Marcus' negative reaction to the mission upon learning about his fathers involvement in it, and decided to warn his platoon commander, Kennen, about it.[20]

Landing at Aspho Fields
"Shit, what have they got? How are they locking on that well?"
—Bernie, after two Petrels were shot down by the UIR

After they landed at Aspho Fields, Bernie stuck close to Helena and Kennen as they listened to the voice traffic from command. Helena ordered her to move her platoon to see if they could get a line of fire on a possible enemy contact approaching Aspho Point by sea.[21] When the rest of the company engaged Indie forces approaching by land, Bernie's platoon was to secure the exfiltration route.[22] She spotted a hostile on the roof of Aspho Point signaling to the UIR forces, and informed Helena about it. After Kennen was killed, Helena appointed Bernie to take command of his platoon, and take it over the channel and flank the enemy armor to take it out.[23] When the two Petrels sent to take out Peraspha Military Base were shot down, Bernie was surprised, as they had not thought the UIR had anything capable of shooting them down.[24] Helena put Bernie in command of the unit, and had her begin pulling troops back to the extraction point. Bernie realized that Helena was planning a suicide run against the Asp's, but failed to talk her out of it.[25] Bernie then promised her that she would look after Anya, her daughter, and to make sure that she was ready for battle if she ever became a frontline Gear.[26] After Helena was killed taking out an Asp, Bernie was forced to ask Carlos for confirmation that she was dead, even as Anya, who was acting as a controller for the operation, listened on the comms. Carlos confirmed it, and Bernie was forced to report it to Anya.[27]

Commanding the Battle
"Carlos, sweetheart... just close your eyes. It's okay."
—Bernie, as she prepares to shoot a mortally wounded Carlos

After the commandos blew up Aspho Point, Bernie requested an update on the other Petrels that were coming to aide them, and on how long till medevac choppers began arriving. Anya informed her that the first Sea Ravens would arrive in five minutes, while the Petrels were engaging a group of UIR fighters off the coast. Pvt.Byran Jakovs reported that the other Asp was heading towards Aspho Point, and she directed him, Marcus, Carlos, Pvt.James Marasin, and Pvt.Steven Hurnan to find a way to take it out.[28] Jakovs, Hurnan, and Marasin were killed following Carlos, while he was wounded but did not report it, in an attempt to charge the Asp. However, Marcus managed to hijack the Asp and used it to attack the other UIR vehicles, much to Bernie's surprise.[29] Bernie watched as Marcus destroyed all UIR forces in sight, and even downed a Khimera attacking the commando team. She ordered him to come back to the company, but he went off to look for Carlos, who had not been heard from and was near the bridge. She had Tai get the rest of the company to the extraction point, while she headed out to find Marcus and Carlos, who she worried had been wounded. When Carlos finally answered on the radio, her fears were realized. She ordered Marcus to get to the LZ while she got Carlos, but he refused. When she got close enough, she saw how badly wounded Carlos was, and decided the best thing to do was shoot him to put him out of his misery. As Carlos begged her to do it, Marcus continued to try and get to him, forcing Carlos to detonate a grenade to kill himself and destroy the bridge, which also stopped enemy reinforcements from arriving. Bernie was hit by debris from the bridge, and Marcus ran toward what remained of Carlos. Bernie covered him, and he recovered several pieces of Carlos's body.[30]

After the Battle
"Tell him that his brother was a bloody hero. Because he was. He put your life first and he blew the bridge. And Dom has to go on living, the poor sod."
—Bernie, telling Marcus what to tell Dom

They made their way to the evacuation point, where Bernie was told by the CIC that they would be sent to the CNV Pomeroy because the Kalona had too many casualties to deal with already. She made sure that Dom had made it out of the commando raid alive, and learned he had saved the lives of his entire remaining unit. Bernie also made sure that Hoffman survived, and was relieved to learn he had. She told Marcus that Dom had survived, and offered to tell him about Carlos, but Marcus insisted he do it himself. She then watched as Marcus broke down crying, and was disturbed how he was able to do it without a sound, wondering why anyone had to learn to cry like that. She tried to convince him that it was not his fault Carlos died, and they then tried to figure out what to tell people about his death, since she had disabled the comms and nobody else knew how it was Carlos's fault three other Gears were dead. Bernie decided to tell only part of the truth: that Carlos was a hero who died blowing up the bridge to stop enemy reinforcements, and promised Marcus that she would never tell Dom the truth. The Sea Ravens then arrived to extract them, and they made sure that Carlos' remains were the first thing on board.[31] After they got on the Pomeroy, Bernie greeted Hoffman, and shook Dom's hand, and left as Marcus began to tell Dom that Carlos had been killed.[32] Bernie was awarded the Sovereigns Medal for her actions at Aspho Fields.[33]

Locust War

Emergence Day

"For fuck's sake, what things? Where?"
—Bernie, asking Neal what he meant about creatures emerging from underground and attacking Sera

Six months after Operation Leveler, Bernie was shot in the leg, and pins were put into it to help keep it together. After she got out of the hospital, Bernie was discharged and returned home to Galangi. She was upset she was no longer part of a close regimental family, and felt like the farm was not her home, despite Neal's best efforts to welcome her home. Seventeen months after returning home, Bernie learned about the surrender of the UIR to the COG. Six weeks later, Bernie drove her pickup back to the farm after visiting the doctor about pains in her leg. Her dog Mossie accompanied her, and when they got back to the farmhouse, she found Neal working on the TV antenna on the roof. He told her the television was not working, and he could not find a problem on the antenna, so he would have to call in a repairman from Noroa to fix it. As he climbed down from the roof, Bernie suggested that get some more sheep on the farm and cut back on the number of cows they had, since sheep were easier to manage and had a better price. Neal said that it was her farm and she could do whatever she wanted, and then asked her if she wanted to go to Noroa to do some shopping and get a change of scenery, which might cheer her up. She told him that that would take a lobotomy, and as she entered the house, Neal told her that the mail had arrived, including a letter from Lake Station, where her brother lived. Bernie noticed how Neal did not dust very well and left things lying about, which drove her drill Sergeants instincts nuts. She resolved to clean up later, and began sorting through the mail until she found Mick's letter. She debated whether or not to open it, but decided to, and was surprised to find a picture of a newborn baby inside, with Mick's handwriting on the back. She read it and discovered it was her new great-niece, Philippa Jane. Bernie wondered for a moment if her parents would be upset that she had not ever tried to makeup with Mick, and handed Neal the photo. He remarked that it seemed the only thing that Mick was good at was breeding, and put the photo up. They began eating lunch in silence, with Bernie trying to figure out how to start a normal conversation. Neal tried to turn the radio on, but found that that did not work either. He then told Bernie that he was trying to work hard with her to make everything feel normal, but she needed to realize that the war was over for everyone, and that he had counted up all the days they had actually been together out of seventeen years of marriage, and told her that it was just three years. She told him that she was home now, but he said that she was not, and she still wanted to back to the army. Bernie said that it was hard going from being in a busy regiment to not seeing some neighbors for days at time, and that she had not expected to take so long to adjust. Neal said they needed to make things work, otherwise nothing she fought for would have mattered. She said she had been fighting for her mates, but realized that saying that excluded Neal from what she had been fighting for. She apologized, but Neal was angry, and pointed out how not one of her fellow Gears had come by since she was discharged, and barely ever called, but she still missed them more that she cared about being with him. Bernie was hurt, but knew he was not wrong, and did not feel like arguing anymore. She told him she would fix the radio, but found that she could not get any signal or find what was wrong with it. She decided that the problem had to be the mainland antenna, and then heard the phone ring and Neal answer it. He came back into the kitchen and she saw that he was pale and looking bewildered, and asked what was wrong. He told her that Dale had called, and said that the war had started again. Bernie's first instinct was to try to find a way back to Ephyra, but realized that was stupid and impossible. She asked Neal how that the war had started again, but he told her it was not the Indies, and that some things were emerging from underground all over the world and attacking.[34]

Beginning of the War

"No, no, I want to get to Jacinto. I don't want to organize a bunch of civvies."
—Bernie's inner thoughts when she was asked to organize a militia

A week later, contact with the rest of Sera had been restored, and more details about the attacks emerged. The Locust had attacked multiple cities in multiple nations worldwide, and Bernie expected that all Gears would soon be called back into action, and began preparing to leave. As she packed her rucksack and prepared her Longshot and UIR sniper rifle, Neal became annoyed with her, saying that Governor Bryn Mackin had told everyone to stay put and conserve supplies. She told him that the army would need every Gear who could hold a rifle, but he told her she was forty-eight years old. Bernie told him she was only forty-seven, and that she could have stayed in the army until she was fifty-five if she had not been wounded. Neal argued that she had already done her duty, but Bernie refused to stay while her comrades were fighting, and that he would be just fine with some other Gears fighting and dying for him when the Locust arrived on Galangi. Neal countered that the Locust could not dig through the abyssal trench between them and Noroa, so the Locust could not reach them without ships. Bernie thought the Locust were smart enough to operate ships, but Neal had enough of arguing and left to take care of the animals. Bernie quickly ate breakfast and tried to call the 26 RTI's headquarters, but got an out of service notification again. She then headed out to the barn and got her quad bike, and began driving to Port Slaughterhouse, waving at fellow farmer Jim Kilikano as she passed by his farm. When she reached the town, she went to the ferry, which was owned by local councilman Dan Barrett. They talked for a bit about the possibility of fuel rationing, and she asked him if she could use his radio to contact the Government House on Noroa. Dan let her, and Bernie contacted the operator and said she was a reserve Gear, and that she needed to get back to her unit in Jacinto. The operator was surprised, and Bernie was transferred to Constable Thomas, who told her that they did not know they had any Gears on Galangi, and asked if she had gotten recall orders. Bernie said that she had not, and Thomas asked her if she would stay on Galangi and organize a militia for them, since they were not going to get any help from the rest of the COG if the Locust attacked. Bernie reluctantly agreed, wanting to return to Tyrus immediately but realizing that her friends and neighbors would need her help. Thomas said he would contact her again soon and hung up, and Dan told her he would set up a town meeting for tomorrow to begin organizing the militia, and that he would join it. Bernie thanked him and headed home after picking up some groceries. When she arrived back at the farm, Neal was glad to see her, having been worried that she had left the island. She told him about the militia, and Neal told her it was for the best, because she would have never made it to Ephyra and they needed her on Galangi. Bernie agreed, and realized she would have felt terrible about leaving Neal and her neighbors behind.[35]

"This somewhere else- has she got a fucking name?"
—Bernie to Dan, after finding out that Neal was cheating on her

Six months later, Bernie had organized a small militia and had fallen into a routine of watching the news after finishing up the farm work until it was time for bed. Neal had given up trying to get her out of the house to socialize, and went off to the bar most nights. While watching the news one night, she saw a report from Kaia, the largest island, that the Locust had reached it and were attacking. The news station went off the air, and Bernie began to panic about the Locust being able to reach them. She decided she wanted to be with Neal and others, and grabbed her coat and drove down to Port Slaughterhouse. When she got to the bar, she found Dan there looking at the blank TV, and he asked her how long she thought they had before the Locust would reach them. Bernie said that that they might not reach them ever, and asked where Neal was. Dan looked at her and said that he was somewhere else, and Bernie quickly realized what he meant and felt sick. Dan told her he was sorry, and said he was not sure if she had known or not, but Bernie was not interested and asked him if the somewhere else had a name. Dan tried to apologize again, but she interrupted him again and told him to forget it, and told him to call the Government House on Noroa to get an update on the situation, and to have the lookout roster activated. Bernie then left the bar, feeling angry at all of her neighbors and not making eye contact with any of them, out of fear that she was the last to know. When she got back home she moved her things into the spare room, seething in anger at Neal's betrayal. When she woke up in the morning, she found Neal in the kitchen having made breakfast, and he asked her if she wanted him to move out, and that he would still work the farm. Bernie told him to do whatever he wanted, and resisted the urge to take her things and leave for Noroa. She then asked him if he knew what was going on, and Neal said he did, but that there was nowhere to run, so all they could do was go on living until it got to them. Neal moved out the next day, and Bernie found that she did not feel as bad as she thought she would have, and Neal still showed up for work on the farm every day. Moss missed Neal more than she did, but eventually worked out that he would not be coming home. Bernie found it hard to stay in the house alone, and almost called Mick to tell him he could have the farm, but decided she needed to take it slow in finding a way to leave Galangi and begin heading to Ephyra.[36]

Patrolling the Galangi Coast

"But have the bastards got ships?"
—Bernie, wondering if the Locust could assault Galangi from the sea

Bernie began patrolling along the coastline of Galangi, keeping an eye out for Locust approaching from the sea. All communications from Kaia had ceased, and Bernie looked over the maps of the sea elevation, and determined that the Locust would not be able to tunnel under the sea and reach Galangi. She was scared by the fact Galangi was cut off from the rest of Sera except for Noroa, and worried what would happen if the Locust did reach them. As she patrolled in her pickup along the costal roads, she heard the air horn go off at the lifeboat station in Port Slaughterhouse, and began driving to the town. Dan contacted her on her walkie talkie, and asked where she was. Bernie told him she was heading for the town, and Dan said that there was a boat heading for port. She asked him what kind of boat, annoyed that no one on the island knew proper radio procedure for reporting something. Dan told her that it was a yacht, and it had been spotted by Gabby, one of the trawler captains, heading for the island, and that it was not using its radio if it had one. As Bernie got closer to the town, she wondered if this would be the beginning of an exodus of survivors from other islands to Galangi, and knew that the island could not hold that many more people beyond the fifteen hundred already living there. When she got to the port, she found a crowd at the docks, and spotted the yacht following Gabby's trawler into the docks. She got her Longshot out and loaded, and saw Dan giving her an odd look. Bernie asked what was wrong, and he remarked that she scared him sometimes, and to try to look welcoming. As the yacht got moored to the end of a jetty, Gabby got off of his trawler and joined them, saying that the pilot of the yacht, Garyth, had contacted him and said that he was from Kaia, and had escaped the island with his family, somehow making it without knowing how to read a chart. When Garyth got off his boat, he asked them if the island was Noroa, and Dan told him it was Galangi. Bernie asked him what Kaia was like when he had left, and he told her that the Locust had attacked both Autrin and Jasper, and that the army had been evacuating civilians to the north of the island. She then asked if anyone else had tried to make it down to the other islands, and he told her he did not know, and that he had just gotten his family to his boat and ran. Garyth then described large spider-like creatures emerge from underground with the Locust and roll right over the armored divisions. Dan said that it was going to be okay, and then remarked to Bernie that they were not going to get overrun by refugees. Bernie did not think it was okay, and was horrified to think that the army was collapsing in the face of the Locust assault, and feared what had happened to all her comrades and friends.[37]

Leaving Galangi

"There's no sense keeping things going here anymore. None of it. The line's broken. I'm the last Mataki. And Gears are back to Noroa. So that's where I belong."
—Bernie's inner thoughts after learning of her brother’s death and of Gears being on Noroa

Seven months later, Bernie and Neal had gotten divorced, and the COG used the Hammer of Dawn orbital weapons on most of Sera. Galangi and Noroa were not hit by the strike, but ash from nearby areas was blown onto the islands. As Bernie looked at the ash piling up on everything, she reflected how she had helped enable this by fighting at Aspho Fields was the technology was captured. Bernie wondered why the COG had fired the Hammer, and if any other area of Sera had been spared, and wondered if any members of the 26th RTI were still alive. She began her daily routine caring for the animals, and wondered if the rest of her life was going to be like that, and wished she could be somewhere making a difference. When she heard someone walking up behind her, she turned to find Dan, and quickly saw that he had bad news. She asked if it was Neal, but Dan told her that it was about her brother. Bernie told him that they did not talk, and she realized she had not had any contact with him since he sent the picture of his granddaughter, and thought that she should have tried calling him. Dan told her Mick was dead, and Bernie was stunned and felt guilty for never having talked with him more, and she asked Dan how he had found out. He told her someone had sailed into Noroa last night from Kaia with a list of people who had died there, which confused Bernie, since Mick had lived on Noroa. She asked him if Mick had been there for surgery, but he told her that Mick had been living in Jasper when the Locust attacked, and that his whole family had been there and gotten killed. Bernie was horrified that she had been watching TV while the last of her family was killed, and wondered why Mick had not told her he had moved. Dan handed her the list of the dead, and said that the guy who had brought it only survived because he had hooked up with some Gears and caught a boat. That snapped Bernie into focus, and she realized that there were fellow Gears within reach on Noroa. She asked Dan if the army had pulled out of Kaia, but he told her he did not know and offered to find out. Bernie told him that was fine, and that she would ask them herself. Dan asked her if she was alright, and she told him that she was fine and could manage by herself, and thanked him for telling her. Bernie went inside and looked at the list, and saw Philippa Jane's name on there was well, which cut her up even though she had never met her grandniece. When Neal arrived, she gave the farm over to him, having decided there was no point carrying on with it, and knowing she was of more use on Noroa. Neal tried to convince her she was not thinking straight, but she did not care, and quickly packed up her things and grabbed her weapons. Bernie felt better than she had in a long time, and realized that this was what she needed to do. Three days later, she boarded Gabby's trawler after he agreed to take her to Noroa, and radioed ahead to the Government House so they would be expecting her. Gabby told her to wave just once in goodbye to Galangi, and not to look back so it would be less painful. She wondered how her old friend knew that, but took his advice and found that he was correct.[38]

Defending Noroa

"Didn't make any difference in Two-Six RTI. And I am bloody part-white anyway."
—Bernie, after Miku accused her of trying to pass for white by not having bakuaia

After reaching Noroa, Bernie found two surviving Gears from the 5th Kaian Grenadiers, Cpl.Hugo Muir and Darrel. They joined together to defend the island from the Locust, but after eight years, only the three of them, a civilian they had recruited as a Gear named Miku, and fifteen civilians were left, with everyone else either having been killed or fleeing to Galangi. The Locust periodically carried out raids on the island, looking for supplies, and Bernie led Hugo, Darrel, and Miku in fighting and ambushing them whenever possible. One day they found a group of Locust trying to scavenge a baker's deliver van and take it to an Emergence Hole, and set up an ambush to kill them. Bernie climbed up a tree along the Locusts route, while the others took up flanking positions. When the Locust got into the kill zone they had set up, Bernie sniped the lead one in the head, and the other Gears opened fire, cutting down two more drones. Darrel reported that the other three were taking cover near the front of the road, and Miku said he would flush them out. He used a crossbow to pin one to a car, causing the other two to try and make a break for it, but Bernie and Hugo cut one down, and Darrel killed the other. Bernie jumped out of the tree and ordered the others to start scrounging what they could while she finished off the one Miku had wounded. She found the drone struggling to get free, and looked into its eyes trying to find anything that she could relate to, but decided that they were just violent animals. She reloaded her Longshot and shot the drone in the head, and Miku arrived to retrieve his crossbow bolt. He remarked that he had been trying to save her some ammo, and as Bernie grabbed the drones gun and ammo, she remarked that she thought he had been trying to make some cultural statement. He told her she was taking the piss again, and she warned him not to play the race card with her again, and pointed at her tribal tattoos, reminding him that they were all Islanders. Miku said that she and other Galangi did not get bakuaia facial tattoos in an attempt to pass for white to fit in with the COG, but Bernie shot back that there had been other Islanders in the 26th RTI that did have them, like Padrick Salton and Tai Kaliso, who was from the same island as Miku. She thought once again about if any of her comrades were still alive, and considered the possibility that she and her squad were the last Gears on Sera. Hugo then came over and showed them a new radio he had found on the Locust, and wondered if they could get a signal out. Bernie told him to look at it later, and said that they needed to get back to camp.[39]

Responding to the Recall

"I'm getting old. I won't get another chance to do this. I'm going to die sooner rather than later anyway. So I'll die fighting with the regiment, or at least trying to get back to them. Not sitting here waiting for the grubs to come and get me."
—Bernie's thoughts after hearing about Jacinto Plateau still holding out

When they reached the camp the civilians lived at in the eastern cliffs of the island, they found Jake standing guard near the entrance. He told them that a boat had passed by earlier, but they did not radio them because it had not seemed like an emergency. Bernie asked where it was now, and he told her they could not see it anymore after it had passed by. Bernie knew it could only be Stranded, the sometimes violent survivors of the Hammer of Dawn Strikes who had abandoned the values of the COG. She was not worried about them, and went with the rest of the squad to the observation tower to sort through their haul. Hugo said that they should think about leaving Noroa, saying that they had held out eight long years but it was time to leave. Bernie agreed with him, and said that they would have to go to Galangi, but he was too worried about it being close to Noroa, and that they should try to find a large Stranded group to hook up with. Bernie shot down that option, telling him that none of the Stranded were trustworthy, and that Galangi was safe because the Locust could not tunnel to it due to the abyssal trench, and it had working infrastructure and a lot of people. The others agreed with her, and Bernie began cleaning her weapons until Hugo excitedly showed them the COG radio he had taken from the Locust, and said that it was new. This got Bernie, Darrel, and Miku's attention, but Bernie as skeptical of what it could mean. She pointed out that even if it had been manufactured in the last year, whoever had made it could be long dead. Darrel agreed with her, and Hugo said it would not matter anyway, since he could not get it working. Over the next few days they and the civilians began packing up to leave and go to Galangi, and Bernie was nervous about what she would say to her neighbors. When the Stranded boat passed by again and began heading to their dock, Bernie and the other Gears went down to the shore and took up firing positions. They yelled at the Stranded guy driving the boat to leave, and that they were not welcome there. The man said he was not a pirate, and he just wanted fresh water to fill up his tanks. They told him to try the rivers inland, but the guy then noticed that they were wearing armor, and asked if they were Gears, saying he thought they had all gone back to Ephyra when Chairman Richard Prescott had issued the recall. Bernie asked him what he meant, and the guy said that Prescott had issued a recall three days before he launched the Hammer strikes. Bernie could not believe it, but Hugo told her it did not matter anymore. Bernie refused to believe that, and asked the guy if he had any recent news. The guy told them that most of the Jacinto Plateau was still held by the COG at least a year ago, and Bernie thanked him for the information and directed him to a river to the north. Once he was gone, the others tried to convince her not to leave them and try to get to Jacinto, but she knew in her heart that members of the 26th RTI had to be there fighting. They were disappointed and hurt she would leave them, but knew that they could not change her mind. Bernie made her goodbyes to everyone and took some supplies from the storage hut, leaving a note behind for the squad. Shula, who was on guard duty, told her that they would miss her and that they would not have survived without her. Bernie told her that they would all be fine on Galangi, and to say hello to everyone for her. Bernie then took the day boat out to the ocean and began her journey back to the mainland.[40]

Living as a Stranded

"Yeah. Try covering a couple of continents that all looked as good as this place. And remember that wet stuff called sea?"
—Bernie, on her journey across Sera to the Jacinto Plateau

Bernie moved from island to island on boats and traveled on foot across Sera's continents towards the Jacinto Plateau. She ran into only a few surviving fishing communities, with no signs of civilization to be found.[41] She had to live off the land, occasionally eating cats and dogs, along with a variety of other creatures. She even made boot liners out of tabby fur to keep warm.[42] During her trek towards COG controlled territory, she ran into a group of marauding Stranded that preyed on other island communities. Bernie tried to put a stop to it, killing several members of the gang by sniping them, but three of them found and gang-raped her in revenge, leaving her alive to suffer from the trauma. She was able to hunt down and capture two of the three men that did it, but the third, Jonn Massy, got away. Bernie killed the two she did capture brutally and slowly with her knife, cutting off their privates and stuffing them down their throats, and vowed to one day find and kill Massy.[43] She eventually hijacked a trawler at New Fortitude, which brought her to the mainland, and continued walking towards COG controlled territory. After spending five years journeying across Sera, Bernie eventually reached the Jacinto Plateau.[44]

Rejoining the COG

"You bloody idiot. You could have killed me."
—Bernie, after Dom opened fire on her when she startled him

Once Bernie reached the Jacinto Plateau, she heard rumors about Sgt.Marcus Fenix having become a Stranded and shadowed squads for several weeks until she found him with Delta-One one week after the Lightmass Offensive.[45] She saw them come under attack from a group of Drones, and saved Cpl.Dominic Santiagos life by sniping the head off of a Drone that had him in a headlock.[46] After Delta assisted Echo Squad during an ambush, Bernie found a Mk 2 Lancer Assault Rifle that had gone missing during the battle. When Dom came looking for it, Bernie revealed herself to him, but was nearly shot by him in the process. She yelled at him for opening fire, and told him she was Bernie, but Dom said he did not know a Bernie, and demanded she step out to where he could see her. Marcus arrived along with Cpl.Damon Baird and Pvt.Augustus Cole, and Bernie said hello to him. She was saddened that Dom did not recognize her, but Marcus did and was astonished to see her. She explained to him that she traveled across the planet to rejoin the COG, and Cole introduced himself to her, and was impressed with her handshake, while Baird just stared at her. They then boarded a King Raven and went to the COG command building, Wrightman Base. During the flight Dom was able to remember who she was, and thanked her for saving his life.[47]

"Sir, you look like shit."
—Bernie, after seeing Hoffman for the first time in 16 years

After arriving at the base, she went to a bathroom and washed up for the first time in years. She asked Marcus about him having deserted his post, and his sentencing to the Slab. He confirmed what she had heard, and told her Dom had broken him out a few days ago. Marcus was concerned that Bernie was going to tell Dom about how Carlos died, but Bernie assured him that she had no intention of bringing it up. Marcus told her how Dom had lost his whole family, and that his own dad was dead. She told about some of her journey across the planet, when Dom arrived and told them Hoffman was on his way. Dom said he was sorry he had not recognized her at first, but she told him it was alright. She asked how Hoffman had been doing, and Marcus informed her that he was "top asshole" now. Bernie picked up on the bad feelings between Marcus and Hoffman but decided not to ask what it was about. She gathered her things and waited in the lobby for Hoffman to arrive. When he did, he attempted not to look happy to see her, but failed. After they greeted each other, he ordered her to report to the quartermasters, and warned her not to suck up to Marcus. After he left, Dom arrived to escort her to the quartermasters, and asked her if she would tell him stories about his brother sometime. She agreed, but was worried about him asking about Carlos's death.[48]

Evacuation of North Gate

Arriving at the Depot
"I don't know why that still crimps my guts. Chances are that most Gears I trained or served with are dead now. I just don't like letting it become routine. If I can shrug it off, it's like pissing on their graves."
—Bernie, after learning that Georg Timiou was dead

When the COG decided to evacuate once they discovered the Locust were attempting to cut off access to it, Delta, which included Bernie until she was back up to speed and assigned to a new squad, was one of the squads chosen to protect the convoy. She showed off her tabby fur lined boots to Cole, who was highly amused by them. Once the convoy got under way, Bernie rode in APC-Three with Cole, and Baird driving.[49] She warned Baird not to drive too close to the truck in front of them, and he reluctantly heeded her advice. After hearing a female controller update them on Locust positions, Bernie attempted to place the voice but failed, and asked Cole who it was. He told her it was Anya Stroud, and Bernie quickly remembered her.[50] After arriving at the depot, Bernie talked with Dom, who told her he had remembered her and the training with the chicken. Bernie laughed, saying she had wondered how long it would take him, and asked about several of the Gears she had trained, and learned that Timiou had been killed a year after the Battle of Aspho Fields. Bernie realized that most of the commandos she had trained were likely dead, but she still was saddened every time she learned of another one. He asked her about her journey across Sera, and she told him how it was hard to survive on her own, and terrible to realize how quickly humans turned savage and attacked one another. Dom also told Bernie about his missing wife, Maria, and how she had disappeared several years after E-Day when she became severely depressed. Bernie promised to help him look for her every chance she got, and that she knew he would find her eventually. Dom thanked her, and said that Carlos had always said she was a good person, and asked her to tell him some stories about Carlos sometime. Bernie promised she would, but was worried about what it might do to his memory of his brother.[51]

Ambushing the Locust
"Shit. Shit, what is this?"
—Bernie, discovering bone fragments in her face after chainsawing a Locust for the first time

Soon after, Anya reported spotting a group of Locust heading toward the depot, and the Gears boarded KR A-108 to intercept them. On the way there, Cole asked Bernie why she did not have facial tattoos and piercings like Tai, and she explained that they came from different islands and cultures. After being dropped off, Bernie settled behind cover with Hoffman and Marcus, and Marcus asked her if she had ever fought Locust at close range before. She told him that anything under six hundred meters was close range for her, and he told her that it was much more satisfying to do it this way. As they ambushed the Locust, Bernie moved from cover to cover, keeping up a stream of fire that kept some of the Locust pinned. When most of the Locust were dead, Bernie chased after a Drone that attempted to flee, and managed to catch it up to it. Her Lancer ran out of ammo, as did the Drones gun, and they charged at each other, and Bernie used the chainsaw bayonet for the first time. As she cut into the Drone, the Locust managed to punch her in the face as it died. Bernie was surprised by the blood and debris that shot out from the Locust as she cut into it, and as she pulled her Lancer out of the Locust, Cole shouted that she had another Locust behind her. Bernie tried to pull out her sidearm, but realized that was out of ammo as well, but Cole managed to shoot the Drone before it got her. As she recovered from the chase, Bernie noticed she had bone fragments in her face from the Locust. Cole handed her a cloth to wipe it off, and demonstrated the optimum way to cut through a Locust to her. As they returned to the Raven, Bernie realized that the bone fragments were why most Gears wore goggles, and wished that someone had warned her. She thanked Cole for helping her, and he told her that she needed to get more weight on her so she could use her mass to force the chainsaw through a Locust. As the Gears returned to the pickup zone, Bernie learned that Hoffman had a minor wound on his leg. The squad got back aboard KR A-108 and headed back to North Gate, and Dom asked her again to tell him about his brother. Bernie told him he might learn some things that would upset him when she did, and Dom said he realized that, but Bernie doubted that he was really ready for the truth.[52]

Defending the Convoy
"Sorry, Cole. I'm not as sharp as I used to be."
—Bernie, apologizing to Cole after one of her shots grazed his arm

When they got back to the depot, Pvt.Federic Rojas, who had stayed behind to guard the APC's, was impressed with Bernie's black eye. Bernie then headed back with Baird and Cole to the APC, and waited for the order to move out came from Hoffman.[53] After parts of the convoy were hit, Baird left the APC on foot to assist a stranded driver, while Cole and Bernie assisted Hoffman and Tai in killing several Drones.[54] When Baird came under attack, she and Cole headed to help. The Locust began jamming the comm system, but they managed to find him. She covered Cole as he exited the APC, and with the Locust now taking fire from two sides, begin aiming for headshots on them. She killed two drones, but when Cole became surrounded by them, she was forced to fire close to him in order to hit the Locust, and one of her shots grazed his arm. As she reloaded, one Drone nearly got her, but Baird managed to save her. Once the last of the Locust were dead, Baird beckoned Bernie over to a dead Drone he put his chainsaw through. He showed her the best places to use a chainsaw on, impressing her with his knowledge. As they carried the wounded driver, Jeff Tatton, to the truck, it was hit by a Boomshot, throwing the Gears into the air. Baird killed the Drone, and helped Bernie up. They each carried Tatton, and headed for the road to get picked up by another vehicle.[55] They were picked up by Marcus, Dom, and Rojas in their APC.[56] When Anya informed them that Hoffman was in trouble, Bernie volunteered to go back and help him, but Marcus and Dom went instead, and Bernie returned to Jacinto.[57]

Telling Dom About Carlos
"Now I'll do the decent thing and tell you every damn detail. Because Carlos Santiago was a fucking hero."
—Bernie, telling Dom about his brother’s death

After returning to the barracks at Wrightman Hospital, Bernie recovered from the injuries she had taken during the evacuation. She asked Baird why Anya was still a first lieutenant at her age, and he told her that only assholes wanted promotions. She asked him if he had become a corporal because he was a reluctant asshole, causing him to ask her how long they were going to continue trading insults. She told him she would keep going until he got bored, and then asked Cole what he was doing when she saw him writing at his desk. He told Bernie he was writing to his mom, which surprised Bernie, because she had thought his mom was dead. When he told her she was, Bernie went over to him, and found him crying and smiling. She asked him why he did, and Cole told her it was to say all the things he never could when she was alive, and that he missed all of his family. He then asked her about her journey across Sera, and told her that if she ever needed to get anything off her chest, she could talk to him. Bernie was overwhelmed by how good and kind he was compared to what she had seen over the past several years, that she had to flee into the bathroom, where she broke down and began crying. When she got herself back under control, she returned to the squad room, and found Dom waiting for her. He had her tell him all the details about his brother’s death.[58]

Recovering the Fallen

"Correct, I could have killed you. The law's clear. You loot, I shoot. Now get your diseased arse back into your hovel, and bring back every last rivet and spring you've stolen, or so help me I'll burn down every house I think is storing stolen goods. Understand?"
—Bernie, intimidating the Stranded into giving back the parts to a truck the COG had left behind during the Evacuation of North Gate

Bernie then joined the rest of the squad, minus Marcus, who was in the hospital with a small wound, to collect the remains of the drivers and escorts who were killed during the evacuation. They found a group of Stranded looting one of the trucks, and Bernie opened fire over their heads. She and Baird then worked together to force the Stranded to give back all the parts they had taken from the truck, and Bernie watched, impressed, as Baird rebuilt the truck. After she complemented him on his ability, she noticed how he became confused when she did not add an insult, and how it made him stay quiet on the ride back to the base. However, as the squad played cards, Marcus walked in, and Baird insulted him about screwing up. This made Bernie angry, and she punched him in the jaw, knocking him down. Cole made sure he did not come after her, and she headed into another room with Marcus. He told her that Baird was not a real asshole, and that if he was, he would be a Stranded gang leader. She told him that she could not just listen to him say stuff about Marcus, but he told her not to worry about it. Bernie then told him that she had told Dom about Carlos's death, which upset him, but she told Marcus that Dom had deserved to know. They then returned to the rest of the squad and continued playing cards.[59] Later that day, as she was cleaning her rifle, Dom found her and asked her if she wanted to see some pictures of his kids. Bernie said yes, and looked through his photographs with him.[60]

Operation Hollow Storm

"Fuck off. This is my frigging wall. Just piss off and die."
—Bernie, yelling at a drone as she tried to keep it from climbing onto her safe haven

By the time of Operation: Hollow Storm six months later, Bernie had been transferred and given command of Sierra-One. They took part in the Assault on Landown and entered the Hollow, but lost contact with command. They fought their way back to the surface, but only Bernie and Niall Sorrens made it to Jacinto. However, they discovered the city was sinking, in a last ditch effort by the COG to flood the Hollow to defeat the Locust. One hour after the flooding started, they had been unable to reach a King Raven, and were forced to begin treading water. Bernie was separated from Sorrens, and was nearly drowned by the torrent. She managed to throw cling to a gutter, and attempted to make contact with anybody she could. She figured out that she was clinging to the Allfathers Library, and transmitted her position. She then managed to throw a rope around a statue on the roof, and climb on top of it. She transmitted her position again, and then she heard splashing coming form the water. She looked down, hoping to see Sorrens, but instead a Locust drone burst up from the water, and headed toward her. Bernie pulled her knife from her boot,[61] and fought it off as it tried to climb up. KR-239 arrived with Marcus, Dom, and Baird aboard, but she was unable to see them as she fought the Drone. It managed to climb up and grab her, but she rammed her knife into its ear canal, and it finally fell back into the rushing water.[62]

"Marcus, just tell me, sweetheart. Whatever it is."
—Bernie, to Marcus after he was unable to go on giving her the casualty list from the Operation

Bernie was finally able to look up, and saw Marcus throw her a harness. It slid out of her grasp, so Marcus came down on a winch cable and pulled her up himself. Dom and Baird pulled them in, and Baird sat her down in one of the seats and put a blanket around her. She asked if they had seen Sorrens, but Baird told her they had not spotted anyone else. She became worried that Baird was treating her so nicely, when she noticed that Cole was not there. Bernie panicked, and began asking where he was, but Baird reassured her he was okay, and that Hoffman and Anya had gotten out as well. Marcus then told her that Tai had had died, and so had Pvt.Benjamin Carmine. He was unable to go on without her encouraging him, and he whispered about how Dom had been forced to shoot Maria after finding her brain-damaged and tortured in the Hollow. Bernie was shocked, and formulated a plan with him to help warn other Gears and civilians off from asking Dom if he had found his wife, and only tell them that he had found her dead.[63]

Arrival in Port Farrall

"Dom's in shock. We do what we have to, to get him through it, okay? And from you, that means no crass advice. Keep it zipped."
—Bernie, telling Baird what they are going to do to help Dom

On the way to Port Farrall, Baird told Bernie what the Locust did to Tai.[64] After arriving at the city, Bernie found herself with Cole and Baird in Marshaling zone G. They discussed what had happened with Dom and his wife, and were eventually joined by Anya. She asked them where Dom was, and they told her that Marcus had gone looking for him. Baird talked about how he did not believe that Dom had shot Maria, considering how normal he had acted after the regrouped with him in Nexus, but Bernie told him to shut up about and not to offer any advice to Dom. Anya told Bernie that Hoffman had wanted her to make sure she was okay, and Bernie was embarrassed about his concern. Anya told her that she would tell Hoffman that Bernie was glad he was okay as well, and Bernie thanked her.[65]

Skirmish South of Port Farrall

"You know what I'm going to do with this, tosser? I'm going to do to you what you did to my mate Tai. Yeah. You like that idea? And I'm old, so I'm going to be a bit slow about it. Understand?"
—Bernie, taunting a drone as she prepares to torture it with a knife

When Marcus and Dom encountered a group of Locust that were fleeing the Hollow, Bernie joined Cole and Baird in PA-776 to drive to the battle. Anya followed them, and pounded on the vehicle hatch, demanding to be let in. Cole did not want her to come, but Bernie opened the hatch for her. As they arrived at the battlefield, they found dozens of other squads arriving to fight, and Bernie was worried they would not be able to kill any themselves. Baird told her he would find a live one for her to play with, and Bernie told Anya to stay in the cover of the APC's hatch and provide covering fire. She also told her to manage civilian traffic if needed. They joined the battle, and she and Baird chased a wounded drone that was attempting to flee the battle. She tackled it, and pinned it down. After the rest of the Locust were finished off, the other Gears gathered around her and Baird, cheering as she tortured it and Baird asked it questions. When Marcus and Dom arrived, he told her to shoot it, but Bernie demanded why she should. He told her she would complain about her back tomorrow, which snapped Bernie out of her rage. She pulled out her pistol and shot the drone in the head, and Marcus helped her stand up. Baird was annoyed, because he had wanted answers, but Marcus told him it did not matter. They returned to the APC, and Anya drove them back to Port Farrall. Bernie sat next to Dom, and said she did not want to think that that had been her back on the battlefield, but knew it was, and that the moral line was easy to cross. Dom told her that she would have stopped herself without any interference, but that he was not sure he would have.[66]

Settling in Port Farrall

"Come on, sweetheart. It's okay... okay... take it easy. It's okay."
—Bernie, comforting Dom after he breaks down about killing his wife

One week later, Bernie went hunting and killed four deer. She strapped them onto her APC and headed back to Port Farrall. She met Baird at the checkpoint to the city, and they drove to the barracks. As they went, she asked him how many more civilians had died, and he told that there were forty-three, most of them elderly. She spotted a group of civilians carrying a large net full of fish, and pondered what she called the "boom-and-bust cycle of nature". He told her how some civilians were still arriving from Jacinto, but others were leaving and joining the Stranded, which disgusted both of them. Baird asked her if she did not know what to do with herself not that the war was almost over, and admitted that he did not know what to do with himself. He also mentioned that the Gears now had fewer things than the civilians, and Bernie decided she would head out later and barter deer meat for supplies. After arriving at the barracks, Bernie left Baird, Cole, and Dom to move the deer while she went up to meet with Hoffman. He told her to set up bushcraft classes for the civilians, and she informed him about the various wildlife she had found in the woods around the city. He told her how useful she was, and also ordered her to take care of the feral cats. She then headed back down and gave a course to a group of Gears on who to prepare a deer, but was interrupted when a rig arrived and Dom ran over to greet its driver, Pvt.Dizzy Wallin. Dom introduced them to each other, and Dizzy wanted to know where Tai was. They informed him that Tai had been killed, deeply upsetting him. Dizzy said they would all have to get together later and drink in appreciation of Tai, and Bernie told him it good to meet him. An alarm then went off, and Bernie went with the rest of the squad to deal with a riot at the food distribution center.[67] After settling the riot down, Bernie returned to find the liver from the deer gone, with bloody catprints all around. She decided it was time to get cat gloves, and asked Dom if he wanted to come along and help put them down. This was the wrong wording to use around him however, and he broke down screaming at them to stop being so nice to him. Bernie comforted him until Marcus arrived, and then hunted down and killed the feral cats.[68] She later brought up a steak to Hoffman, and they reminisced about the world before the Locust, and how the two of them were the last Gears of their generation. Benrie also told about what Dom had been forced to do for his wife in the Hollow, which horrified and upset Hoffman.[69]

Mission to Merrenat Naval Base

"They're just being dogs. When people disappear and there's no more commands or fences, animals go back to being what they always were. Animals."
—Bernie, explaining why the feral dogs attacked Delta

Three days later, Bernie went with the rest of Delta on a mission to Merrenat Naval Base to locate caches of supplies in the tunnels under the base. After they found an entrance, Bernie went down into them with Marcus, Dom, and Cole while Baird stayed on watch up above. She split off from the rest of them to find the main entrance to the tunnels.[70] However, when she located the entrance, she ran into a pack of feral dogs, which attacked her. She shot one, but the others kept swarming back at her, and she was wounded several times. The rest of the squad arrived to help fight them, but one jumped on top of her, knocking her to the ground. It tried to bite her face, but she hooked her fingers into its jaw and yanked it off her, and Marcus finished off by hitting it with his chainsaw. She was shaken by the experience, and they headed outside, where they found Baird. He was surprised that dogs had caused such a panicked reaction out of all of them, and Bernie was afraid of losing respect in front of him. She explained the best way to fight off a pack of dogs, but was unable to keep her voice from shaking. They then headed back to Port Farrall, because the rest of the squad had located supplies in the tunnel before the dogs attacked.[71]

Battling the Last of the Locust

"He's gone back to join the burial detail, I think. I wish I hadn't been such a bitch to him before."
—Bernie, to Cole on Baird after the Ambush outside of Port Farrall

Two days later, the Locust attacked the food distribution center. Bernie responded to the attack along with Baird and many other Gears, fighting off the Locust troops. They managed to fight them off, but several groups of civilians began leaving the city to join the Stranded, believing that the COG could no longer protect them.[72] Five weeks later, Bernie went with the rest of Delta-One and Sigma-Four to hunt down a Locust drone that Sgt.Rory Andresen had wounded during a patrol in the woods outside the city. She and Baird discussed if the COG should head down into the Hollow and see if they could wipe out all the Locust that survived the flooding, but she decided the COG was in no shape to do that. After a Gear from Sigma, Collin, found a blood trail, Bernie began tracking it. However, several other Gears also found blood trails, and Baird was able to pick out a sound coming from deeper into the forest: Kantus monks screaming. The ground behind Bernie and the other Gears suddenly erupted, and drones and various types of Boomers came charging at them. They herded the Gears toward mines, but Marcus got them into cover and firing positions. He then ordered Bernie to hunt down and kill the Kantus, and she ran through the cover and away from the battle towards the sound of the Kantus.[73] Bernie climbed a tree to locate the Kantus, and Cole arrived to assist her. She located both the Kantus, but could only get a shot on one. She killed it, and had Cole try and cause the other one to run into her sight, but it went the opposite direction. Cole killed it, and then headed back to find Bernie with Baird. Bernie was stuck in the tree, and had twisted her ankle so she could not climb down. Cole had her drop so he could catch her, and he put her over his shoulder to carry back to base. Baird gave her a cleaver he had taken from a Butcher he had killed, and he headed back to help the burial detail. Bernie regretted the way she had treated Baird before, and Cole told her that he only gave people he liked bloodstained cleavers.[74]

Mission to Vectes

"Well, maybe we don't need to lynch Prescott after all. Good call, Chairman."
—Bernie, as they flew over Vectes

A few days later, Bernie headed with the rest of Delta and Anya to the island of Vectes on KR Eight-Zero, with KR-239 following, to scout the island as a possible relocation point for the COG. Dom asked her if she had ever made it as far as Vectes on her journey across Sera, but she told him that the biohazard markers and its distance from the mainland made her stay away from it, and that even most Stranded did not get out that far. Dom then inquired if she had ever considered herself Stranded, but Bernie told him that she never did, and considered the idea revolting. She briefly considered telling them about her rape at the hands of a group of Stranded, but decided against it. After discovering the island was still inhabited, they landed on a cliff outside a town called Pelruan. Bernie and Anya followed Marcus towards a crowd of people gathering in their path, when one of them, Lewis Gavriel, fired a shot over their heads. After Marcus managed to convince them that they were not hostile, Bernie followed the rest of the squad into the town. She tried to keep an eye on both Anya and Cole to protect them, even though the town was a COG enclave. After they explained the situation to Gavriel, who was the mayor of the town, he gave them plans to Vectes Naval Base in order to see if it was in any condition to inhabit. He also told them about an aggressive Stranded presence on the island, which worried Bernie. She and the others, minus Baird, Major Gill Gettner, and Lt.Nat Barber, who stayed to guard the Ravens, then headed to VNB with William Berenz to inspect it.[75]

Visiting the Stranded

"The blue dinghy. Anyone want to admit to owning that?"
—Bernie, after seeing the boat that belonged to Jonn Massy at the Stranded settlement on Vectes

Upon inspecting the base, they found it to be inhabitable, and Anya informed Prescott and Hoffman over the comms, who then began the relocation effort. Marcus then decided that they should inspect the Stranded settlement, and headed there in the Raven. On the way, Bernie began to make fishing lures from bird feathers, after Cole mentioned that he wanted to take up fishing. She explained to Berenz that she was a survival instructor, and questioned him about the Stranded. Once they arrived, Bernie and Cole flushed a spotter out of a boat near their landing zone, when a group of heavily armed men came out of the house and stood before the Gears, and Bernie and the others moved into covering positions for Marcus and Dom. She threatened a Stranded who made a comment about Anya, and listened as Marcus told the Stranded leader, Massy, that the COG was coming to the island and they would either have to leave or join up. A firefight almost broke out, but Massy decided not to try anything. As they began to leave, Bernie caught sight of the boat that belonged to Jonn Massy, the last surviving member of the group who had raped her. She questioned the Stranded if the man who owned the boat was there, and they denied it. As she headed back to the Raven, one of the Stranded jostled her, and she smashed him in the face with her Lancer, and the Stranded and Gears pointed their guns at each other. The Gears backed up into the Raven, and left the settlement before anyone could open fire. As they headed back to Pelruan, she apologized to the others for nearly getting them killed. They all reassured her that nobody blamed her, but were all curious as to what it was about the boat that had set it off, and were afraid to ask.[76]

"No point pissing around with a long tale of woe. I was raped by Stranded a couple of years ago. So I went after them. I killed two of the guys, but the third got away. That's about it. Anyone want to play another hand?"
—Bernie, telling the rest of Delta about her rape at the hands of Stranded

Once they got back to Pelruan, they were given a place to sleep in the town hall. As they played cards, Cole asked Bernie if she wanted to talk about what happened, and she decided to tell them about her rape and what she did to the two Stranded she caught. They were all understanding of what she did and Cole and Baird offered to help her if she ever caught the last one. Marcus asked what she planned to do if she found the third one, and she told him that she knew what she would like to do, but that he would not approve. She then decided to go to sleep, and told everyone to forget about the conversation in the morning and wake her up when it was time for her watch shift. Anya followed her from the room in order to talk to her privately.[77]

Raid on Pelruan

"Shore, clear. Boats- clear. Eight-Zero, can you see anything else down there?"
—Bernie, after clearing the Stranded along the shore with Cole.

However, her rest was cut short when Marcus and Cole spotted a group of Stranded boats approaching the shore, planning to attack the town. She joined the rest of the squad on the shoreline, while Anya took the APC to cover the road into town and the Ravens flew cover. Bernie told the others that Massy was likely trying to do what damage he could before the rest of the COG showed up. As they waited for the Ravens to locate the Stranded, Dom asked Bernie why the Stranded left her alive. She told him that they had wanted her to suffer for the rest of her life, but that they had failed. Bernie told him that she also felt a bit cheated out of her revenge, since the Stranded she had caught did not live to suffer. Once the Stranded had landed, Bernie sighted up on the lead boat and covered Cole. When the Stranded opened fire on a Raven, the battle began. She and Cole cleared the shore of Stranded, Bernie asked Gettner if any more boats were inbound, and was informed that the sea was clear. Bernie and Cole then headed to help the others fight off the Stranded that had gotten past them.[78] After the battle, she helped look through the bodies to see if Massy was among the dead.[79]

Touring the Island

"Well, fuck. Now I've got the full set."
—Bernie, after spotting Jonn Massy

The next day, Bernie went with Marcus on a tour of several of the farms on the island. Their last stop was Merris Farm, which was run by Dilland Jonty. He was amused by her Islander accent, and shared with her his hatred of the Stranded, since they sometimes raided his farm and had killed one of his four dogs. She made a deal with him to provide security and workers for his farm if he would provide some of his crops to help feed the incoming refugees from Jacinto. They then got back into Sorotki's Raven with Jonty, and he pointed out several landmarks on the island, as well as routes the Stranded used. They then flew to the Stranded community, so Marcus could offer them Prescott's amnesty deal. She covered Marcus from the Raven, while he made the offer, and they then flew to an observation post on a ridge so they could observe the Stranded as they came to collect their dead where the Gears had left them. Jonty identified the most violent Stranded among them, but Bernie spotted one that interested her: Jonn Massy. She was happy that she could now take her revenge on her final rapist, but Marcus had her lower her Longshot, and they went back to Pelruan.[80]

"Yeah, we're all Gears. If he's not welcome, we're not welcome."
—Bernie, to the citizens of Pelruan when they harassed Dizzy and his daughters

Bernie and Marcus went to the local bar in Pelruan, where they ran into Hoffman, who had learned of Bernie's rape. He had to leave to prepare for the arrival of Chairman Richard Prescott, but told her to find him later so they could talk. Dom arrived, and Bernie told him that they had found the third rapist, but Marcus was against her taking revenge on him personally. Dom supported her doing whatever she wanted, but the conversation was interrupted when Dizzy arrived, along with his two daughters, Maralin and Teresa. Their arrival caused tension with the Pelruan citizens in the bar, who viewed Dizzy and his family as Stranded, and wanted to kick them out, or worse. Bernie and the others defended him, and made the citizens back down. They stayed at the bar for a while longer, talking, and Bernie decided they needed to set a bar at VNB quickly, just for Gears. After they left, Teresa asked Bernie why the Pelruan citizens hated them, and Bernie did her best to comfort her. After Dizzy and his family left, Marcus reminded Bernie that Hoffman wanted to see her.[81]

Stranded Insurgency

Capturing Massy

"There. Take a look around. How do you like the odds now, tosser?"
—Bernie, to Jonn Massy after catching him and surrounding him with several other Gears

When the Stranded who had decided to accept the COG's amnesty offer arrived at VNB, Bernie and Anya headed to inspect them with a bot in order to identify the violent elements among them. As she intimidated several of the largest Stranded, she kept an eye out for Massy. She joined Anya, Hoffman, and Michaelson, and prepared to go with Anya to the registration desk to provide security, but Hoffman told her to continue to look among the Stranded. When she spotted him, he attempted to run and climb over the bases fence, but Bernie managed to hit him in the legs with her Lancer. She pinned him on the ground, and held her chainsaw up to his neck. Hoffman, Andresen, and several other Gears arrived to assist her, and Hoffman took over pinning him to the ground. Hoffman interrogated him, and Bernie finally learned his name, and that his brother had been the one to lead the attack on Pelruan. As Hoffman began taking Massy away to a jail cell, Massy began shouting about how Bernie had murdered all his friends, in an attempt to humiliate her.[82]

"Vic, I'm okay. I don't bake a cake to celebrate the anniversary, but it doesn't stop me living, either. Every good time I have is a big fuck-you to that bastard in there."
—Bernie, to Hoffman about her rape

After Massy was put into a cell, Bernie waited for Hoffman and Prescott to finish arguing over what to do with him. She overheard them talking, and Hoffman convinced Prescott to decide to leave it up to Hoffman on what to do. When Hoffman came into the room she was waiting in, she told she was unsure if she wanted Massy to have a public trial or not, but decided it would not look good for a Gear to have killed two people, even if they had been rapists. Bernie asked him if he was ashamed of her, and he told her he was not. He told her he did not care about what she had done, and that all he cared about was her and the rest of the Gears. They then went to talk to Massy, and she asked him why he came to VNB. He taunted them, saying that his fellow Stranded were now living inside the COG's walls, waiting for the time to strike. Hoffman threatened to kill all of them, but Massy claimed that they did not have the guts to. Hoffman handed Bernie his pistol, but she gave it back to him, and he put it to Massy's head. She had Hoffman put the gun down, telling him that she would think of something to do with Massy. When she did this, she saw fear Massy's face for the first time. As they left Massy's cell, Hoffman told Bernie he wished she had let him shoot Massy, but she told him it was enough that he had been willing to do it.[83]

Integrating with Pelruan

"He's no trouble at all. He thinks we shoot civilians, though. I was explaining that we don't do that."
—Bernie, to the mother of a child from Pelruan

Three days later, Bernie stood next to Cole in a guard unit of Gears that stood on the parade ground of VNB while Chairman Prescott gave a speech to a group of Pelruan representatives and citizens. They discussed the differing kinds of Stranded the were now being faced with, an after the speech ended, walked around the base. They talked with a child from Pelruan, Samuel, who was scared that the Gears would shoot him. Bernie and Cole tried to convince him they were not dangerous, but Samuel's mom ran up an grabbed him, and told the Gears to stay away from them. When Bernie tried to explain they were not dangerous, the mom told them she saw Bernie assault Massy, and to stay away from her family. Bernie was too shocked to respond, and after the women left, she asked Cole if she had become someone children should be scared of. Cole assured her that the women was just crazy, and that there was nothing wrong with her. Cole asked what she was going to do with Massy, and she told him she was still unsure. They then went to the dock to help unload ships still coming into the port.[84]

Meeting on the High Seas

"I'm not gloating. I'm just making sure I've still got the courage of my convictions."
—Bernie, on why she was listening to Massy being tortured

Soon afterwards, Bernie went on a mission aboard the CNV Falconer to give Massy to the Lesser Islands Free Trade Area in exchange for them to not attack COG shipping. Bernie stayed on the deck in order to keep watch over the whole operation, not trusting the Stranded to keep their word. After they reached the meeting point, they found three Stranded vessels, instead of the agreed upon two, but nobody was on any of the ships decks. Suspecting a trick, Captain Quentin Michaelson had Massy brought out on deck so he could get a look at the ships, and Bernie kept her distance from him. Shortly afterwords, a man came out onto the deck of the largest vessel, and identified himself as Darrel Jacques, a member of a rival gang. They wanted to torture and kill Massy, and would give the COG the same terms for his exchange that the other group would have. Michaelson agreed, and Bernie attempted to get on board the Marlin to help make the exchange, but Dom told her it would likely be better for her to remain on the Falconer. She agreed, deciding that Massy was going to get what was coming to him, and she could keep at least some of her conscience clean. After the exchange was made, Bernie stayed on the deck to listen to Massy being tortured on the other ship. Cole tried to convince her to come below deck, but she told him that she had to stay and listen. Soon the Trader V got under way, and Bernie could no longer hear Massy's screams. As the Falconer got moving as well, Bernie found Baird on the deck, upset that he had been unable to drive a salvaged gunboat back to Vectes. They then began listening to a com exchange between Commander Garcia on the CNV Clement, which was following the Trader V back to its base, and Michaelson. Garcia was picking up something on the sonar, and then detected a torpedo launch. They watched as the Trader V was destroyed, and were shocked when a UIR submarine, the Zephyr, emerged from under the water. Its commander, Miran Trescu, asked to accompany them back to Vectes in order to negotiate joining the COG. Michaelson agreed, and as they headed back to Vectes, Bernie realized that Massy was dead, and that she did not feel guilty or cheated, and decided she could move on[85]

A New War

"Meet Mac. He hunts Stranded. I've borrowed him for a while."
—Bernie, showing Mac off to the rest of the Gears in the bar

Four weeks later, Bernie attended the opening of the sergeants’ mess at VNB. She teased Baird about having fixed the bases defensive guns and how smart he was, but the celebration was cut short when word came about an attack on Merris Farm, and many of the Gears left to respond to the attack.[86] A few weeks later, the COG had entered into a war with the Stranded in response to the attack on Jonty's farm, which had killed Jonty. Bernie barrowed a dog named Mac from Berenz to help hunt down the Insurgents, and was taught by Berenz how to issue commands to Mac. She arrived at the main mess bar at VNB to show him off to the other Gears. Cole was impressed with him, and Bernie warned Baird to not try to hump Mac's leg. He did not rise to the bait, and the three of them then headed out to hunt Stranded.[87] A week later, Bernie went out hunting and caught a rabbit with Mac's help. She cut off one of the feet and cured and dried it, turning it into a lucky rabbit's foot for Hoffman. She left it in his office, along with a note telling him the rest of the rabbit was in a stew waiting for him in the mess hall.[88]

Patrolling Vectes

"I'll wet my pants and cry later."
—Bernie, after P-Twelve was hit by a roadside bomb

Several days later, Bernie went out with Anya and Mac in Packhorse P-Twelve to scout around Vectes for Stranded activity. As they drove past the Gorasni district of New Jacinto, Anya wondered if the guards around it were to keep the Gears out. Bernie thought they were, and believed it might be because of the missing Gorasni frigate, the Nezark, and asked Anya if they did have something to do with that. Anya told her that Michaelson wanted all the Gorasni ships, so he would not have sunk it, but even if the COG had been behind it, Prescott would not tell her. Anya got nervous when Mac stuck his head up into the drivers cab, but Bernie told her that he did not bite. Anya said that if felt too much like sport to use a dog to hunt Stranded down, but Bernie told her it was simply vermin control. They discussed what the best way to take care of the Stranded problem was, and Bernie suggested wiping them all out to prevent further wars in the future. However, she was also uneasy with this option, and was glad she was not in command and having to decide what was to be done. As they drove, they were contacted by Pvt.Samantha Byrne, who informed them that she had found an Stranded bomb along a road, and had determined where the Stranded who were waiting to detonate it were hiding. The three of them coordinated an ambush of the Stranded with the help of Lt.Donneld Mathieson and Sgt.Drew Rossi. As they headed to join the ambush, Anya asked Bernie where Sam was from. Bernie told her she was half-Tyran and half-Kashkuri, and was from Anvegad, where the Siege of Anvil Gate had occurred, but had been born after the siege. Both Bernie and Anya then got worried as they followed the road, sensing that something was not right. When they hit a hole in the road on a turn, they set off an explosive that flipped P-Twelve over. Bernie hit her head, and fumbled to get out of her seat and grab her Lancer. She asked Anya if she was alright, and Anya told her she was fine and to get clear of the vehicle. Anya asked if she was fine, and Bernie told her she would figure that out later. They took cover behind the vehicle with Mac, and contacted control, informing them of their situation and asking for a pickup. Mac then found a fresh trail, and Bernie wanted to follow it, but Anya was worried about the hit to the head she had suffered. Sam contacted them and told them they were beginning the ambush, and that she was sorry they were going to miss the party. Bernie told her they could get together and hunt Stranded another day.[89]

Battle of Vectes

"Yeah, let's make them pay for Andresen."
—Bernie, during Delta's chase of the Stranded

After KR-239 arrived and dropped off Marcus and Baird, Bernie refused to be med-evacuated and told them that they needed to follow the trail that Mac had found. Marcus agreed, and when Anya was loading supplies into the Raven, he ordered Sorotki to take off, sending Anya back to VNB against her wishes. Baird was worried about her injury, and tried to convince her to go back, but she refused. She and Baird discussed if the Stranded would still be close, and how they were making bombs. Bernie was worried that they were stealing farming supplies to make them, which worried Baird. They also argued if Mac could really hunt Stranded, and Bernie reassured him that he could. As they moved through the forest, they learned that there were at least ten other attacks and ambushes occurring all over the island, and that Andresen had been wounded. They were all deeply upset by this, and continued to follow Mac to get revenge on the Stranded. They eventually reached a large number of rocky hills, and Mac led them to a cave entrance.[90] As they moved up the slope, Anya contacted them and informed them that Andresen had died from his wounds. Bernie and the others became even more motivated to catch the Stranded, and Anya ordered them to try and capture them alive for Trescu to interrogate. After entering the caves, they found a rectangular chamber where the Stranded were keeping bomb making supplies. Mac found an exit they had used, and they called in their location. KR-239 returned to assist them in their search, and Sam began heading toward them on her Rat bike to offer assistance. Bernie kept Mac on a leash to stop him from running off, and they eventually determined the Stranded were heading for a river. Bernie was getting exhausted after the hour’s long chase, and Marcus kept asking her to give him Mac's leash. She told him to stop nursemaiding her, and that she was not Anya. She regretted saying that immediately, but decided to apologize later. KR-239 got a visual of three Stranded moving through the river, and the Stranded opened fire on the Raven. Bernie and the others began running to catch up with them, and KR-239 dropped off Dom and Cole to help in the fight. As she tried to keep up with the others, Bernie reflected that she should have stuck to being a sniper, and that she was getting too old to keep up with the others. When they caught up with the Stranded, Bernie let Mac go, and he tackled one of them, pinning them to the ground. Marcus charged the second Stranded, trying to tackle him in order to take him alive, but the guy began lining up a shot on him. Bernie got prepared to shoot, but Sam arrived and slammed into the Stranded with her Rat-bike. Dom and Cole captured the third Stranded, a teenage boy, while Bernie called Mac off of the Stranded he was biting into. KR-239 landed and loaded the Stranded onto the chopper, while Bernie and Marcus debated if turning the Stranded over to Trescu, who would likely torture them, was the right thing to do. Bernie thought it was, since they had just bombed them and several other Gears and deserved what was coming to them.[91]

"We make a habit of not telling each other things, don't we, Vic?"
—Bernie, after Hoffman brings up what happened during the Siege of Anvil Gate

A few days later, Bernie went to Hoffman's quarters after hearing that Trescu shot and executed one of the Stranded prisoners. She found him with his head in his hands, looking conflicted about what had happened. She asked him what the difference was between what Trescu had done, and his offer to kill Jonn Massy for her, and that she would gladly kill the other two for what they had done to Andresen and the other Gears killed in the battle. Hoffman told her that it was because of Anvil Gate, and that everything that the past few days had reminded him a lot of the siege there. Bernie was unaware of the specifics of what had occurred there, and told him that they kept a lot from each other. Hoffman asked her where she was during the summer of Anvil Gate, and she told him she had been in Kashkur as well, fighting at Shavad, and they had not seen each other for a long time at that point. Hoffman decided to tell her about what had happened during the siege, and told her he would start his tale once they finished dealing with the mysterious destruction of a fishing trawler.[92]

Lambent Pandemic

Patrolling the Sea

"I'm so happy for you, Professor. Really."
—Bernie, after Baird was happy that the Lambent fit his theory as to what had been happening to the destroyed ships

The next day, Bernie was selected to guard one of the trawlers in the fleet when it went out fishing in a convoy. She left Mac locked in a fuel compound with a sheep carcass while she was away, and headed to the pier to meet with the rest of the squad. She was weary of going out to sea, and almost wished that she had left Hoffman reassign her before deciding that that would be admitting defeat to age. When Bernie arrived at the pier, Cole asked her where Mac was, and she explained. Baird then asked her if she knew if Trescu had gotten any more information out of the Stranded yet, since she was so close to Hoffman and he might have told her. She told him she had no idea, and they would know if they stopped finding craters along the roads. Bernie joined Marcus aboard the Coral Star, and they set off to sea. As they headed for the fishing spot, Bernie wondered why Hoffman was taking so long in telling her about Anvil Gate, and wondered what could have happened there that would make him feel so ashamed. Two hours into the trip, the fleet finally stopped and began trawling up Oilfish. Cole contacted her from the Montagnon, and asked if he could throw up yet. Bernie told him to try and miss the fish. As the fish were loaded on the ship, Bernie talked with the Coral Stars skipper, Aylmer Gullie, about fishing. As she watched the fish flop around on deck, Bernie felt uneasy watching them, thinking about how when she killed animals, she made sure to do it painlessly, and decided to look away from the sorting. She also noticed that the seagulls were not flying around the Coral Star, but were focusing on the other two ships. She then overheard Crabfat and Gullie talking about a creature they had hauled up, and laughing that it might be one of those creatures Cole had warned them about. Bernie turned around alarmed, and she and Marcus were shocked to discover the creature glowing and mutating before their eyes. As the creature grew limbs, Marcus ordered the crew off the ship, and contacted the others to let them know they had trawled up a Lambent. As the crew jumped overboard, Bernie asked Marcus how to kill the creature. He told her not to shoot it, because Lambent exploded. As it swung at them with its tentacles, Bernie told Marcus to get the ship going to full throttled away from the other ships and abandon the boat. When Marcus ducked into the control room and the boat started moving, but he did not emerge, Bernie began working her way towards him to see if he was alright, avoiding the Lambents attacks. When she got to the door, Marcus tackled her overboard and into the sea, and the speeding trawler shot away from them. A few seconds later, the Lambent creature exploded, destroying the Coral Star. The Montagnon began heading towards them to pick them up, and Gullie swam over to them to ask if that had been a Locust. Marcus told him that they were Lambent, mutated creatures that had been fighting the Locust. Gullie was horrified, as was Bernie, who realized that the ocean was no longer a safe place for any vessel. The Montagnon arrived and began pulling them out of the water, and when Bernie flopped to the deck in front of Baird, he expressed his pleasure at finally knowing what was going on, and how it all fit the theories he had been working on. Bernie was annoyed with him for thinking that Lambent was a good thing, and as he helped pull her up, he wondered if the Lambent could sink a warship. Gullie asked how big the Lambent could get, and they all felt a sense of dread when Marcus said they could become larger than a tank.[93]

Returning to VNB

"Look, I promise I'll stay alive until we hold Andresen's funeral. Okay?"
—Bernie, after people keeping asking her if she was okay

As the Montagnon headed back to Vectes, Bernie got out her wet armor and webbing, and sat on a bench, drained of most of her Islander coloring, with skin more gray than brown. Baird came over to make sure she was okay, telling her that fishing her out of water was getting to be a habit, and that if she died, he would have no one to bitch at him. She did not return his insults, telling him that she would be fine after a shower and some sleep. Cole then came over and suggested that she have Dr.Isabel Hayman take a look at her. Bernie, annoyed at everyone's attention, told them that she would make sure she stayed alive until they held Andresen's funeral. Everyone backed off, but then Marcus told them that they had a problem ashore. Bernie asked what was going on, and he told her that there was a disagreement between the COG and the Gorasni. Bernie asked if there were riots, but he told her Hoffman and Trescu had gotten into an argument, and that Hoffman was trying to exert his authority over Trescu by blocking his Imulsion tanker from leaving the harbor. Marcus got more details, and told Bernie and the others that Trescu had carried out a raid on Stranded camps without Hoffman's approval, and that Hoffman had shut down the Gorasni radio and was attempting to attach a COG transmitter to the Gorasni tanker. Bernie understood Hoffman's problem with Trescu acting without approval, but asked if the Gorasni had managed to kill a lot of Stranded. Marcus did not comment, and Gullie pointed out that the Lambent were a bigger issue, and questioned what to do about them. Baird suggested that they treat them like mines, and be more careful while fishing. As they pulled into harbor, they were met by Major Aleksander Reid, who ordered Bernie and Marcus to report to Hoffman's office for a debriefing, but to get checked out by a medic first.[94]

"I saw the bloody thing, Vic. Remember that horror movie where the shape-shifting fungus took over Ephyra? Well, it was like that."
—Bernie, to Hoffman on the Lambent she encountered

After the debriefing, Bernie and Marcus went to the sergeants mess, with Bernie upset that she had not been able to give Hoffman and the others much information about the Lambent creature. Marcus told her not to worry about that, and that he had not gotten a good look either. Bernie hoped that they would stay that small, and that maybe they would be a unifying influence that would stop the infighting among in the COG. Bernie checked her watch and told him that she had to go, and that she was meeting Hoffman. She told him at their age, it did not make sense to wait, and encouraged him to stop waiting himself and grab hold of life, hoping to convince him to move forward with his relationship with Anya. Marcus grunted in response, and as Bernie headed for Hoffman's quarters, she wondered if Adam Fenix and Helena Stroud would have been able to talk some sense into Marcus and Anya. When she got to Hoffman's room, she realized other people were in there, and listened in. She heard Prescott arguing with Hoffman and Michaelson over their decision to block the Gorasni communications, but they eventually convinced him it had been the right thing to do. After discussing the Lambent for a bit, Prescott left, with Bernie hiding in an alcove to avoid being seen. After talking for a few moments with Hoffman, Michaelson left as well. She knocked, and Hoffman told her to come in, pulling out a bottle of Dizzy's brew, saying he did not know who needed a drink more, him or her. Bernie told him that she had been eavesdropping, but Hoffman told her it just saved him some time. He asked if he was overreacting to the Lambent, and Bernie told him that he was acting like Marcus was. Hoffman asked if that meant he was acting like an uncommunicative asshole who was neglecting his girl, cluing Bernie in that Hoffman was really worried, because he never joked. She told him that since the last place they had seen the Lambent had been under Jacinto, it stood to reason they had either found a way out, or had always been out in the ocean. Hoffman agreed, but neither one of them liked those options.[95]

They went outside and up to the top of the sentry post, where they found a nice secluded area and settled down to drink and look out at the ocean. As Hoffman handed Bernie the bottle, he told her that she was confined to base until Hayman said she was combat fit. Bernie understood that it meant he cared for her, but was also angry with him. She remarked that if she got bored she could always start traveling around the world again, which alarmed Hoffman. He told her to stay put, and that she knew what had happened to Margaret, and he could go through that again. Bernie told him she wished he had said that forty years ago, and Hoffman told her he wished had, but that he was saying it now. They passed the bottle back in forth in silence for a while, until Bernie noticed several lights out a sea. She drew Hoffman's attention to them, and he contacted the CIC to find out what was going on. Control told them that a ship had been spotted out in the water, and the CNV Scepter had gone out to check it out. The Sceptor thought it was abandoned, but Michaelson came on the line and warned them to wait until a couple of Ravens were covering them. Bernie told Hoffman she was going to armor up just in case, and asked if they were ever going to get to talk about Anvil Gate. Hoffman told her they were, but they needed to take care of this first. After getting her armor and weapons, Bernie headed back out to the jetty, where a bunch of other sailors and Gears were watching what was happening. She then headed to the CIC, and waited with Hoffman for a status update. The Scepter's CO reported that there was no one on board, but there was blood and no bodies. He also reported that there was a hole in the hull, along with a corresponding thing that looked like a great big tree. Bernie and the others were confused by this, with Hoffman and Michaelson worried about the tree, while Bernie was wondering why there was blood but not bodies.[95]

Hunting Stranded

"I don't know how many people I've killed in my time. I actually can't count them. And that's never bothered me until now."
—Bernie thoughts after ambushing three Stranded insurgents

When Lambent Stalks were spotted heading towards the Emerald Spar Imulsion Platform after attacking the CNV Clement, which Baird had defended, Hoffman did not allow Bernie to take part in the defense of the platform. She did contact Cole and told him to tell Baird that she always knew he was human deep down.[96] The battle for the platform was lost, and it was destroyed by the Lambent. As Bernie walked around New Jacinto the next day with Mac, she sensed the mood around the city had once again taken a turn for the worse. Yanik Laas, a Gorasni sailor turned Gear, stopped her in the street and mentioned how things just kept getting worse. Bernie told him she was sorry about his countrymen on the Emerald Spar, and he asked her what use the COG had for the Gorasni now that the Imulsion source was gone. Mac sensed the tension between the two and began growling, but Yanik was not bothered. She told him they were all facing the same shit, and they were better off having them there, Imulsion or no Imulsion. Yanik nodded, and said that he knew she would understand and not bullshit him, based on her attitudes toward Stranded. He saluted her and walked away, and Bernie told Mac to follow her so they could go hunt some Stranded. As she left the city through a checkpoint, the Gear there questioned her on how long until the Lambent reached Vectes. Bernie told him she did not have a clue, and felt angry that she was now being kept out of the loop, except by Baird, who had told her the Ravens were grounded for maintenance and to preserve fuel. As she followed Mac thought the forest, she thought about the new situation, and reflected that the navy was going to be in trouble without a fuel source. Bernie also tried to figure out a way to keep Mac permanently, and what she would need to trade to Berenz. After a few hours, Mac picked something up, and Bernie sighted up a Stranded carrying a large ammo crate along a path. She had to decide to shoot him or not, in case he was part of a convoy and others were following him. She shot him in the head with her Longshot, then pulled out her Lancer. Mac started growling in one direction, and two young men emerged on the path, moving at a crouch. When they reached the body, Bernie put six shots into each of their chests, and then waited a few more minutes. When no one else emerged, she came out from her cover and went to the bodies and searched them, taking their weapons and hiding the ammo crate. She contacted Mathieson in the CIC and told him about the encounter, and he asked her if she wanted a ride from Sam back to base. Bernie wondered if she had become a charity case, and refused the ride since she had Mac with her. As she walked back to base, she began wondering why she had gone out hunting the insurgents, and if she had done it for Andresen, because she was in a war, or for herself. After Mac led her back to the rode, she told him he had done a good job. She eventually saw KR-80 flying overhead, and Gettner contacted her and said they were there to pick her up. After they landed, Barber helped her load the weapons she was carrying onto the Raven, and she lifted Mac onto the deck and secured him with a harness. She asked if Hoffman had sent them, but Barber told her it had been Marcus, after they had dropped some supplies off to Anya at Pelruan, and that he said to save the ammo for the glowies. Gettner said she preferred shinies, and warned Bernie not to let Mac pee on the Raven. Bernie could tell their banter was forced, and wondered how bad the battle at the Emerald Spar had been. She then said it was too late, and Gettner asked if that was about the pee, but Bernie told her it was about the ammo, and thought to herself that it was also too late for a lot of other things.[97]

Calm Before the Storm

"Will, we're going to survive. I don't know how, but we're going to beat this. Okay?"
—Bernie, attempting to reassure William Bernez that they could beat the Lambent

As the COG prepared for a strike against Vectes by the Lambent, a deal was struck with the Stranded insurgents to work together to try and stop the Lambent, and the Stranded would then leave the island. Bernie patrolled the shoreline where the Stranded were based everyday with Mac and her Lancer out at the ready, making it clear she would not tolerate any tricks on their part.[98] When a suspected Leviathan was spotted heading towards Vectes, Bernie, along with Sam, were sent to Pelruan to help guard the town. Bernie was annoyed at being sent to the "soft option", and talked with Mac about him going back to see Bernez and forgetting about her. As they pulled into the Pelruan Garrison, they found Anya waiting for them. Bernie was struck by how much she was starting to look and act like her mother. Anya told them they were making some preparations in case the Leviathan attacked them, and told Bernie that she could either stay at Ellen's bar or Bernez's house. Bernie chose Bernez's house, and began walking with Sam to it to drop off Mac before going on duty. As they walked, they passed a Pendulum Wars memorial, and stopped to pay their respects. Sam pointed out a wreath and card left by members of the Duke of Tollen's Regiment, whose survivors lived in Pelruan and had fought against the Gorasni. Bernie noted that the two groups would likely never get along, and after they finished paying their respects, they headed to Bernez's house. He greeted them, and told Bernie that she had spoiled Mac, and that he had gained weight. She told him that he needed the extra energy, and then made sure Sam was out of earshot when she asked how Anya was handling her duties. Bernez told her that the people in the town trusted her, and that she seemed very efficient in doing her job. Bernie told him that she realized that the people of Pelruan had to be nervous with the allies they had made, but that they needed they help if they were going to survive. Bernez understood, and asked her if she thought they would win. She assured him that they would, and then headed to the signals office, where Rossi was monitoring the radio. Bernie asked if he wanted them out on patrol with all the extra stuff going on, and he agreed, and then told her not to worry about being stuck in Pelruan, because it proved that Hoffman cared for her. After setting up in the observation post along the western cliffs, Bernie and Sam noticed something large moving out in the water. They determined it was a Leviathan, and Bernie contacted Mathieson to let him know while Sam informed Anya.[99]

Battle of Pelruan

As they headed back down to the town, Bernie and Sam spotted the Leviathan in the harbor, and realized it was Lambent as it began letting off Polyps onto the beach. They opened fire on them, detonating dozens, but were pushed back up the beach. Anya, Rossi, and other Gears and locals arrived to support them, and they began holding a line against them. KR Three-Three then arrived, and began firing on the Lambent Leviathan. However, it was destroyed when the Leviathan shot a tentacle at it, shooting Polyps into the air, which hit the Raven and exploded, destroying it. Bernie was shocked by the explosion, but she and the others continued to fire into the Polyps, until the wave that had been let onshore was defeated. As they recovered, Bernie realized the Leviathan had disappeared.[100] As they prepared for the Lambent to return, Bernie worked with Rossi to get ammo handed out to all of the units. Anya asked Bernie if they should evacuate the town, but Bernie, knowing that she should be asking her second-in-command, Rossi, instead of her, responded that she did not know what Rossi was thinking. Rossi told them that the locals would not leave, but they should give them the option. Anya mentioned that Gorasni troops were coming as reinforcements, and they worried about if the local vets could keep themselves from attacking them. Bernie volunteered to handle the Gorasni, since they respected her. KR-239 arrived and dropped off eight Gorasni Gears, including Yanik. After putting together a plan to try and draw out the Leviathan so that KR-239 could try shooting it in the head repeatedly, Bernie decided to take command of the local veterans instead of the Gorasni, thinking they might respect her since she was a fellow veteran of the Pendulum Wars. Anya agreed, and Bernie met with Cpl.Frederic Benten, the leader of the vets. When the Leviathan launched its next assault, the Gorasni advanced to meet the Polyps while Bernie and her men covered them. Benten fell out of line, declaring he could not fight alongside the Gorasni, and began shooting at Polyps in a different area. Bernie realized that if he did not fall back in line, the other veterans would also stop supporting the Gorasni, so she broke off from shooting to yell at him, telling him that now was not the time to revive old feuds, and that the Polyps were starting to break through their lines without his men firing. When he still refused, Bernie threatened to shoot him, and he told her to go ahead. She then told him to fall back in line one more time, and that he would do it because he was still a Gear. Benten looked at her for a moment, disgust on his face, before moving back into line. Bernie felt terrible about threatening him, but knew she had done the right thing.[101]

"You know that girls day out we never had because I hit a mine? Let's make up for it now."
—Bernie, to Sam and Anya

During a lull in the fighting, Bernie retrieved her Packhorse in order to add some mobility to the battlefield. She ran into Rossi, who told her he was getting one of the garrison's Armadillos into the battle, and that she did a good job handling Benten. Bernie told him she felt bad about doing that, but he reassured her that she had done the right thing. She drove on until she found Sam and Anya, and suggested they have that girl’s night out that they had missed out on when she and Anya had hit that mine. Sam set off on her Rat-bike, racing around the Polyps and shooting into them, while Bernie drove the Packhorse and Anya fired her Lancer out the window. Bernie became slightly worried about Anya, as it seemed like she was too into the battle, but was distracted when KR-239 managed to kill the Leviathan. After mopping up the remaining Polyps, Bernie asked Anya if she was alright, and Anya told her that she was worried, because she felt alright, and even wanted to fight again. Bernie reassured her it was normal, and Anya contacted Hoffman to let him know the battle was over. He told her to keep her men there in case of another attack, and told her that Marcus was fine. Bernie told Hoffman to be careful, and he responded that she should be as well, and that he was the one with a lucky rabbit's foot. Bernie and Sam then rostered off, and headed to Bernez's house to get some sleep. She was disappointed that Mac did not come out to greet her, but decided to worry about that in the morning.[102]

"Tell me you've not assassinated Prescott."
—Bernie, joking after she noticed Hoffman acting odd

The next morning, Bernie discovered that Mac had disappeared during the battle. She was upset, and spent several hours searching for him with the other Gears, but was unable to find him. She then drove back to VNB in her Packhorse, and talked with Anya on the comm on her way there. Anya told her that she and the other would keep looking for Mac, and contact Bernie if he showed up. Bernie thanked, and drove into the city. She was shocked by the damage she saw, but also noticed that the rebuilding had already begun. Bernie went to the CIC, where Mathieson told her that Hoffman wanted to speak with her, but was in a meeting at the moment. Bernie waited in the mess hall until Hoffman arrived, and they hugged each other, relieved that they had each survived the night. Bernie noticed he seemed odd, and asked him what was wrong. He pulled out a data disk, and told her that he had taken it from Prescott’s’ desk after noticing him locking it. Bernie was surprised that Hoffman had done something like that, and he told her that he had had enough of Prescott keeping secrets. Bernie said he should confront him and demand to know what was on it, but Hoffman said he had had his chance, but backed down, and Prescott knew he had the disk. Bernie suggested that he give it to Baird to try and crack it. He thanked her for the advice, and Bernie then asked if he could now finish telling her about Anvil Gate, because she was starting to think he really did not want to tell her. Hoffman agreed, and finished telling his tale about how he won the siege through a false surrender, and executed a civilian for stealing supplies and the look of betrayal on the enemy commanders face when he shot him. Bernie told him she understood why he did what he did, and that he had made the right calls, but did not grasp that it was the enemy commander whose death weighed on him the most.[103]

Bernie retrieving a Lambent specimen for Prescott.

Patrolling Over the Island

"Oh, fuck. They're here."
—Bernie, as she watched Stalks emerge in the center of Vectes

Eleven days later, Bernie went with the rest of Delta Squad on KR-80 on a routine patrol over Vectes. Barber offered her the option of having them fly over the northern part of the island near Pelruan to look for Mac, but Bernie turned down their help, saying it was easier to search on land. They began talking about possible solutions to the fuel shortage, and Bernie suggested to Baird that he could build boilers for the ships so that they did not have to run on Imulsion. Baird was skeptical that he could pull that off, and that he was short on miracles at the moment, referring to his failed attempts to crack the data disk. This drew Gettner's attention, but Bernie and Baird quickly changed the subject, since Gettner and Barber were not aware of the data disk. As they flew over Pelruan, they spotted the rest of the towns dog pack running loose, and Dom asked if Mac was with them. Bernie told him that Bernez would have contacted him if Mac had shown up. Gettner grew angry, and started flying closer to the ground, saying she saw those dogs constantly, and knew where to look for them. Bernie told them all it was nice that they were trying to help, but that she knew that Mac had to be dead by now. However, Cole suddenly said he saw Mac, and they all looked down to see him trying to keep up with the Raven. Gettner set down in a clearing, and Bernie jumped out and hugged him, and carried him aboard the Raven. She attached a line to his collar so he would not fall out, and then began inspecting his fur, which had burn marks on it. She realized they were fresh, and that he must have recently been fighting Polyps. They contacted control and told them there might be Lambent activity in the middle of the island. They then saw a large herd of cows running away from an area, and as they flew over, Stalks erupted out of the ground. They were all horrified, and Bernie held on tighter to Mac as Gettner informed control. They watched two more Stalks emerge from the ground, and Marcus ordered Gettner to get closer so they could get to work.[104]

Collapse of the COG

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Living in Anvil Gate

Bernie and Hoffman watch the sunset from Anvil Gates walls.

"It's tougher surviving here than Vectes. But at least there's no grubs or glowies."
—Bernie to Jasi on how well they were surviving at Anvil Gate

Five months later, Bernie took Jasi Tak, one of the Pesanga children and descendant of Bai Tak, out into forest to teach him to hunt. They found a herd of goats, and gave him advice on how to shoot. He managed shoot one, and Bernie complemented him on his nice shot. She and Mac then recovered the carcass, and Jasi asked if they could go hunting again tomorrow. She told him they would have to so they had food to put on the table. Jasi asked her if they were doing okay, and she told him it was harder surviving here then at Vectes, but there were at least no Locust or Lambent. When they entered the fort, Jasi wondered why it was called Anvil Gate, and Bernie informed him that the COG had been unable to cope with having a foreign named fort called Anvegad. He asked her what it meant, and she told him it was "keyhole" because it was the entrance to Kashkur, but no enemy army had ever managed to break through. They found Hoffman and Jasi's father shoveling snow, and showed off the goat Jasi had killed. She gave it to Jasi's dad to prepare, and Hoffman sadly noted that Bai would have been so proud of the kid. Bernie asked if he still missed him, and Hoffman confirmed he did, along with Delta and Michaelson. Bernie lamented that they could not even contact them now since the comms satellites had gone down. They then went up to the fort walls to watch the sunset, and Hoffman remarked that it was so peaceful that he felt lost, causing Bernie to tease him that they could find some Stranded to fight if he was bored. He then asked if they were having goat again, but Bernie told him to stop complaining and just enjoy the sunset. They then spotted Pad arriving back, and Bernie noted he was not supposed to return for a few more weeks. Hoffman said he better find out what he had discovered, but Bernie told him to give him a bit so he could get a beer first.[105]

Bernie and Pad engage the Locust.

Skirmish in the Kashkur Foothills

"Right. It's no big deal. We just carry on as before."
—Bernie to Hoffman, after encountering Locust

Three weeks later, Bernie was on watch on the fort walls with Mac when she spotted one of Dizzy's convoys speeding back to the fort. She hurried down to meet them, and Ross informed her that some Stranded had taken a shot at them from the Kashkur Foothills. Bernie decided they needed to hunt them down, and Hoffman then arrived with Pad and asked if she was going out to look for trouble. Bernie told him she was just ending the situation before it got worse, and Rossi reassured him that Mac would make it easy to find them. Hoffman told her that they had no idea how many of them there were, and that she would be out of radio range. Bernie reassured him that if they could not stop a small convoy, they likely were just a small gang. Hoffman reluctantly agreed, but warned her not to leave him as a widower again. Bernie went out with Pad, Rossi, and Mac in a Packhorse that night, and Pad remarked that she had just left Hoffman alone with only Prescott’s data disc for company. She told him that it kept him occupied for hours, but Pad noted that they were still no closer to finding out what was on it. When they reached the foothills, they darkened their armor and Bernie let Mac go to get a scent. Bernie told the others not to kill the Stranded unless they started something. Mac led them to a small tent with three Stranded in it, and Bernie and Mac ambushed one of them when he came out to investigate the noise they made. They secured the Stranded, who accused them of murdering three members of their group, but Mac then smelled something else and took off. Bernie told Rossi to watch the Stranded and for Pad to follow her, and ran to catch up with Mac. Pad was worried they were running towards Stranded reinforcements, but Bernie noted that this was how Mac reacted to Polyps. However, they found a Locust tunnel instead, and six Drones emerged and attacked them. Bernie ordered Mac to get out of the line of fire, and she and Pad took cover behind rocks. They opened fire and cut down half of the Locust, and then charged the rest. After finishing them off, they entered the tunnel and found supplies. Bernie noted that there were no more Locust, which upset Pad, since he wanted more revenge on them. Rossi arrived as the left the tunnel, and was shocked to find the Locust. Bernie asked him what he had done with the Stranded, and he told her that he had given them a warning and let them go. They returned to the Packhorse to get back in radio range of the fort, and once they were within it, Bernie let Hoffman know about the Locust. He was upset, but she reassured him that it was only half a dozen, and that they could just carry on as before. Hoffman then asked if everything else was okay, and Bernie told him that they had warned off the Stranded, and that there were no sign of the Lambent. That reassured Hoffman, who said they could handle a few Locust, and Bernie agreed with him since nothing had ever gotten past Anvil Gate.[105]

Baird tells Bernie that Hoffman will fill her in.

Victory Day

"All personnel, prepare the last resort, I repeat, prepare the last resort!"
—Bernie, as the Locust come close to overwhelming the forts defenders

In Bloom 17 A.E., Delta-One landed near the fort in a Gas Barge. They informed Hoffman that a large Locust force was preparing to attack Anvil Gate, and Hoffman and his team rushed back to the fort with Delta. They arrived at the fort at the same time Locust were spotted at the front gate, and Bernie used the comms to sound the alarm and order the garrison to stand-to positions and ordered civilians to safety. Hoffman contacted her ordered her to maintain the comms and direct the battle. Bernie agreed, and ordered all forces to head to the front gate, since an entire Locust battalion was attacking. When the front gate fell, Bernie ordered all personnel to regroup at the second gate and halt the Locust advance at the outer courtyard. A group of Maulers entered the courtyard, and Bernie advised the defenders to try and flank around their shields. The Gears failed to stop the endless waves of Maulers, and Bernie ordered a fallback to the inner courtyards. The defenders desperately tried to hold them off, but Bernie spotted a group of Boomers entering the courtyard and ordered everyone to take cover. The Boomers blasted a hole in the garage door, and the remaining defenders took up positions there to hold back the Locust from entering the rest of the fort. Bernie ordered the last resort, a large fuel tank, to be positioned over the courtyard to drop on the Locust forces. Once it was there, Bernie dropped it in, and Delta-One detonated it. The explosion killed all of the Locust, but also part of Anvil Gate on fire. Bernie ordered all of the fire control teams to the central courtyard to put out the flames before they spread.[106]

Bernie and Delta look to make sure that the Lambent Berserker was actually dead.

"Has anyone been monitoring the radio net? It's Sam and Anya, they're pinned down outside the perimeter."
—Bernie alerting Hoffman and Delta of Sam and Anya's status

As cleanup efforts began, Bernie monitored the radio for any more activity, and picked up a distress call from Anya and Sam, whose convoy had been ambushed outside of the fort. She rushed to the control room to meet the others, and as she entered, Hoffman told her she was not going to believe everything Delta had told him. Bernie told Hoffman that it would have to wait, and informed them about Anya and Sam's situation. Marcus ordered everyone to get ready, and Hoffman headed to find drivers to carry the Gears into battle. Bernie stopped Baird and asked him what she had missed, and Baird told her that Hoffman would need to fill her in, and to try and keep his blood pressure due to everything they had told him. Bernie joined Marcus, Dom, and Cole in the garage as Baird worked on restoring the Hammer of Dawn, and Marcus ordered her and Dom to provide him and Cole covering fire while they rescued Anya, Sam, and the other Gears. She and Dom cut down several Locust Drones, but the Packhorse carrying Marcus and Cole was destroyed, and the rest of the Gears with Anya and Sam were killed. As the rest of Delta headed back to the fort, Lambent Stalks began to emerge, and Bernie worked with Dom to provide covering fire to them while also dealing with a group of Lambent Drones that landed on the forts walls. A Lambent Berserker then came out of a stalk, and Baird fired the Hammer of Dawn in an attempt to kill it. The others ran into the fort as the gates closed, and Bernie and Dom came down into the courtyard to join them in watching the Hammer strike the Berserker on the other side of the walls. When it stopped screaming, Cole wondered if they had killed it, but it began pounding on the gate before jumping over into the courtyard. Bernie retreated into the fort with Anya and Sam while Marcus and the others killed the Berserker by shooting into its exposed chest cavity.[107]

Bernie and Hoffman tell Marcus that they will stay behind and defend the fort.

"Yeah, we're too old to run. We'll just sit on the front porch and blow the shit out of anything that moves."
—Bernie to Marcus, after he asked her whey she and Hoffman were not coming with Delta

Bernie was filled in on Prescott's death and his revelation that he had been keeping Adam Fenix alive on a hidden island called Azura where the COG had a secret base that had recently been captured by Queen Myrrah, and that he had a weapon that could destroy the Lambent. She then gathered with Hoffman and the rest of Delta in the control room as Baird decrypted Prescott's data disc, which revealed the location of Azura and the fact it was guarded by an artificial hurricane. They put a plan together for Delta to use the CNV Adamant, a submarine at the Endeavor Naval Shipyard, to go to Azura and rescue Adam.[107] The next morning, Bernie joined Hoffman in seeing Delta off. Marcus asked why they were not coming along, and Hoffman told him he would be damned if he was going to let the Lambent take over Anvil Gate, and he would defend it with Bernie and the others. Bernie agreed with him, and told Marcus that they would just stay at the fort and shoot anything hostile that moved, finally accepting that she was too old to be going on missions anymore.[108]

Hoffman and Bernie realize that Delta had succeeded.

Bernie, Hoffman, and the remainder of the Anvil Gate garrison defended the fort for the next few days from the Lambent. As they were close to being overrun, they saw a blue wave of energy wash through the sky, and all of the Lambent creatures were vaporized while the Locust creatures around them fell to the ground and seemingly died, and realized that Delta had succeeded in their mission to find Azura and end the war.[109]

A photo of Bernie and Hoffman together after the Locust War.

Interwar Period

Following the war, Bernie and Hoffman formed a life together, returning to Bernie's farm on Galangi. Hoffman kept a picture of the two of them together at the beach on his desk in their home. The two remained close with their friends and their friends' children, namely Jasi Tak and Hana Cole.

Current Fate

Bernie's current fate is unknown as she is not seen on Galangi during the Hivebuster Offensive nor is she mentioned by the now wheelchair-bound Hoffman. The only sign of Bernie is the picture of her and Hoffman together on Hoffman's desk.

Personality and Traits

Bernie, standing amid the ruins of Sera.

"It wasn't just cats I skinned."
—Bernie, on how she survived her trek across Sera

Bernie is proud, and most notably well-trained to survive in the wilderness alone. Both these attributes are what eventually lead to her fit into COG Army, and leadership capabilities when they were needed. She is also capable to think on her feet and improvise when the situation is called for, contributing to both her survival as a COG Gear and on her own as a Stranded. However, she never considered herself as a Stranded, finding the idea appalling.[110] Her trek back to the Jacinto Plateau from the South Islands is made even more impressive because of her fear of water.[110] Bernie is also an expert sniper, and she was renowned throughout the COG Army for her skills.

Bernie viewed the COG as the last bastion of hope on the planet, and believed fully in its values. She cared greatly for her comrades, and was willing to do anything for a fellow Gear. She quickly formed a friendship with Cole, and eventually relationship of mutual respect and caring between her and Baird, despite some initial difficulties. She had a habit of calling younger Gears "sweetie", even Marcus, when trying to comfort them. She and Hoffman were in a relationship, and they both cared greatly for one another. They renewed their romantic relationship on Vectes.

Despite being from the South Islands, Bernie hated the water, and would rather parachute into an operation than land on a beach.[19]

Bernie shows a great deal of internal strength as well as external strength. Despite being scarred from her gang-rape, she does not conceal the tragedy from Delta Squad when it comes up years later. She is, however, traumatized by her rape, and channels that trauma into her rage, best noted when she brutally takes revenge on two of her three attackers, and years later when she finds the third and brutally assaults him. Despite the scars of rape, she is still able to keep a stable mental state an carry on a life that is not blocked by her tragedy.

Appearance Gallery

Notable Quotes

"Your brother did something every last one of us does at least once in our lives. He screwed up. But he died to save Marcus, and Marcus almost got killed trying to save him, and both of them would have given their lives for you in a heartbeat. There's not many human beings who can love like that. Gears, mainly. It's why we know what it really means to be human. It's more than family. It's civilization. What's best in humanity. Even Baird, the inbred little shit. Funny, that, for a bunch of bastards who'll carve another living creature with a chainsaw."
—Bernie, telling Dom about his brother, Carlos
"There were times when I liked Locust better than humans, believe me. A woman traveling on her own has to be creative."
—Bernie, on her journey across Sera
"A dog has a military mind. He respects the chain of command. He needs to know who's in charge for the good of the while pack, and if there's no leader, he'll take the job himself- because somebody has to. The difference between a human and a dog, though, is that a dog doesn't lie awake at night dreaming of having that power."
—Bernie, explaining her fondness dogs [111]

Documents by Bernadette Mataki

Bernie's Last Will and Testament

I, Bernadette Mataki, being of sound mind etc, hereby proclaim my intention to bequeath my worldly possessions to one Victor Hoffman in the event of my untimely death. Should the death of Victor precede my own, who gives a jolly rip, we're all screwed anyway.

- Bernie

Behind the scenes

Crimson Omen.jpg
Gearspedia has 29 images related to Bernadette Mataki.

Mataki's model at Comic-Con

  • Bernadette Mataki is based off of a New Zealander who is racially mixed (half Maori, half Caucasian).[112]
  • Bernadette speaks with a Commonwealth English accent.
  • Bernie was confirmed to be in Gears of War 3 at Comic-Con 2010.
  • Bernie is voiced by Tess Masters.[113]
  • "Sam's voice (Claudia) from Gears 3 was originally cast and recorded as the voice for Bernie. We swapped later in the project after some feedback and focus testing." - Jim Brown [114]
  • Bernie's fate is currently unknown. While her death has been suggested by developers, it was hinted that she may still be alive and performing duties elsewhere from Hoffman and her farm.


  • Bernie's character model became available in Gears of War 3 multiplayer on November 1, 2011 with the release of the Horde Command Pack.
  • In Gears of War 4 multiplayer, V-Day Bernie is only available by crafting scrap. There was also a chance of receiving her early in the Marcus Fenix and RAAM Emergence Gear Packs.
  • Bernie was added to Gears 5‘s multiplayer as a playable COG team character in Operation 8 Content Drop 1.[115]



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  3. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 355
  4. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 261
  5. Karen Traviss: A reader writes...
  6. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 318
  7. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 55
  8. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 396
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  10. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 155
  11. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 260
  12. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 65
  13. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 431
  14. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 59
  15. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 54
  16. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 85, 280
  17. Gears of War: Unsaid
  18. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 90-94
  19. 19.0 19.1 Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 153
  20. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 182-185
  21. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 241-242
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  23. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 273-274
  24. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 283
  25. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 285-286
  26. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 350
  27. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 289
  28. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 298-300
  29. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 302-305
  30. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 312-318
  31. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 319-324
  32. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg 346
  33. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 274
  34. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 53-59
  35. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 115-120
  36. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 187-190
  37. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 190-193
  38. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 299-304
  39. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 348-351
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  63. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 24-27
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  66. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 43-51
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  68. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 88-89
  69. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 92-95
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  99. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 315-321
  100. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 322-324
  101. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 334-340
  102. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 349-355
  103. Gears of War: 427-432
  104. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 438-447
  105. 105.0 105.1 Gears of War: Dirty Little Secrets Part Five (Keyhole)
  106. Gears of War 3: Unbreakable
  107. 107.0 107.1 Gears of War 3: Rescue
  108. Gears of War 3: Breakneck Run
  109. Gears of War 3: Reckoning
  110. 110.0 110.1 Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 202
  111. Gears of War: Anvil Gate pg 341
  115. Gears 5 Operation 8 Drop 1 Reveal