Hollow Creatures, also known as the Denizens of the Hollow, were indigenous animals found within the Hollow, an underground tunnel network beneath Sera. The genetic material of specific creatures were used to create the Sires and eventually the Locust Horde in an attempt to genetically engineer a cure for Rustlung in humans. Afterwards, many of these creatures were captured, genetically engineered, and used by Locust as vehicles, machines, food, and weapons of war.
- 1 History
- 2 Denizens of the Hollow
- 2.1 Bloodmount
- 2.2 Brumak
- 2.3 Corpser
- 2.4 Digger
- 2.5 Gas Barge
- 2.6 Heart Leech
- 2.7 Imulsion
- 2.8 Kraken
- 2.9 Kryll
- 2.10 Leviathan
- 2.11 Mangler
- 2.12 Nemacyst
- 2.13 Reaver
- 2.14 Riftworm
- 2.15 Rock Shrew
- 2.16 Rockworm
- 2.17 Seeder
- 2.18 Serapede
- 2.19 Siegebeast
- 2.20 Tempest
- 2.21 Ticker
- 2.22 Torture Barge
- 2.23 Wretch
- 3 References
History[edit | edit source]
Prehistory[edit | edit source]
In an unknown time during Sera's history, a species of gargantuan worms known as Riftworms burrowed underneath Sera. The tunneling of the Riftworms created the Hollow, an network of tunnels connected to each other and are divided into the Outer and Inner Hollow. Due to the fertilization from the Riftworms, the soil in the Hollow allowed for an ecosystem to exist.
Eventually, numerous species of creatures evolved in the Hollow of Sera. At an unknown time, the Riftworms went dormant, ceasing to continue burrowing in the Hollow. However, a smaller indigenous species of Rockworms continued to burrow in the Hollow.
Alongside the indigenous creatures, a liquid parasitic fungus known as Imulsion eventually arrived in the Hollow. Imulsion was volatile in nature and caused adverse health effects to many different species, with the ability to possess and mutate a host if the host has been exposed to enough Imulsion.
Pendulum Wars[edit | edit source]
On the surface of Sera, humans were aware of the Outer Hollows and several of its creatures and ecosystem, including Imulsion. However, Imulsion to them was a scientific curiosity until Dr. Helen Cooper created the Lightmass Process, allowing humans to refine Imulsion into an infinite, usable fuel source. Humans began colonizing the Hollow to mine for Imulsion, and more creatures were discovered during this excavation. Ownership of Imulsion reserves resulted in the Pendulum Wars between the Coalition of Ordered Governments and the Union of Independent Republics.
During the early Pendulum-era, the health effects of Imulsion became apparent to the Coalition, who owned a majority of the Imulsion reserves. The Imulsion began to infect people, namely miners, their families, and those living near Imulsion refineries, with a fatal condition known as Rustlung. Fearing the backlash now that Imulsion made the Coalition and political and economic superpower, the Coalition opened the New Hope Research Facility under the Department of Health during the Monroe Administration to house and study the children of Imulsion-poisoned miners and attempt to cure Rustlung.
The Director of the facility, geneticist Doctor Niles Samson, was tasked with finding the cure for Rustlung. His research involved injecting children with doses of Imulsion. When Niles discovered that one child, Myrrah, had genetic immunity to Imulsion and actually benefited from Imulsion exposure, he attempted to replicate the results. However, Niles failed to replicate Myrrah's immunity in the other children. The next step Niles took was extracting the DNA of indigenous creatures of the Hollow and injecting them into the children. However, the children mutated from his cross-species genetic experiment and transformed into Sires - distempered, sterile, aggressive hybrid creatures.
Following attacks from the Sires, several staff members resigned and leaked details of the unethical experimentation at New Hope. Chairman Monroe was made aware of this and ordered the facility shut down and indicted Niles Samson and all those involved. Before the shut-down, however, a fringe political group within the Monroe Administration believed in Niles Samson's work and wished to see an end to Rustlung and the Pendulum Wars, and therefore escorted Niles, his remaining loyal scientists, and his subjects to a secret facility inside Mount Kadar where he could continue his work without impeding ethics or bureaucracy.
After arriving at the Mount Kadar facility, Niles continued his work. He then combined the DNA of the Sires with the embryonic stem-cells of Myrrah, which then created the first successful hybrid, the first Drone of the Locust Horde. As more Drones were created, it was discovered that they Locust had a hivemind, with Myrrah able to control all of them. Myrrah eventually had a human daughter, Reyna, who also inherited a connection to the Locust hivemind. However, Reyna's father, Dr. Torres, escaped with her from the facility. Unable to recapture her, Niles lied to Myrrah that Reyna had died during the escape attempt. Myrrah retaliated by leading the Drones to massacre all the scientists there and declare their independence.
Following the massacre, Myrrah became the Queen of the Locust Horde and led her people deeper into the Hollow of Mount Kadar. There, her and her people created Nexus, their own civilization with its own culture, language, government, and religion. Their religion was the Trinity of Worms, which worshiped the Riftworms - as they were aware of their nature and their role in giving life to the Hollow. Thus, their architecture and iconography featured worms. The Kantus also revered the Rockworms and were able to lure them out for Locust hunting parties - acting as the Locust Horde's main food source. In time, the Locust began genetically engineering creatures of the Hollow for their own purposes - such as transport, labor, and weapons.
By 17 B.E., human scientists began to notice that creatures of the Hollow were beginning to mutate, such as Doctor Elain Fenix. She discovered that Rock Shrews had begun growing extra limbs. This was because the Imulsion in the Hollow began to possess the indigenous creatures as hosts for the Imulsion pathogen. Imulsion was capable of possessing hosts, mutating them, and forcing their hosts to infect and kill other lifeforms. Death of the host resulted in an explosion of the body, which acted as a last resort to spread the Imulsion to other possible hosts.
Lambent War[edit | edit source]
In 7 B.E., the Lambent began to start infecting the Locust Horde and the other indigenous species of the Hollow at a substantial rate, forcing the Locust into a civil war with their infected brethren. The most common form of Lambent creatures was the Lambent Wretches, which were infected Wretches by the millions. The Locust Drones were also prone to infection and became Lambent Drones, which could mutate into Lambent Drudges.
Due to the Lambent being able to mutate their soldiers, the Locust were forced into an arms race and began to genetically alter and engineer the indigenous creatures of the Hollow to help aid their war effort. Using transmitter waves through helmet technology, the Locust were able to enslave Corpsers to dig tunnels and fight against the Lambent. Also, Brumaks were created from smaller, native apes in the Hollow.
Locust Scientist, Ukkon, was responsible for these innovations - to the dismay of Ketor Vrol, who saw it as an abomination. Ukkon then personally began to engineer personal mounts for the Locust Leaders. Ukkon mended and prepared a disfigured Corpser, Shibboleth, for Vold Karn by retrofitting it with a mechanical leg where it was once missing. Queen Myrrah also gained a personal mount known as the Tempest. Other creatures enslaved and engineered by the Locust Horde were Kryll, Tickers, Bloodmounts, Manglers, Nemacysts, Reavers, Siegebeasts, Seeders, and Barges.
However, the Locust continued to lose the war - since the Lambent were capable of infecting anything, thereby growing their army even further. With the added failure of Professor Adam Fenix, a physicist and husband of the late Dr. Elain Fenix, who was personally employed by Queen Myrrah to find a cure for Lambency, Queen Myrrah pushed for her army to invade the surface, kill all humans, and colonize Sera to escape the Lambent.
Locust War[edit | edit source]
Queen Myrrah was successful in leading her people to the surface of Sera in what would be known as Emergence Day, in which her armies slaughtered 25% of the human population within the first 26 hours. Corpsers were used to dig tunnels and create emergence holes for the Locust armies to arise from the Hollow. Brumaks, Bloodmounts, and Reavers were used as assault vehicles while Seeders and Nemacysts were used as radio jammers and anti-aircraft. Kryll, only available at night or during a Kryllstorm, were used to occupy human cities. Locust Head Scientist Ukkon continued his experiments on both Hollow creatures and humans as the war continued, creating many of the monstrosities used by the Locust Horde such as the Hydra, a mutated Reaver. However, Ukkon was killed in 1 A.E. by Reyna Torres and Alpha Squad, stopping his experiments though Ukkon's creations continued to survive and serve the Locust Horde.
The war continued for fourteen years. In Gale of 14 A.E., the Coalition launched the Lightmass Bomb during the Lightmass Offensive, which obliterated the Outer Hollow. While killing many Locust and causing the Kryll to go extinct, it did not destroy the Locust stronghold. The bomb also awoke the long-dormant Riftworm, which was then used by Ketor Skorge to sink human cities in order to weaken Jacinto's granite base and sink it, causing the Hollows to flood and kill the Lambent.
Before the Locust could sink Jacinto, the Coalition launched Operation: Hollow Storm, which involved placing thousands of Gears in the Inner Hollow to fight the Locust in their stronghold. Their, the Coalition discovered more indigenous creatures - including the Riftworm and learned it was responsible for sinking the cities. After destroying the Riftworm and learning of the Locust's plans to flood the Hollow, the Coalition used a Lambent Brumak to explode Jacinto City and sink it before the Locust could leave, flooding the Hollows and killing a majority of the Locust.
Lambent Pandemic[edit | edit source]
The flooding of the Hollow killed many of the indigenous creatures of the Hollow. Those who survived were aquatic creatures such as the Mangler and the Leviathan, who were then able to escape into the Serano Ocean. The remainder of Hollow creatures survived on surface during the flooding. The Locust Horde, split between two factions: the Queen's Guard and Savage Locust, continued to use Hollow beasts for labor, transportation, and weaponry. New to the Horde were the Siegebeasts and Gas Barges.
However, the Lambent Pandemic occurred when the Imulsion was also pushed to the surface. Hollow creatures, namely the Leviathan, became Lambent Leviathans. As the Lambent Pandemic progressed, Professor Adam Fenix was located on Azura and developed an Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon - a weapon capable of pulsating targeted-radiation waves across Sera to kill all Imulsion cells. During the final battle, known as Victory Day, countless Hollow creatures were used by the Locust and Lambent to kill each other and the humans, but the Imulsion Countermeasure was detonated. All Imulsion and Lambent creatures were vaporized. However, all uninfected Locust and Hollow creatures collapsed and began to crystallize.
Era of Peace[edit | edit source]
After the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic, all remaining Hollow creatures, along the Locust, were completely covered in impenetrable crystals. Unable to destroy them, the Coalition decided to bury the crystallized bodies in mass graves across Sera. Humanity was finally at an era of peace, allowing them to rebuild civilization.
In time, the Locust Horde and Hollow creatures came to be regarded as Hollywood monsters and scientific curiosities. Serapedes and other Hollow creatures were used as video game monsters. And other creatures, namely the Corpser, were used as inspiration for horror films such as They Came From B-Low 2 and Wrath of the Parasidian. By 42 A.E., the Natural History Museum opened a new exhibit known as the "Denizens of the Hollow." The exhibit showcased Brumaks, Tickers, Reavers, Corpsers, Kryll, and Rockworms.
Swarm War[edit | edit source]
When the Locust reemerged as the Swarm, at least some Hollow creatures were shown to have evolved with them such as the Brumak becoming the Swarmak. Like their predecessors, the Swarm utilized the evolved Hollow creatures against humanity, no longer impeded by the now-extinct Lambent. After Reyna Diaz became the new Swarm Queen, a previously-unseen Hollow creature, the Kraken, emerged in Vasgar as a weapon of the Swarm. During the Battle of Old Ephyra, the Kraken nearly overwhelmed the COG's defenses before being destroyed by JACK with the Hammer of Dawn.
Denizens of the Hollow[edit | edit source]
Bloodmount[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Bloodmount
The Bloodmounts were highly aggressive, bipedal Hollow creatures. Their bodies were warped, allowing them to walk on their arms while their hind legs were pincers used as defense. Bloodmounts were moderately fast and struck with sheer strength. They were one of the many Hollow creatures enslaved by the Locust Horde, used as personal, defensive transportation. They were often ridden by Beast Riders or Palace Guards. Their main diet consisted of human flesh.
Brumak[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Brumak
The Brumaks were originally smaller, native apes of the Hollow. As smaller apes, the Locust Horde would hunt them using Breechshots and were a part of the Locust Horde's diet. Later genetically engineered by Ukkon, the Brumaks then stood nearly 50 feet tall and weighed around 15,000 kilograms (33,069 lbs). The Brumaks were capable of carrying a rocket launcher with up to two Locust Drones drivers in addition to two machine guns on their forearms. They were used as transport and artillery for the Locust army. The Brumaks were among the Locust species that evolved when exposed the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon in 17 A.E., with the Brumak encased in an impenetrable Imulsion crystal shell. In 42 A.E., the Brumak emerged as the Swarmak and served the Swarm during the Swarm War. The Imulsion crystal growths acted as a natural armor for the Swarmak, but was weakened by exploitable blisters.
Corpser[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Corpsers
The Corpsers were spider-like creatures of the Hollow. They had four eyes, eight front legs and twenty hind legs. The Corpsers were oviparous, reproducing by laying eggs and born with only four front legs. Aside from the Riftworms, the Corpsers were responsible for many of the tunnels in the Hollow, as their legs allowed them to dig through the rock and soil. The Locust Horde later enslaved Corpsers as a means of transportation - digging tunnels beneath Seran cities and opening emergence holes on the surface, allowing the Locust to breach and attack.
Shibboleth[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Shibboleth
The Shibboleth was a notable deformed Corpser. Found with a wounded leg, it was rescued and mended by Vold Karn of the Locust Horde. Karn then requested the Shibboleth to be healed and modified by Locust scientist Ukkon. The Shibboleth was fitted with a mechanical prosthetic leg and the abilities to launch Nemacysts and Diggers and exhale extreme heat. Zamil Karn led the Fall of Gorasnaya on Emergence Day and was victorious by riding the Shibboleth into battle. After surviving the Lightmass Missile during the Destruction of Halvo Bay, the Shibboleth was killed in the Battle of the Plaza by Kilo Squad and Colonel Ezra Loomis in the first year of the Locust War.
Digger[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Digger
The Diggers were small, worm-like creatures capable of burrowing below the surface and emerging into open space. They were also capable of burrowing into the bodies of other creatures. The Diggers were used as grenade launchers for the Locust Horde by being fitted with a grenade and shot out of the Digger Launcher. The Digger was able to burrow underground beneath enemy cover, emerge, and detonate. The launcher could also be used to burrow in the chest of enemies and detonate from within the torso.
Gas Barge[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gas Barge
The Gas Barges were large balloon-shaped creatures from the Hollow. Due to the containment of gases and air, the Gas Barges were able to take flight. It is unknown if they were genetically engineered by the Locust Horde, but they were enslaved as Air Barges for the Locust Horde following the flooding of the Hollow in 14 A.E., and were used prominently as air transportation and artillery during the last year of the Locust War. The Gas Barges were fitted with a transport deck similar to Torture Barges and a navigation system that was programmed. The navigation system was connected to a device that picked the Gas Barges' hinds left or right with mechanical pincers, compelling the Gas Barges to avoid the pincers and turn left or right.
Heart Leech[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Heart Leech
The Heart Leeches were insect-like creatures of the Hollow that were capable of burrowing into the chest of any creature. The Heart Leech would attach itself to the chest of its prey, burrow into the rib-cage, and devour the prey's heart. The Heart Leeches also tended to hunt in packs.
Imulsion[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Imulsion
Imulsion was a liquid, parasitic fungus residing within the Hollow. When first discovered by humans, it was nothing more than a scientific curiosity. However, Dr. Helen Cooper discovered the Lightmass Process, in which Imulsion could be converted into usable fuel. Imulsion was promising for a fuel-hungry world, especially since it reproduced asexually and appeared to be limitless, allowing for cheap fuel. However, Imulsion was a viral parasite and caused adverse health effects in humans, known as the fatal disease called Rustlung. Imulsion later evolved into Lambency, in which the Imulsion was able to possess its host, mutate, and spread the virus. Imulsion was eradicated in 17 A.E. by Professor Adam Fenix during the Lambent Pandemic, using a targeted radiation device known as the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon. Along with it, the Lambent were exterminated though some humans continued to suffer from Rustlung up until at least 30 A.E. with the disease transforming from Imulsion sickness into a kind of cancer.
Kraken[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Kraken
The Kraken was a prehistoric, gargantuan creature of the Hollow similar to the Riftworm. The only known species of Kraken was located in the red desert of Vasgar. The Swarm, the evolutionary successors of the Locust Horde, were able to transform it into a creature for their own army - capable of expelling Leeches. The only known Kraken was killed by Delta-One in Frost, 42 A.E. during the Battle of Old Ephyra.
Kryll[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Kryll
The Kryll were bat-like creatures created by the Locust Horde, but suffered from lethal sensitivity to extreme light, heat, and ultra-violet radiation. The Kryll hunted in packs and swarmed their prey by devouring them in seconds, but only within complete darkness. The Kryll's breeding grounds resided within the Outer Hollow. They would then emerge to the surface in the night sky after sundown. During the Locust War, the Locust Horde's tactics for occupying a human city would be to launch Nemacysts in the atmosphere to ink the city's skyline in order to block out the sun and prematurely launch the Kryll, known as a Kryllstorm. The Kryll went extinct in Gale, 14 A.E. during the Lightmass Offensive, when the Lightmass Bomb destroyed their breeding grounds and incinerated all of the Kryll in the Hollow before sundown.
Leviathan[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Leviathan
The Leviathans were massive, whale-like creatures of the Hollow - residing in the underground lakes. The Leviathans had a mass of tentacles used to crush and grab its prey. The Leviathans had two rows of teeth, and within its mouth had six tentacles for grabbing prey and a pharyngeal jaw. The Leviathans were one of the few Hollow species that survived the flooding of the Hollow in 14 A.E., due to being aquatic creatures. After the flooding, many Leviathans emerged from the Hollow and migrated into the Serano Ocean. However, due to the Lambent Pandemic and Imulsion polluting the ocean, many Leviathans became Lambent and were mutated with the ability to expel Lambent Polyps. However, some Leviathans stayed unaffected, but their current status is unknown.
Mangler[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Mangler
The Manglers were large shark-like creatures used by the Locust to pull their gunboats in the Hollow. The Manglers were one of the few Hollow species that also lived in the Serano Ocean. Several wild Manglers were seen during the end of the Lambent Pandemic and their current status is unknown.
Nemacyst[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Nemacyst
The Nemacysts were squid-like creatures capable of flight. The Nemacysts contained Imulsion and exploded upon contact or death, acting as anti-air artillery for the Locust. The Nemacyst also served to sever human communication transmissions due to their expelling of thick, black ink. The Nemacyst ink is so lethal that infant Nemacyst are used as poison grenades by the Locust, known as Ink Grenades. Their black ink was also used to darken the skies of human cities in order to prematurely launch and protect the Kryll to create a Kryllstorm - killing the humans and occupying the city for the Locust. Nemacysts are launched into the surface by being fed to Seeders. The Seeders then emerge from the underground and face their anus towards the sky where they excrete the Nemacyst.
Reaver[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Reavers
The Reavers were large, squid-like creatures capable of flight. They were piloted by a Beast Rider and guarded by a passenger Drone or Theron Guard. In addition to its passenger, the Reavers had a mounted rocket launcher to attack the opponents and are occasionally used as kamikaze bombers due to their explosive nature. Reavers were able to land on the surface as well and act somewhat like a tank, offering the Drones the high ground on the battlefield.
Hydra[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hydra
The Hydra was a larger, modified Reaver created by the Locust Head Scientist Ukkon in 1 A.E. A Hydra acted as Ukkon's personal mount during the Battle of Ukkon's Laboratory, but was slain by Alpha Squad followed by Ukkon himself. At least one other Hydra existed and served as the personal mount to Ketor Skorge during the Locust War. The Hydra attacked by being able to grab its target with one of its tentacles, and then use its large mouth to bite, but it was also fitted with rockets and a turret similar to that of a Brumak's. It was killed when Delta-One destroyed it with their hijacked Reavers outside Jacinto City during the Assault on Jacinto City in 2nd Frost, 14 A.E. The Hydra's destruction sent Skorge falling to his death on the ground below.
Riftworm[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Riftworm
The Riftworms were gargantuan, prehistoric worm creatures of the Hollow. The Riftworms were responsible for the creation of the Hollow and the ecology and native life within it. The Riftworms would burrow in the crust and create the tunnels underground. Due to the Riftworms devouring the soil and digesting it, their excrement acted as a fertilizer and allowed for life to evolve in the Hollow. Because of this, the Locust Horde revered them as Gods because of their role in creating life in the Hollow. According to the Locust, three were in existence, and at least one was dormant for centuries until it was awoken by the Lightmass Bomb and used by the Locust Horde to burrow and sink Seran cities. It was later killed by Delta-One in 1st Frost, 14 A.E. The Riftworm's skeletal remains was eventually transformed into the Riftworm Village by the Outsiders. It remains unknown if there were other living Riftworms still in hibernation in the Hollow at the time of the Sinking of Jacinto City and if they survived the flooding or not. As a result, the species may be extinct.
Nemacyte[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Nemacyte
Rock Shrew[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Rock Shrew
Rockworm[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Rockworm
Seeder[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Seeders
The Seeders were large, crab-like creatures of the Hollow. Similar to Corpsers, Seeders were also able to burrow and open Emergence Holes. The main objective of a Seeder, however, was to launch Nemacyst into the atmosphere. Seeders were fed Nemacyst and then when they emerged, they would face their anus towards sky and excrete launch the Nemacyst, acting as anti-air artillery and scramblers for the COG radio frequencies.
Serapede[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Serapede
The Serapedes were native insects to the planet of Sera. Modified with Imulsion and steel-plating, the Serapede grew into great size, expel electircal charges, and was nearly indestructible with steel-like carapaces. Their only weakness was their unprotected back. Serapedes were capable of creating giant webs and laying many batches of eggs.
Siegebeast[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Siegebeast
The Siegebeast was a Hollow creature used by the Locust as a living catapult-like artillery. Though they were around at least as early as the Battle of the Tollen Dam, they were mainly seen during the Lambent Pandemic and utilized by the Queen's Guard. The effect of the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon upon them is unknown as well as if they were mutated into any of the Swarm creatures. In 42 A.E., the still-loaded catapult on the corpse of a Siegebeast left over from the Battle of the Tollen Dam was used by JD Fenix against the Swarm.
Tempest[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Tempest
The Tempest was Queen Myrrah's personal mount. It attacked by firing a large beam of light that burned anything that it hitted and could also release the Shriekers to attack. The Tempest was killed by Delta-One by using the Hammer of Dawn while its rider was killed by Marcus Fenix.
Shrieker[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Shrieker
The Shriekers were small, insect-like creatures capable of flight. They were the offspring of the Tempest and were equipped with two machine guns. The Shriekers would usually attack their enemies in squads, no more than six at a time. They could be easily killed, but they would explode upon death and occasionally fall towards their enemy as they were about to explode in a final attac.
Ticker[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Tickers
The Tickers were small, insect-creatures that the Locust Horde used as mobile landmines. The Kantus are able to summon the Tickers.
During the Lambent Pandemic, "wild" Tickers are encountered. Reasonably shy and devoid of the explosives, they are known to eat weapons and ammo that are laying on the ground.
Torture Barge[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Torture Barge
Wretch[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Wretch
Small, jittery members of the Locust, the Wretches are weak when on their own, but potentially deadly in large packs. They attacked by climbing on or over surfaces and lunging at their target in a vicious frenzy. They made up for their lack of strength with speed and unpredictability and are often used as a distraction or as cannon fodder by the Locust. Alone, they are easily beaten, but in groups, they could literally tear the COG soldiers to shreds. They often made their presence known before becoming visible by letting a horrid, extremely high-pitched scream out that could make the Gears cover their ears in pain. They are very dangerous, often causing the Gears to forget to look up being overwhelmed by a subsequent attack if the Wretches themselves did not kill them. The Wretches also had an annoying habit of jumping on the Gears while they are handling bigger, badder and uglier Locust.