- "My first visit to the ancestral home and everything in it is trying to kill me."
- —Lahni, to Mac after their mission to the island
Lieutenant Lahni Kaliso is a Gear in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army and a veteran of the Locust War. She was formerly a part of the 81st "Brash" Brigade to eradicate the surviving Locust following Victory Day and is part of Hivebuster Team Scorpio alongside Leslie Macallister and Cpl. Jeremiah Keegan under the command of Col. Victor Hoffman during the Swarm Invasion. Despite outranking Cpl. Keegan, she is second-in-command.
Lahni was born in the last years of the Pendulum Wars. Her family, her grandmother specifically, having originated from Weilehi, she was a descendant of the Weilehan people. Among her family was her cousin, Tai Kaliso. Tai relocated to Irohma and was conscripted into the Coalition of Ordered Governments Army when the island was attacked by the Union of Independent Republics.
At a very young age, she was taught how to fight, how to hunt, and how to be fearless - as was the way of the Weilehan people. Growing up, Lahni's grandmother told her stories about the Wakaatu, a fearsome creature on Pahanu that their ancestors used to face in a rite of passage called the Awakening. However, Lahni's grandmother believed the Wakaatu to be a myth.
Six weeks following the end of the Pendulum Wars, the Locust Horde emerged and overran most of Sera. By 14 A.E., Lahni had joined the Coalition army. On 1st Frost, 14 A.E., the Coalition of Ordered Governments launched Operation: Hollow Storm to finally end the Locust War and prevent Jacinto City from being sunk by the Locust following attacks on Jacinto and the sinking cities of Tollen and Montevado. The Operation involved tunneling underground into the Inner Hollow and fighting the Locust in their stronghold.
Thousands of soldiers were lost during the Operation. It was also discovered that the Locust had been taking prisoners for years and putting them through "processing," a horrific form of enslavement and torture. During the Assault on Landown, Tai Kaliso was captured by Ketor Skorge and taken prisoner. Tai endured hours of torture before finally being found by Delta-One. However, Tai committed suicide with the Gnasher shotgun handed to him by Sgt. Marcus Fenix due to his broken mental state following the torture. The war ended the next day during Siege of Nexus and Sinking of Jacinto City, when the Coalition sank Jacinto and flooded the Hollow, destroying the Locust stronghold and displacing the few survivors on the surface.
The flooding of the Hollow caused the Lambent Pandemic, in which the Lambent emerged on the surface and began to kill and infect any living organisms left on Sera. In 17 A.E., the Coalition of Ordered Governments performed the last operation known as Victory Day - to secure Azura from Locust occupation and liberate Professor Adam Fenix in order for him to activate the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon. He was successful, and the countermeasure destroyed the planet's Imulsion, and with it the Lambent. The countermeasure seemingly eradicated the Locust as well, causing them to collapse and develop an Imulsion crystalline shell, ending both the Lambent Pandemic and Locust War.
Unknown to the majority of surviving humans on Sera, pockets of the Locust Horde survived. While the majority were crystallized, the remaining Locust survived by securing themselves underground to avoid the radiation wave. Following V-Day, Lahni joined the 81st "Brash" Brigade and became a trained special ops soldier tasked with taking out the surviving Locust. They were tasked with defending the Gears and workers responsible for deposing of the Locust bodies in massive, underground burial sites across the planet. The Locust would attack the workers, seeing them as defilers.
Lt. Kaliso managed to kill many of the surviving Locust, secure Sera, and continued to serve the Coalition as it became reformed, but led to a rebellion of those who did not trust the coalition, becoming Outsiders, living outside of COG jurisdiction. This led to the Outsider Movement, a war between the new Coalition and the Outsiders. In 38 A.E., Lahni caused the death of a senior officer while performing a dangerous act to protect her squad. Because of this, she was imprisoned for her actions.
Crashed on Pahanu
On their way to Galangi to meet with Hoffman, Scorpio's Condor was downed on Pahanu by a Swarm Flock and the team was separated. Making their way through the island's jungle, Scorpio reunited and made their way to the beach where the Condor's cockpit had landed. Mac managed to repair the radio and Scorpio contacted Tak, but in the process, drew more Swarm forces to their location. Scorpio held off the Swarm until Tak arrived in a King Raven Mark 2 to rescue them. As Scorpio flew away, they witnessed an unseen creature taking down the Swarm with acidic venom from the trees.
Hivebust of Sanctum
Transported to the Hoffman Estate on Galangi, Scorpio met with Hoffman and Doctor Hana Cole who revealed that their mission was to transport a bomb into the Swarm Hive beneath Sanctum on Pahanu and destroy it. Using Keegan's access codes, Scorpio was able to enter Sanctum, but found it infested with Swarm and were unable to use the elevators to get twenty floors below to detonate the bomb in the heart of the Hive.
Eventually, becoming frustrated with their lack of progress, Mac tossed the bomb down a deep pit on Level 3 instead against the wishes of the others. Scorpio fled as the gas filled Sanctum and killed many of the lesser Swarm creatures, but it had no effect on the heavier Swarm creatures such as the Wardens and the Snatchers. Scorpio fled down a lava river on Sanctum's giant metal door, fighting off attacking Swarm forces from every side and were eventually extracted by Tak before they could go over a lava waterfall.
Finding a New Solution
Returning to Hoffman's estate, Keegan and Mac argued about his actions and revealed the failure of the Venom Bomb on the larger Swarm forces. Keegan felt that they needed something with more punch and Mac sarcastically suggested using the "nightmare acid" that Scorpio had witnessed in action on the beach on Pahanu. Hana realized that combining the acid and the gas from New Hope could work, but realized that they didn't know anything about the creature that fired it. Looking at a map of the nearby islands, Lahni remembered her grandmother's stories about the Weilehan people facing a god on Pahanu and, suspecting it to be the creature, suggested that they travel to Weilehi to learn more about it. Hoffman accepted and had Hana join them in the mission.
Mission to Weilehi
Tak dropped Scorpio outside of the Weilehan village where they could hear music from what appeared to be a loud party in the town hall. Lahni admitted that only distant relatives of hers were likely still on the island and hoped that the villagers would be helpful to them given the circumstances as they made their way through the village to the village hall.
However, when Scorpio arrived at the village hall, they found it abandoned with signs of a struggle and realized that the Swarm had somehow reached the island and taken the people. Though upset, the team vowed to rescue the people if they could and discovered a carving regarding a bird-like creature. Translating the scroll attached to the carving, Lahni read about the Weilehan rite of passage, the Awakening and the Wakaatu, the creature on Pahanu that young Weilehans had to face. Lahni realized that the Wakaatu wasn't a myth but was what they had witnessed on Pahanu.
Fighting through the village, Scorpio attempted to rescue the people, but found only Swarm pods and realized that they were too late much to their grief. In the temple, while fighting a Warden, Scorpio found feathers from the Wakaatu releasing a toxin that was held at bay with incense. With the help of a Silverback, Scorpio managed to clear out the village and discovered that the Swarm were able to cross to Weilehi from Pahanu using lava tubes. Scorpio came under attack by Snatchers and although they managed to kill one, a second one abducted Hana.
Scorpio chased the Snatcher through the lava tubes back to Pahanu, fighting off more Swarm forces along the way. By collapsing a column that the Snatcher was crossing over, Scorpio was able to free Hana and killed the Snatcher before signaling Tak to extract her with a stretcher. Once Hana was gone, to the shock of Keegan and Lahni, Mac suggested allowing themselves to be captured by Snatchers in order to be smuggled into the heart of the Hive as a way to destroy it. Mac believed that Hana could come up with a way for them to wake themselves up once in the heart of the Hive so that they could complete their mission. Under heavy attack by Swarm forces, Scorpio ran out of ammunition, but were extracted by Tak just in the nick of time.
As Scorpio emerged from underground, the Wakaatu attacked the King Raven, forcing the team to cut themselves loose. Tak flew off to lose the creature while Scorpio made their way towards higher ground to be picked up again, passing Swarm bodies melted by the Wakaatu's acidic venom. As they continued upwards, Mac revealed his belief that they were on a rogue operation, pointing out the things that indicated that they weren't actually working for the COG. Scorpio became cornered on a cliff by the Wakaatu, but Tak returned and Hana used the King Raven's door gun to drive the creature off, allowing them to escape.
Returning to Galangi, Scorpio confronted Hoffman who confirmed Mac's theory that they were actually on a rouge operation, admitting that he had argued with First Minister Mina Jinn over her insistence on the DeeBees being able to handle the Swarm and was forced into retirement as a result. Hoffman insisted that he knew each of their pasts but they still had the fight for purpose in them which was why they were all there.
Hoffman argued that the fate of the entire planet was on the line and Mac revealed that he wasn't there to save the world: the Swarm had taken his son and Mac hadn't been able to save or protect him. Mac had joined up to make the Swarm pay and he'd planned to die doing it. However, Mac was now willing to live and to fight for what family he had left. Hana added that she wouldn't stand by and watch people suffer, not while she could do something about it. With Mac's plan to allow Scorpio to be captured by Snatchers, they knew how to reach the heart of the Hive and all Hana needed was one sample of the Wakaatu venom. Keegan promised that she would get it and, turning to Mac, stated that he wouldn't let his brother face this one alone. Lahni told Mac that she wished she could've been there for him and his son, but she was there now. With all of Scorpio in agreement, they decided to continue with the operation.
Mission to the Wakaatu Nest
Returning to the ruins on Pahanu, Scorpio began following the path of the Awakening in order to find the Wakaatu Nest. Lahni reflected on following the path of her ancestors and how she was living out what her parents and grandmother had thought was just myth and stories. Lahni explained that she was imprisoned because she had deliberately ignored an order, screwed up and got her commanding officer killed. While Lahni wanted to go back, she wasn't sure that there was a spot waiting for her and Keegan agreed that sometimes not being able to go back might be okay and they both enjoyed the feeling of being a part of something bigger again.
As Scorpio continued, Mac asked about Lahni's old job and she revealed that she used to be a part of the Brash Brigade whose job was to quietly make the Locust who survived the detonation of the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon on Azura disappear. As Scorpio continued, they started to encounter Swarm who had infested the ruins. Continuing, Lahni asked Keegan about his lack of a promotion and he explained that he was stationed on Azura doing guard duty which came with no glory, no rank and no purpose. Mac comforted Keegan with the fact that what he was doing now mattered.
After fighting through more Swarm forces, Scorpio spotted a giant tree off in the distance that they recognized as the Wakaatu Nest from the village carving. Lahni commented that before being recruited into the operation, she'd thought that her life was over and that she would die in prison. Mac asks if that was why she joined up when Hoffman's crony found her which Lahni confirmed. Mac admitted that he'd joined up for the same reason, wondering what else someone could do when they've lost everything.
Fighting through more Swarm, Scorpio found a trail of debris leading to the wreckage of a Vulture. Hana identified is as Vulture 144B which had been loaded with the initial DeeBee force to lead the charge into the bunker when it went down on Pahanu. Although Lahni suggested recruiting the DeeBees to their cause, the robots immediately began attacking Scorpio as they were following their default directive to protect COG property. Scorpio destroyed the DeeBees in and around the Vulture and loaded up on supplies from the crashed aircraft before continuing on. Mac mused that despite his hatred for DeeBees, he wished that they were in Bravelle when it was destroyed, stating that even if Mac hadn't been miles from home when it happened, he wasn't a fighter and couldn't have stopped it. Despite his friends attempts to comfort him, Mac felt that if he wasn't such a coward, he would've died with his people, much to Lahni and Keegan's shock. Lahni told Mac to show her a man sacrificing more than one whose lost his child and that she would follow Mac into any fight which Mac appreciated.
Continuing on, Scorpio stumbled upon a massive firefight between DeeBees and Swarm, including a Guardian, Deadeyes, Scions and a Warden. After a harrowing fight, Scorpio managed to eliminate both sides. Having reached the river, Scorpio boarded a boat leading straight to the Wakaatu Nest. Lahni, Mac and Keegan admitted that they were wrong in their impressions of each other and fought off the Swarm as the boat moved down the river to the Wakaatu nest. Eventually, as they approached the tree, the presence of the Wakaatu scared off an attacking Swarm Flock.
Disembarking from the boat, Lahni recalled her grandmother's last words to her about how struggle would determine if she would be weak or strong and Lahni's desire to know which one she'd be and how her grandmother told her that she needed to live and discover for herself. Mac noted that no matter how hard they tried to run from their past, everything they did led them there. Keegan agreed, stating that it led them to this island a thousand miles from the war but that this time he was going to make a difference. While Lahni had thought that this was her chance to prove herself to the Brash Brigade and the memory of her dead CO, her grandmother was right and the path of her life determine who she would become and it brought her home and gave her a new family which Mac concurred with, stating that that went for all of them. Lahni concluded that Scorpio had been through a hell of a lot to find home and that they should fight like hell to save it.
Entering a central arena type in the ruins on the nest, Mac noted that it seemed to be the right location and that the Wakaatu wanted the Swarm off of the island as much as they did. As such, Mac suggested getting the venom sample without killing the creature which Keegan agreed with as he felt that it would be good to see the natural order restored. At that moment, the Wakaatu burst from the ground and attacked Scorpio. After a battle, aided by the dropped weapons scatted around the arena, Scorpio managed to defeat the Wakaatu who collapsed, wounded and exhausted.
Approaching the Wakaatu, Lahni recited the words of the Awakening to the creature. As per the Awakening, Lahni, Mac and Keegan each took one of the Wakaatu's feathers as a symbol of their victory over it. Mac respectfully said that the Wakaatu had put up one hell of a fight and, concerned, asked if Lahni thought that the creature would live. Stating that it was a good day and that everyone survives, Lahni believed that the Wakaatu would survive its wounds. Using a syringe, Mac drew the needed venom sample from one of the Wakaatu's venom glands.
Preparing to Finish the Job
Returning to Galangi, Scorpio turned the Wakaatu venom over to Hoffman and Hana. With the venom and the deadly gas from New Hope, Hana synthesized a new, more deadly Venom Bomb and created the Adrenaline Injectors so that Scorpio could be revived in the Swarm Hive. Lahni, Mac and Keegan changed out their old armor for new armor with the symbol of Team Scorpio, signifying their role as Hivebusters rather than regular Gears.
Hivebust of Pahanu
- "If I don't make it, I want you to know, it's your fault, and I'm gonna fucking haunt you."
- —Lahni to Keegan as Scorpio prepares to be captured
Armed with their new Venom Bombs and Adrenaline Injectors, Scorpio returned to Pahanu and found a group of Snatchers. Keegan questioned if they were ready and Lahni stated that if it failed, Confident in their she didn't make it, it was Keegan's fault and she would haunt him. Keegan asked about Mac's anxiety, but Mac was pleased that this time, he would be the surprise. Donning their injectors, Scorpio allowed the Snatchers to capture them, Mac flipping the Swarm off as he was taken.
Scorpio were taken into the heart of the Swarm Hive on Pahanu and podded. While the injectors revived Keegan and Lahni, it failed on Mac who remained trapped in a nightmare of the death of his family during the Ambush on Bravelle. Lahni was able to locate Mac, however, and rescued him from his pod. As Mac recovered, Keegan warned the other two that they had no radio signal in the Hive and that they had to hope that Tak was waiting for them on the surface.
Comparing notes as Scorpio planted their Venom Bombs in the Hive's floor, the three realized that they had shared the same dream while connected to the Swarm Hivemind and joked about their experience. Mac set the bombs with a timer of two minutes and the team began making their way out of the Hive.
As Scorpio left the Hive, Keegan and Lahni questioned if what they saw in the dream was a real Swarm attack which Mac confirmed. Mac explained how his village was built at a decommissioned COG outpost built near the end of the Locust War which had turned out to be a Locust burial site.
As Scorpio climbed down a broken staircase and made their way through a tunnel, Lahni pointed out how they had to be captured and podded because going in the front door was suicide, but that even though they were in the heart of the Hive, there was no sign of the Swarm as if they had left. Mac stated that they had ten seconds to go and felt that if Hoffman was right about the Swarm dying without their Hive, he'd call it a win. Unnoticed to Scorpio, the sounds they made as they walked through the Hive awakened the sleeping Swarm forces.
As Scorpio emerged from the heart of the Hive, their Venom Bombs detonated and Scorpio came under heavy attack by thousands of Drones, Juvies, Pouncers, Snatchers and Scions from all sides. With the gas from the Venom Bombs rapidly spreading towards them, Lahni covered Keegan and Mac as they moved further up. Scorpio realized that they had no choice but to fight their way straight through the Swarm to the extraction point. Lahni narrowly avoided being captured by a Snatcher and managed to injure it with a Talon Autopistol before the Snatcher was killed by the gas cloud.
Grabbing Hammerburst IIs, Scorpio managed to fight their way through the Swarm to the extraction point on top of a rocky outcropping and called Tak to pick them up. As the venomous gas spread throughout the area, Scorpio held the Swarm off and Tak arrived in his King Raven Mark 2 and lowered rappelling lines for Scorpio through the hole in the top of the cavern. Scorpio was lifted out of the Hive as the gas destroyed it and all of the Swarm forces on Pahanu, emerging through the hole to be visible from the air.
Intelligence Briefing with Hoffman
Returning to the Hoffman Estate, Mac and Lahni hung out on the porch together and Lahni reflected that people always asked which island she came from despite the fact that her grandparents had lived there but she'd never had. Mac understood, although he admitted that he'd thought the same thing. Lahni pointed out that on her first visit to her ancestral home everything was trying to kill her and Mac quipped that maybe her grandparents had had the right idea. However, Lahni told him that it wasn't like this when they'd left and she thought that they just wanted a different life.
Lahni asked if Mac had been home since it was destroyed, but he admitted that he hadn't been as it wasn't really home anymore. Mac questioned if Lahni had signed up expecting to survive which she had and reminded him that it got her out of prison. With Scorpio done with their mission and with what Hoffman promised her she could now rejoin the Brash Brigade. Lahni admitted that after everything they'd been through, she would miss Mac and asked what he wanted to do next. Mac suggested that he could open a restaurant, something that Mac had always wanted to do, but admitted that he was only ever good at one thing.
Mac and Lahni's conversation was interrupted by Keegan who reported that Hoffman was ready for debriefing. Inside, Hoffman shook hands with the team and admitted that he'd always believed they had it in them, Scorpio having stuck by each other through thick and thin. Mac was just glad that it was over and Hoffman made fun of Hanna's doubts about Scorpio's chances of success. Hana informed Scorpio that the data strongly suggested that releasing the Venom Bomb gas in the heart of a Swarm Hive and that now that the mission had been complete, it was just a matter of time to just wait and see. Keegan commented on how destructive the gas was and Lahni asked about the Swarm forces still on Pahanu's surface. Hana was adamant that time would tell and that her theory was that the heart of the Hive itself acted as a quasi-central nervous system which meant that the rest should die off if she was right.
Hoffman told Scorpio that it was no longer their concern as he and Hana would be able to manage from there and Tak was already gearing up to take them back to the mainland. Hoffman informed Lahni that even with all the shit that he pulled, Hoffman still had friends in COG Command and he was able to get Lahni's sentence overturned and her rank as reinstated. Hoffman jokingly told Keegan that he'd order him to retire but that it would make him a hypocrite. Keegan stated that he'd just wanted to make the Onyx Guard proud and Hoffman told Keegan that he was too hard on himself and had just been following orders years before and still did them proud. To Keegan's surprise, Hoffman revealed that Captain Paul Dury was still alive and Hoffman had set up a meeting with Dury for Keegan.
As Hoffman ordered Keegan and Lahni to get their stuff ready to leave, he asked Mac to stay behind because Hoffman had something that he wanted to talk to Mac about. Lahni and Keegan refused to leave and Lahni stated that anything that Hoffman had to tell Mac he could tell all of them while Keegan agreed that as long as they were still standing together in that room, they were still a team. Tak entered, ready to take Lahni and Keegan back to the mainland, but Hoffman had him wait. Hoffman told Mac that he knew that for Mac, there was never an endgame, which Hoffman understood, having been there before himself. However, Hoffman had found a purpose which was the reason that he was still there and he was offering Mac a chance at some meaning after he walked out the door if he wanted it. Mac stated that as long as it was a better option than opening a shit restaurant, he was willing to hear it.
Hoffman revealed that he wanted Mac to return home to Bravelle and pay back the Swarm Hive that had stolen his life and Hana added that she was sure that the Hivebuster plan worked and that they could do it again on a new Hive. Hoffman offered to find a few more people to replace Lahni and Keegan for the mission, but both Lahni and Keegan agreed to join Mac on the mission and he accepted it.
Mission to Croya
Flying over Croya, Lahni commented on beautiful it was and Mac stated that his father had gone on about the place like it was some kind of paradise and that the bastard had loved the outdoors. However, Mac never much cared for it as he was always a city boy, but you got used to things being a certain way before everything changed. Mac ordered Tak to drop them in Croya and Tak wished them luck and departed, promising to hold down the fort while they were gone.
Looking around at the wreckage, Lahni noted how bad things had gotten there and wished that Tak could've dropped them off closer to Bravelle. Mac explained that his father had wanted to make sure that no COG aircraft could land right on top of Bravelle or access the outpost and Croya had used to be heavily guarded. When they settled the valley, there had been two groups of refugees so they had built two villages along the river with five miles between them. Mac reassured the others that going through Croya was the only way into Bravelle.
Lahni admitted that when they first met, she had thought that Mac would cut and run at the first sign of danger, but she was wrong about him and Mac joked about his red hair and complicated family drama. Mac admitted that he was used to people underestimating him and that he'd never wanted to be a soldier but rather a chef like his real father. Scorpio then stumbled across a statue of Mac in Croya Square which he explained was for being the best delivery driver in the area. The Outsiders gave out medals for such things to recognize the contributions people made to the communities. Mac admitted that he'd never considered before how rewarding it had been to be part of a community doing good for others like that as they were all just getting on with living. The simplicity had meant more to his father back then and Mac had been too young to appreciate it, but everything had happened there, Mac dreamed of the quiet.
As Scorpio continued through Croya, they came across a broken bridge over a runoff. Suggesting that they could just wade across, Mac led the others in climbing down, joking about how as a kid, he and other kids would line up on either side of the runoffs and throw rocks at each other until one side started bleeding. However, the three then discovered that the runoff was a mass grave of skeletons and a disturbed Mac called them the lucky ones that were allowed to die and they should all be so lucky.
Climbing out on the other side, Scorpio noted the fortifications and that the Outsiders had put up one hell of a fight against the Swarm attack, holding the Swarm there and buying the civilians and farmers time to get across the bridge. However, Keegan and Lahni noticed that aside from the fortification and some spent shell casings, there was nothing left behind that one would expect to find in a warzone.
As Scorpio continued, Mac spotted his old delivery truck Mister Reliable which he could handle driving if it wasn't too badly damaged. Mac explained how Amanda had refused to junk it despite the truck breaking down on every run. As he examined the engine, Mac made a derise remark about the military dictatorship of the COG for which he was reprimanded by Keegan. Mac determined that it would only take him a few hours of maintenance to replace a few parts and get Mister Reliable working again.
Heading into the wrecked farmhouse, Keegan and Lahni checked it for enemies and found beers in the fridge that they enjoyed while keeping watch from the second floor window. As they sat, Keegan mused that he had been a solider his entire life, but the Hivebusting missions were the most action he had seen since becoming an Onyx Guard and Keegan had thought that he'd be saving the world. Keegan pointed out how Mac, a civilian his whole life and delivery driver was throwing himself into the action like it was nothing. Lahni pointed out that Mac had nothing to lose and Keegan asked about them. Keegan realized that Lahni still dreamed of returning to her unit which she confirmed, stating that it is her life. Keegan reminded Lahni that it was her life before and that four years was a long time, especially with the Swarm Invasion changing things. Keegan questioned how much of the Brash Brigade was even still alive and Lahni admitted that even Hoffman didn't know. Both recognized that what Mac had said earlier about being able to take the soldier out of the war but not the soldier out of the man had been eating at them.
In the garage, Mac finished repairs on Mister Reliable and offered the vehicle a deal that if it worked for him and took them to Bravelle, he would drive it off of a cliff and put it out of its misery. To Mac's pleasure, Mister Reliable started up for him. In the house, Keegan was pleased that Mac had succeeded, but was confused by how Mac was continuing on like his whole life wasn't gone, but Lahni stated that people dealt with their shit differently. Keegan and Lahni acknowledged that living on Sera, people got used to losing something or everything. As Keegan commented on how he didn't know if he wanted more war or less after everything that he had seen, Lahni noticed the Swarm crossing the runoff and drew his attention.
As Mac wondered what was going on, Lahni drew his attention to the approaching Swarm and stated that his newly-repaired engine appeared to have drawn their attention. The Swarm opened fire, blowing off Mister Reliable's sideview mirror and Mac quickly reversed towards the house as Keegan and Lahni took cover inside of the house. Mac crashed the truck through the front of the house and Lahni and Keegan jumped into the back.
As Lahni and Keegan laid down covering fire at the Swarm surrounding them, Mac drove Mister Reliable through the horde, running over Swarm creatures as he went. As Scorpio fled, Keegan was hit in the shoulder, but ordered Mac to keep driving as he and Lahni kept fighting to keep the Swarm at bay and off of the truck. A Juvie that made it up the side of the truck was able to claw Lahni's leg before she killed it. Finally, Scorpio managed to get clear of the chasing Swarm forces.
As Scorpio thought they were clear, a Swarm Flock appeared and Mac ordered Keegan to do something heroic to them. Keegan and Lahni shot the Flock before Mac swung the truck around to face it head on. Angrily ordering the Swarm to try to finish him off this time, Mac drove Mister Reliable straight through the Flock and into a runoff. The charge killed a few of the Leeches and caused the rest to flee, but wrecked Mister Reliable at the same time
Mac was knocked unconscious in the crash and dreamed of his life with his wife and son before being roused by Lahni. Keegan and Lahni revealed that they had only managed to take out a few of the Swarm Flock before crashing but that the rest had retreated. Mac informed the others that Bravelle wasn't far and that he had gotten them a few miles down the road before the Flock took them out. Keegan and Mac bantered about Mac's relationship with Mister Reliable before Lahni warned them to save their fight for the Swarm. Mac acknowledged that she was right and the Flock could return.
Hivebust of Bravelle
As Team Scorpio continued down the road towards Bravelle, Keegan told the others about his time stationed in Halvo Bay working at a supply depot before he joined the Onyx Guard and Mac summarized that Keegan was a delivery driver which he realized Mac was right about even though Keegan had never thought about it that way before. Keegan told the other two about how that quiet before the storm was a strange time with people too afraid to make too much noise lest they draw the Locust to them.
Keegan explained that during the Destruction of Halvo Bay, he was guarding a supply depot when a unit of Onyx Guards arrived looking for supplies. Seeing that they needed help, Keegan helped the Onyx Guards out and after they survived, was recruited. However, Keegan was sent to Azura to protect high society such as Chairman Richard Prescott and survived the war because he was safe from it a thousand miles away from his brothers and sisters that were fighting. Keegan admitted that he didn't feel right most days that he was still alive which Mac agreed with.
Scorpio came across the wrecked vehicles from the the fight where Mac had lost his family. Mac admitted that he wished he had a backup team the likes of Scorpio during the attack as it might've given the story a happier ending. Mac climbed into his old truck as Keegan tried to comfort Mac that he'd done what he could, but Mac felt that it didn't really matter as the story was written long before he'd had a say and that it was always gonna end that way. Mac retrieved his old Major Howl figure from the truck and told the others that Bravelle was just ahead.
As Mac began walking towards Bravelle, Lahni reminded him that she saw what happened during the ambush and that Mac's people had fought and made the Swarm pay for what they stole. Mac shrugged off Lahni's efforts and told her that he needed to know how his story ended and walked away. Keegan told Lahni to let him and that he knew that sometimes you had to travel that path in your head for awhile and that it took a man time to find where he fit in the world after or if he even did anymore.
Shortly thereafter, Scorpio arrived outside of Bravelle and Keegan admired the beauty of it. Lahni suggested that once they wiped out the Swarm Hive, Mac could settle in the village again, but he refuted the idea as the Swarm had taken everything that had made Bravelle home to him. Mac stated that home was not about the place but the people which Keegan agreed with. Mac stated that having Lahni and Keegan with him was enough and that it was time to get payback on the Swarm in the company of good people.
Scorpio made their way through Bravelle towards the bunker, but Mac stopped the team when they arrived outside of his old house and went in alone, sat in his son's room, played with Dillon's Major Howl toy and looked at his old Major Howl and the Battlin' Ants! book. Outside, Keegan and Lahni discussed her time in the Brash Brigade hunting down the Locust survivors after the detonation of the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon. Lahni insisted that the bond they developed doing so was why she had to return to her unit. Mac emerged and informed the others that they were clear and that the road to the bunker was straight ahead. Lahni asked if he had found what he was looking for, but Mac admitted that he hadn't that day.
Reaching the old COG bunker, Mac opened the door for Scorpio and explained that it still had power because like the rest of Bravelle, they ran the power systems through their generator in the waterfall. Inside, Scorpio found out that the Swarm Hive had spread into the bay on the other side of the door.
Recognizing that they probably didn't have long, Scorpio donned their Adrenaline Injectors and Mac explained that the bunker went down ten sublevels. However, the Outsiders had looted the supplies from the first seven levels and never came across the Swarm so the Hive had to be deeper down. As Keegan wondered how long they would have to wait before the Swarm showed up, three Snatchers arrived. Scorpio then allowed themselves to be captured by the Snatchers.
Podded by the Swarm, Mac dreamt of his son which Lahni and Keegan witnessed through their connection due to being connected to the Swarm Hivemind by the pods. Awakened by his injector, Mac cut himself loose as did Keegan and Lahni but was left consumed with memories of the deaths of his family and friends in the Swarm attack. Mac told Lahni and Keegan that they were all that he had left along with all of the pain he felt and Lahni told him they were going to do something about it. Keegan set their Venom Bombs and as they started to leave, declared that the destruction of the Hive would be for Dillon.
With their bombs set, Scorpio began fighting their way out of the Hive through the Swarm forces defending it. The Venom Bombs detonated and engulfed the Hive with its gas as Scorpio fought their way towards the surface. Scorpio successfully made it to the surface and slammed shut the door leading deeper into the bunker behind them. However, in the vehicle bay, they encountered a Warden.
Although Scorpio quickly opened fire, they were unable to harm the Warden who struck at them with his Breaker Maces, sending Keegan and Mac flying. The Warden wounded Mac's leg and Keegan's chest when Keegan attempted to come to Mac's aid. As the Warden prepared to kill Mac, Lahni jumped on him from behind and stabbed the Warden in the neck with her Combat Knife, wounding him. Enraged, the Warden grabbed Lahni by the throat and held her in front of him as Keengan opened fire with a Snub Pistol and Lahni kept stabbing at the Warden.
Getting an idea, Mac ordered Keegan to keep the Warden busy and as the Swarm creature strangled Lahni, Keegan managed to shoot off the Warden's helmet and wound him in the mouth. Enraged, the Warden released Lahni and charged Keegan who continued firing and ordered her to get out of there. As the Warden got face to face with Keegan, he ran out of ammunition and was about to be killed by the Warden. However, Mac drove one of the Rat Trucks in the bay at the Warden, rammed him through the bunker wall, outside and into another wall below. Mac told the laughing Warden that he'd stolen Mac's life and that "his name was Dillon" before stabbing the Warden through the left eye through the truck's shattered window, killing him.
Lahni helped Mac out of the truck and reassured him that Mac got the Warden and saved her and Keegan's lives. Although Lahni didn't know how to feel about Mac being her personal hero, he told her that they were even for Lahni saving him from his Pod when his injector failed on Pahanu. All injured by their fight with the Warden, Scorpio helped each other limp away as the gas from the Venom Bombs emerged from the bunker, having completely destroyed the Swarm Hive.
Mac led Lahni and Keegan to a garage where the car he and Amanda had rebuilt together was stored. Mac told the others that the car was largely responsible for Amanda leaving him and that Dillon was the only collaboration that they ever had any success with. Although Keegan considered the car a success from looking at it, Mac revealed that it was only a bucket of rust with an overhauled engine when Amanda stole it from him. While Mac could make things run, Amanda could make them look good. With a five mile drive back to Croya and an injured leg, Mac offered Lahni the chance to drive which led to Keegan complaining when she drove like a maniac.
Approaching Croya, Scorpio spotted Swarm still alive on the ridge and realized that destroying the Hive didn't kill the outside Swarm, thus proving wrong Hana Cole's theory that destroying the Hive would kill all of the Swarm connected to it. As a result, Lahni and Keegan knew that it meant that they would have to go after more Hives.
Mac drew the others attention to the Swarm Flock that they had previously escaped approaching from behind. Stopping, Scorpio opened fire on the attacking Flock and managed to destroy it, completing their mission.
Scorpio was extracted by Tak in his King Raven Mark 2. On the King Raven, Mac admitted that although he had expected to have some relief from destroying the Hive, it didn't really feel any different to him. Dillon was still gone but in all of the madness, Mac had found a way to hold him again where he was not just a memory anymore but alive, even for a moment. Mac informed the others that he intended to stay and continue helping Hoffman to destroy Hives because every time he did, Mac got to see his boy again. Mac asked Lahni and Keegan, all that he had left in the world, to stay and help him and they both agreed.
Personality and Traits
Lahni has been described as an "adrenaline junkie." Lahni Kaliso is very loyal to her people, family and culture, becoming devastated and enraged upon discovering that the Swarm had taken her people.
In Scorpio Squad, Lahni often serves as the "peacekeeper" between the jokester Outsider Mac and the professional COG Gear Keegan, often silencing any argument they are having and getting them to focus on the task at hand. She ultimately accepts her squad as comrades and brothers-in-arms, ready to follow them into the heart of the Swarm.
Lahni bears a great deal of guilt for her reckless action in the past that ultimately got her squad leader killed, making her wish for a sense for atonement.
Behind the scenes
- Lahni is voiced by Sumalee Montano.
- Lahni's rank was changed from Sergeant in the Hivebuster single issues to Lieutenant in the trade paperback.
- Lahni is playable in the Escape mode of Gears 5. Her special ability is an electrically-charged knife, while her passive skill results in one-in-five enemies dropping pilfer pickups. She is classified as a scout, and starts out with a Talon Autopistol.
- In Gears: Hivebusters, Team Scorpio go to visit Lahni's grandmother's people on Weilehi
- Gears: Hivebusters
- Gears of War: Hivebusters Part One
- Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Two
- Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Three
- Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Four
- Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Five