The Lambent Pandemic was the infection of the surface of Sera by the Imulsion parasite. Initially, the Lambent only consisted of Locust that became infected and mutated through exposure to Imulsion, but it spread to infect the surface creatures as well as the humans. This new threat forced the COG to ally with the Stranded to fight against both the Lambent and the remnants of the Locust Horde which resulted in a three-way war for control of Sera.
The Lambent reached the surface of Sera first in the middle of the ocean. A Gorasni frigate was sunk by the Stalks, followed by a freighter and two trawlers. Following the destruction of the Emerald Spar Imulsion Platform, the Lambent began moving toward Vectes Island and New Jacinto. The Pandemic eventually spreaded over all of Sera before the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon destroyed all Imulsion and everything infected by it including all Lambent lifeforms.
- 1 Epidemiology
- 2 Signs and symptoms
- 3 Cause
- 4 History
- 4.1 Prelude
- 4.2 Ocean Attacks
- 4.3 Attack on Emerald Spar
- 4.4 Assault on Vectes
- 4.5 Global Pandemic
- 4.6 Aftermath
- 5 Appearances
- 6 References
While Lambent cases had been reported as early as 0 A.E., and cases of Rustlung and Imulsion-poisoning as early as the Gold Rush era - the Lambent Pandemic did not become a global pandemic until 2nd Frost, 14 A.E. In the second day of Operation: Hollow Storm, in which the Coalition of Ordered Governments invaded the Inner Hollow to destroy the Locust Horde and their stronghold: Nexus, the Coalition discovered an intelligence file held by the Locust Horde by Professor Adam Fenix detailing how sinking Jacinto City would flood the entire Hollow with seawater and drown everything and everyone within, effectively ending the war. The Coalition originally planned on using a Lightmass Bomb to destroy Jacinto's base and sink the city, but instead destroyed a recently-mutated Lambent Brumak with the Hammer of Dawn, causing a large enough explosion to sink Jacinto City and flood the Hollow. A majority of Locust forces drowned in the flooding, but the Imulsion that resided within the Hollow was raised to the surface and into the soil by the seawater - polluting Sera's surface and oceans and beginning the Lambent Pandemic.
Because Lambency was an epidemic in the Hollow, many Hollow creatures and members of the Locust Horde were able to become Lambent by 7 A.E., which triggered the Lambent War until it became a pandemic in 14 A.E. By the end of 14 A.E., many sea creatures became infected with Imulsion, becoming Lambent and mutated. By 15 A.E., fungal fruiting bodies of Imulsion known as Lambent Stalks began emerging from the surface and expelling Lambent Polyps. At this point, many surface creatures such as dogs and bulls became infected. In 17 A.E., the humans of Sera saw the reemergence of Lambent Locust such as Lambent Drones and Drudges, Lambent Gunkers, Lambent Berserkers, and Lambent Wretches. In the last few months of the Lambent Pandemic, the Lambency finally advanced to possess human hosts. In human camps and townships were Imulsion-refinery and mining were prominent - the inhabitants became infected and known as Formers. All traces of Imulsion and Lambency were then vaporized by the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon in Bloom, 17 A.E. by Professor Adam Fenix. The device emitted a pulse-wave of targeted radiation aimed at destroying Imulsion cells across the entire globe. The pandemic was swiftly ended after nearly three years.
Signs and symptoms
While symptoms may vary depending on species there are common symptoms seen in a series of stages. By 17 A.E., all lifeforms on Sera have been infected by Imulsion, but Lambency could be dormant and based on how much of an organism's cells had been colonized by Imulsion. One of the first signs of Lambency is Rustlung. The symptoms of Rustlung were productive cough and rust brown colored phlegm, as well as trouble or labored breathing, chest pain, joint pain, muscle pain, weakness, hemorrhaging, fever, headache, loss of speech, hair-loss, nail growth, sterility, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, paranoia, and aggression.
As Lambency progressed, Professor Adam Fenix noted through self-experimentation that fever and intense muscle pain were the key symptoms to being mostly colonized by Imulsion.
The final stages of Lambency would occur with the veins of the host beginning to glow with the golden vibrancy of Imulsion. The heat would then burn the skin and cause the flesh to become necrotic and blacken. Cartilage, such as the nose and ears, would naturally be lost and the eyes would be burnt out and filled with Imulsion. The brain would also become infected and colonized, losing all sense of self and become aggressive - with intent to kill or infect all other non-infected organisms. At this point, the host has become Lambent. As the host continues to exist, mutations could occur - the most typical would be extra appendages.
Upon death, either naturally or caused, the host would explode and spread the Imulsion within its own certain proximity - which would help the Lambency spread to other hosts.
As with Rustlung during the Gold Rush, the main cause of Lambency was the inhalation and exposure of Imulsion fumes. Aside from indigenous creatures of the Hollow who were naturally exposed to Imulsion due to their proximity - the humans became infected through mining and refining Imulsion. The Locust Horde, who were created by humans via genetic experimentation in an attempt to cure Rustlung - also suffered from this due to living in the Hollow and being exposed to natural Imulsion fumes.
Another cause of Lambency was direct intake of Imulsion. The scientists at the New Hope Research Facility, tasked with studying Rustlung and attempting to find a cure, would inject children with concentrated doses of Imulsion to progress Rustlung - with many children either dying or becoming genetically altered through other experiments and became Sires. In his research to create the Imulsion Countermeasure, Professor Adam Fenix repeated this same method by injecting himself with doses of Imulsion and studying himself.
As the Lambent Pandemic occurred, the Lambent Stalks emerged as the fungal, fruiting bodies of Imulsion. They would then expel Imulsion fumes the same way a parasitic fungus would expel spores to infect and possess a potential host. The Stalks would also produce Polyps, which could spread Imulsion and latch onto hosts, transforming them into Lambent.
All Lambent lifeforms, when reaching the end of their life-cycle, will self-destruct their bodies in order to release a large proximity of Imulsion in the area in an attempt to infect other non-infected organisms. For instance, a Lambent organism that was killed by soldiers would self-destruct and release the Imulsion - contaminating the soldiers nearby and spreading Imulsion fumes for them to breathe in.
Discovery of Rustlung
At the time of its discovery, there was no evidence to support that Imulsion was a life-form, especially a parasitic organism. However, when humans began to mine and refine Imulsion through the Lightmass Process during the Gold Rush era, many of its miners and residents within the Imulsion townships became poisoned with a condition known as Rustlung. Because a majority of Imulsion reserves were located within nations of the Coalition of Ordered Governments, the COG became an economic and political superpower. Fearing the ramifications of distributing a toxic fuel source - the Coalition opened the New Hope Research Facility under the Department of Health during the Monroe administration to house the children of Imulsion-poisoned miners, study the effects of Rustlung, and discover a cure.
The research was put under the direction of renowned geneticist, Dr. Niles Samson. His research began injecting children with doses of concentrated Imulsion and studying the effects it had on the children. Imulsion exposure caused immediate cell stress and point mutations, causing many of the children to become sick and perish. However, a female child named Myrrah exhibited genetic immunity to Imulsion and other diseases - as exposure to Imulsion actually benefited Myrrah's immune system and decelerated her aging process. Niles attempted to replicate her results - but was unable to do so. Eventually, he used Imulsion's ability to mutate by splicing the children with the DNA of indigenous creatures of the Hollow, which he believed held genetic immunity to Imulsion as well. The resulting experiments transformed the children into genetically unstable, distempered, and aggressive mutants he called Sires.
Employees of the New Hope facility became disillusioned by the unethical imprisonment, experimentation, and torture of the children - especially when they would be attacked by the subjects. Many of them resigned and leaked details to the public and government. Eventually, Chairman Monroe discovered the wrong-doings of the facility and ordered it shut down, and all involved were to be indicted. However, a fringe political party within Monroe's administration covertly escorted Niles Samson, his remaining loyal scientists, and his subjects to a facility in Mount Kadar where he could continue his work, as they believed that his work could end Rustlung and the Pendulum Wars - and did not want superficial ethics to stand in the way of progress.
At the Mount Kadar Laboratory, Niles then combined the embryonic stem-cells of Myrrah with Sire DNA. They were successful in creating their first hybrid: a female called the Matriarch. The Matriarch then produced the offspring of male Drones, thus creating the first of the Locust Horde. However, due to various reasons, including the imprisonment of the Locust, Myrrah led the Locust Horde to rebel by slaughtering the scientists and escaping the facility. She became their leader as Queen of the Locust and led them deeper into the caverns of Mount Kadar, where they built their civilization: Nexus. Over the next decades, the Locust Horde produced a civilization of culture, religion, military, scientific advancement, and colonization of the underground. Meanwhile, while the Coalition was unable to cure Rustlung - they managed to set up health guidelines for their miners to prevent Rustlung.
Discovery of the Lambent
In 17 B.E., biologist Dr. Elain Fenix discovered a Rock Shrew from the Hollow who had begun to develop extra vegetative limbs. She believed something was causing a mutation of the underground ecosystem. In 9 B.E., Dr. Fenix continued to collect samples until she discovered the Locust Horde. Planning to first meet with them and then reveal her discovery to the public, Elain Fenix was executed by the Locust to prevent their discovery. During the years since inhabiting the Hollow, the Locust also began to notice Hollow creatures mutating with Imulsion. Locust scientist Ukkon began using Imulsion to genetically engineer creatures of the Hollow to be of use to the Locust - to act as weapons and transportation.
However, the creatures then became possessed with what would be Lambency and attacked non-infected life. Queen Myrrah named them the Lambent as they glow in the dark due to being full of Imulsion. Soon, members of the Locust Horde became infected and possessed by Imulsion - becoming Lambent. An epidemic occurred and caused a conflict in 7 B.E. known as the Lambent War. The conflict became dire for the Locust as they were outnumbered, and those who did not die in the conflict became infected and joined the Lambent in greater numbers. Queen Myrrah considered contacting the humans for their aid, but came to the conclusion that they would not understand and accept the Locust. Fearing that outcome, Myrrah began plans to invade the surface, kill all of humanity, colonize the surface, and escape the Lambent.
In 5 B.E., Professor Adam Fenix, husband of the late-Elain Fenix, followed her notes and discovered the Locust Horde. Queen Myrrah met with him and spared his life due to his potential of aiding her people. Queen Myrrah revealed her plans to invade the surface, but offered Professor Fenix the chance to avoid conflict if he were able to cure Lambency without harming the Locust - as the Locust were innately containing Imulsion at the genetic level. Professor Fenix agreed and began to research the Lambent and how to stop them. However, biological measures would not work because the Imulsion was capable of evolving against it. Professor Fenix then looked to physical countermeasures - but he knew it would also harm the Locust as well, and at one point suggested sinking Jacinto City as it would flood the Hollow with seawater, potentially drowning the Lambent. Being unable to find a solution, and being held by the Coalition to build the Hammer of Dawn, Queen Myrrah became desperate. Following extreme, recent losses in the Lambent War, Myrrah commanded her forces to invade the surface.
Six weeks after the end of the Pendulum Wars, the Locust emerged in what would be called Emergence Day. The Locust were successful in slaughtering 25% of the human population in the first twenty-six hours. Among their forces were also Lambent Wretches. At this point, humans also began to discover the Lambent - as Professor Adam Fenix kept his pact with Queen Myrrah secret. However, many believed the Lambent to be speculation due to their rare sightings and extreme nature. It was not until 14 A.E. that the humans began to understand the reality of the Lambent. The Coalition then orchestrated their first true victory, the Lightmass Offensive, by launching the Lightmass Bomb within the Outer Hollow. However, the heat of the bomb caused the underground pools of Imulsion to evaporate and pollute the nearby city of Timgad, causing an epidemic of Rustlung in the area.
The Lightmass Bomb also awoke a prehistoric, dormant creature known as the Riftworm. The Locust used this creature to begin sinking cities on the Jacinto Plateau to weaken its granite base and sink Jacinto City, as Queen Myrrah began to follow Professor Fenix's advice to sink Jacinto and flood the Hollow with seawater and drown the Lambent. The Coalition became aware of their intent to sink Jacinto City, and began to devise Operation: Hollow Storm - a battle to invade the Locust stronghold and destroy them once and for all. Chairman Prescott was aware of the New Hope Research Facility, and the probability that the work done there led to the creation of the Locust Horde, and declassified it in order to find the location of the Locust stronghold - which was Mount Kadar.
Cause of the Lambent Pandemic
Upon launching Operation: Hollow Storm in the capital city of Nexus under Mount Kadar, the Coalition discovered the Locust Horde fighting off their Lambent counterparts, revealing a civil war of sorts and realizing that the Locust started the war to escape the Lambent taking their land and people. Upon arriving in the Royal Palace, the Coalition also discovered intelligence files that revealed Professor Fenix's possible solution of sinking Jacinto and flooding the Hollow. Unable to kill the Queen, the Coalition became determined to sink Jacinto City themselves to drown both the Locust and Lambent. While originally using a Lightmass Bomb to destroy Jacinto's granite base, the Coalition instead used the Hammer of Dawn to destroy a mutated Lambent Brumak to destroy the base and sink Jacinto - thus flooding the Hollow and drowning the Locust.
Professor Adam Fenix, who had been kidnapped and framed dead by the Coalition, was being held on the research island bunker called Azura in order to study and resolve Lambency. Professor Fenix was made aware of the sinking of Jacinto and became distraught, as later years he came to be against his own plan as he realized the seawater would cause the Imulsion to rise into the soil and the ocean, accelerating the Lambent Pandemic, as well as losing one of the human's last safe stronghold. Professor Fenix had been studying Imulsion and Lambency on Azura, and began injecting himself with doses of Imulsion to study its progress in order to create the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon. With the seawater rising the Imulsion onto the surface and oceans - the Lambent Pandemic began in 2nd Frost, 14 A.E.
The Lambent are responsible for apparently anonymous attacks on the fishing vessels around Pelruan. Among the vessels that the Lambent sunk was a UIR frigate. The evidence of the Lambent Stalks was found aboard one vessel. A Stalk punched straight through the hull and released the Polyps. Marcus Fenix, accompanied by Bernadette Mataki encountered what seemed to be a Drudge aboard a fishing vessel. It mutated multiple tentacles and exploded when it was killed.
Attack on Emerald Spar
- Main article: Battle of the Emerald Spar Platform
Delta discovered the Lambent Stalks heading toward the Emerald Spar Imulsion Platform and quickly headed there to defend it. The two Stalks ended up punching up through the well bay of the platform and released hundreds to thousands of Polyps. In the battle that followed, one of the Stalks was destroyed by KR-239, but the platform caught on fire and was eventually abandoned. The platform ended up collapsing into the ocean while the Lambent seemed to retreat as there was no sign of the remaining Stalk afterward. This deprived the COG of their only source of Imulsion.
Assault on Vectes
First Battle of New Jacinto
- Main article: First Battle of New Jacinto
Preparing for an invasion of Vectes by the Lambent Stalks, the COG was surprised when the three Lambent Leviathans attacked the island with two heading to New Jacinto and one smaller one heading to Pelruan. The Leviathans unleashed hundreds of Polyps that the defending forces are forced to battle. The Polyps are lured into traps and killed while the COG Navy tried to take the Leviathans out. Eventually, the submarines called the CNV Clement and Zephyr managed to get a lock on one of the Leviathans and blow it up with a combined torpedo attack while the other one was lured into a trap by Delta-One by using the CNV Falconer and was killed by Damon Baird with the Hammer of Dawn which also destroyed a third of a New Jacinto. This Leviathan beached and released a couple more Polyps, but these are dealt with.
Battle of Pelruan
- Main article: Battle of Pelruan
While the First Battle of New Jacinto was going on, a third, smaller Lambent Leviathan was attacking Pelruan. The Leviathan released the Polyps in three waves that attacked the town and destroyed KR Three-Three. Eventually, the Leviathan was killed by the crew of KR-239 which unleashed all of it's ammo into the Leviathan's head, killing it. The Leviathan exploded, nearly destroying the King Raven and the rest of the Polyps are killed.
Further attacks and the collapse of the COG
For several months following the battles at New Jacinto and Pelruan, the Lambent continued to besiege the island from the Stalks and in one case, another Lambent Leviathan. The various Lambent creatures including Polyps, Lambent Dogs, Lambent Cats and a Lambent Bull are released all over the island. This also resulted in the creation of an Imulsion field on the island, allowing the COG and their Gorasni allies to refuel for the first time since Emerald Spar was destroyed. Eventually, after New Jacinto came under attack by the Lambent lifeforms and Pelruan was flooded, the COG was forced to disband and abandon Vectes to the Lambent and head to the mainland which was also besieged by the Lambent forms.
18 months after the sinking of Jacinto, Chairman Prescott abandoned the COG and vanished, leaving the last remnant of the COG to fend for themselves as Stranded. Marcus Fenix and Delta squad took residence up on board the CNV Sovereign along with many other Gears and civilians. While the Sovereign was sailing through the Lambent waters, a large group of Lambent Stalks emerged from the ocean around the ship, forcing Delta to defend it. Around this time, Richard Prescott landed in a King Raven with two Gears, bringing a message to Marcus from Adam Fenix revealing that he was still alive and being held captive by the Locust. The Lambent also sent a Lambent Leviathan to attack the ship and though it was killed by a crate of Tickers being dropped on it, the ship was destroyed in the process along with the Centennial Bridge. During the Mission to Hanover, Delta also came into conflict with the Lambent lifeforms.
The Lambent attacked Anvil Gate during the Battle of Anvil Gate, sending three Stalks with Lambent Drones, Lambent Drudges and a Lambent Berserker. Most are killed by the retreating forces while the rest, except the Berserker was killed by the Hammer of Dawn. The Berserker survived a direct strike, but was killed by multiple shots to it's Imulsion core.
During the Mission to Mercy and the Mission to Char, the Lambent attacked with most of the enemies in Mercy being Lambent Humans who are turned Lambent due to Imulsion exposure. In order to destroy the Lambent and Locust forces in Mercy, Dominic Santiago was forced to sacrifice himself to ram a fuel tank with a vehicle, causing a massive explosion that obliterated all, but the Gears who escaped. At Char, the Lambent took over an Imulsion refinery and attempted to prevent Delta Squad from getting the fuel from it, but failed.
During the Second Battle of Azura, the Lambent attacked, attempting to prevent Adam Fenix from detonating the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon that would destroy them, sending a variety of forms to attack. The attack failed as the weapon activated and destroyed all Lambent in the area as it powered up. The weapon went off completely and destroyed all Lambent lifeforms across the planet and all Imulsion, ending the invasion and the Pandemic.
Following the end of the pandemic, relative peace returned to Sera as the Locust are apparently wiped out as well. However, 25 years after the Pandemic ended, the Locust returned, having evolved into an even greater threat, the Swarm. In addition, though Imulsion was eliminated, Rustlung persisted in some patients who had contracted the disease before the pandemic ended, becoming a kind of cancer that was ultimately fatal to those afflicted by it.
- Jacinto's Remnant (First appearance)
- Anvil Gate
- Coalition's End
- Dirty Little Secrets
- Gears of War 3
- Gears of War 4 (Appears in flashback(s))