- "Lemme tell you somethin' about war. War... ain't always about fightnin'. Blood, bullets, death, yeah-yeah, that's part of it... but it sure as hell ain't all of it. Sometimes it's knowing when to turn tail... and run your fucking ass off."
- —Barricks thoughts before breaking down the door to the roof of the orphanage.
Corporal Michael Barrick was a former Stranded who enlisted with the Coalition of Ordered Governments army using Operation Lifeboat, becoming a Gear soldier. He was a member of Zeta-Six during the Evacuation of Ilima. As a member of Echo-Nine, Barrick fought alongside Sgt. Jonathan Harper in the Timgad area during and after the Lightmass Offensive. However, the detonation of the Lightmass Bomb unleashed vaporized Imulsion particles around the region, giving Barrick and his comrades Rustlung. Sometime in the two months after this, Barrick was reassigned to Echo-Six and sent to the Pirnah Badlands, where the rest of his squad was wiped out. He was later rescued by Delta-One, and Barrick was later assigned to the team. Barrick would be sent to Montevado on a recon mission, only to be killed there, sacrificing his life to save the rest of his squad.
- "Never could go a day without getting sent to the Principal’s office."
- —Barrick reflecting on his education
After Emergence Day and the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack, which destroyed his house, Barrick lived with the Stranded until joining the Coalition of Ordered Governments army under Operation Lifeboat, despite having no family. His reason, given to Sgt.Marcus Fenix, was that "Being a Gear is a helluva lot more interesting".
Evacuation of Ilima
- "Shame to evac another city. 'Bout time we just took a stand and killed these goddamn grubs."
- —Barrick, as the Locust began their assault on Ilima
Around a decade after Emergence Day, the city of Ilima came under threat from a Kryllstorm. Barrick was sent to help evacuate the city as part of Zeta-Six, under the command of Lt.Minh Young Kim, with Pvt.Alicia Valera and Pvt.Tai Kaliso rounding out the squad. After Alicia and Tai finished loading the last of the civilians onto an Armadillo, and Kim was relieved that they would not have to worry about them when the Locust attack came. Barrick told Kim to relax since they still had four hours until the Kryllstorm hit, but a Corpser then emerged outside of the checkpoint, destroying the last APC in the convoy. Barrick and the other Gears at the checkpoint quickly took cover and opened fire on the emerging Locust Drones, but they were supported by Boomers, Grinders, and Reavers. Barrick took up position on a Chain Gun, cutting down dozens of Locust. However, the chain gun was destroyed, and the Locust were close to overrunning the checkpoint. Kim got permission from Commander Walker to use the Hammer of Dawn, and Barrick located the mobile command center inside one of the tents. He used the Hammer to destroy the remaining Locust forces, and once they were all dead, he remarked to Kim that that had been a risky gamble. Zeta then received orders to find Echo-Five, who had been helping evacuate civilians at a nearby bank but had fallen out of contact. As they headed to the financial district, Barrick wished they would just take a stand instead of evacuating cities all the time, and Alicia agreed with him, revealing that Ilima was her hometown. As they entered a courtyard, they spotted a Brumak, and Barrick wanted to engage it. Kim told him not to, since they were supposed to evacuate civilians, not repel the Locust. Somebody fired upon the Brumak with the Hammer of Dawn, but missed and took out a nearby building instead, causing Barrick to note they were doing more damage than the Locust, and wished that the COG would show more restraint. After fighting through a group of Wretches and Drones in the next courtyard, Barrick cleared a path into the next building by kicking several desks out of the doorway. They heard fighting nearby, and rushed out of the building to find the last two members of Echo-Five under attack by a large Locust force. However, they were killed before Zeta could reach them, but Barrick and the others killed the Locust in revenge. After reporting in to Walker that Echo-Five was down and taking down another wave of Locust, Barrick and the rest of Zeta entered the bank to look for the civilians Echo-Five had been protecting.
Searching for Survivors
- "Hah! Kid's got spirit..."
- —Barrick, upon seeing Jace Stratton trapped in a vault yelling that he was going kill a pack of Wretches
Zeta found the bank heavily damaged, and decided that the civilians would have likely taken refuge in the vaults, but Barrick was worried since those were underground. Barrick located a switch to open up the vault doors, and as they headed deeper into the bank, the building shook, causing Tai to note that thunder always followed lightning, and Kim agreed with him that Locust would be in the vault. Barrick noted that the two of them worked so well together since Kim acted like a translator for Tai. As they headed deeper into the vault, they found the torn apart bodies of civilians, with a group of Wretches nearby. They killed the Wretches and continued downstairs, causing Alicia to remark that she never liked being underground. Barrick noted that since they know knew what was underground he completely agreed with her. When they reached a locked gate, Barrick asked JACK to open it up for them. When it was open, Zeta entered the secured vault area and Barrick called out, asking if anyone was still alive in there. Wretches and Flame Grenadiers emerged to attack them, and Zeta desperately fought them off as E-Holes opened up around them. Several stacks of money were lit on fire from the battle, causing Barrick to joke that all that burning cash reminded him of his divorce. Once they finished off the last of the Locust, they heard someone yelling for help from behind a giant vault door. Barrick opened the door, and they saw a teenager trapped behind a barred door by Wretches, screaming that he was going to kill them all. Barrick quickly shot three of the Wretches as the fourth jumped at him, but Barrick cut it down in mid-air. Alicia freed the teenager from the vault, and he told them that his name was Jace Stratton, and that he was the only one who had managed to make it to the vaults.
Rendezvousing with the Convoy
- "Whew! That big bastard did not go quietly."
- —Barrick, after Zeta killed a Brumak attacking the convoy
Zeta and Jace returned to the upper level of the bank, and Jace looked out a window and wondered what was going on with the sky. Tai told him the Seeders were inking it, and Barrick explained that the ink blocked the sun, allowing the Kryll to enter the city before night to kill everyone. When they reached a long hallway, they felt the building begin to shake, and a large E-Hole opened up in the street, with General RAAM emerging from it with elite Locust forces. Kim contacted Walker and learned that the last evacuation convoy would be arriving at the rendezvous point soon, and that they needed to hurry to meet up with it. Barrick kicked open a door to the street just in time to see a Gear get killed by a Locust sniper, and he and the rest of Zeta quickly took cover to take them out. After killing the two snipers and several Drones, Zeta proceeded up the street, eliminating a Locust mortar team, more Drones, and two Boomers. They entered an abandoned COG outpost near the evac point and spotted Nemacyst in the air above it. Walker ordered them to kill the Seeders at the evac point before the convoy arrived, and informed them that the Onyx Guard had been sent to help defend the city. Barrick figured the battle was going badly, since the Onyx Guard was not deployed for evacuation operations. They reached the evac point and found three Seeders supported by dozens of Drones guarding it. Tai suggested they knock a nearby building onto the Seeders, and Barrick proceeded to use a Boomshot to demolish a building, crushing the Seeders and E-Holes under the debris. The convoy then arrived, but a Brumak bashed through the remains of the demolished building and attacked the convoy. Barrick and the others used Boomshots to kill it, but the convoy took casualties. They put Jace on the convoy, but he requested they try and find his caretaker, Dr.Gregory Wisen, who was leading another group of refugees at the Ilima High School.
Ilima High School
Searching for the Principal's Office
- "More like class outcast. Some things never change."
- —Barrick, after Alicia jokingly asked him if the was the class valedictorian in high school
Zeta headed to the high school to look for survivors, and Walker informed them that the COG had an evacuation checkpoint set up there, but that it had not checked in since the attack started. Barrick was worried about what they would find, and Kim placed him on point as they approached the school. Barrick found the front entrance was blocked by a barricade, but located an open window they could use to enter the building. As they entered, Kim remarked that it was a shame to see an empty school, but Barrick thought it suited him just fine since there was no detention, fighting, or expulsions. Alicia joked that he must have been the class valedictorian, and Barrick told her he the class outcast, and guessed that some things never changed. When they reached a hallway, they found a lot of beds and supplies, but no sign of any refugees. Barrick wondered where everyone was, and Walker contacted them and informed them that the COG was beginning to fall back and that they should return to base quickly. Kim decided they should finish their search of the school first, and Barrick hoped that finding him was worth the risk of still being in Ilima when the Kryllstorm hit. They then heard a recording of Wisen asking students to report to his office for evacuation, and decided that locating his office would be their best chance to find him. As they proceeded to open a gate to the lower levels, they noticed they were being followed and that something was messing with them by knocking things into their path. As he flipped the switch to open the gate, Barrick wished they would just get to fight something, causing Kim to warn him to be careful what he asked for. They then entered the flooded lower levels, and became trapped in a room by a group of Wretches. As JACK cut open the door for them, Barrick and the others put down the Wretches. At the end of the lower level, they found a room set up for civilians to live in, and Alicia could not believe that people lived there. Barrick told her that his old Stranded camp had been far worse than the conditions at the school. They then entered a courtyard where the Locust had a sniper with a One-Shot set up, supported by several Drones and two Maulers. After defeating the Locust, Barrick used his Chainsaw Bayonet to cut through the lock leading back into the school. They then arrived at the principal’s office and found Wretches inside, and quickly dispatched them and another pack that arrived behind them. They then heard another announcement over the loudspeaker from Dr.Wisen, telling everyone to go to the gymnasium, and that they would leave for his orphanage from there due to the approaching Locust. Barrick guessed that Wisen and the others had already left, but Kim wanted to inspect the gym first, then head to the orphanage if Wisen and the children were not there.
Locating the Gym
- "Shit, could use a trophy for creepiest high school."
- —Barrick, as Zeta heads deeper into the school
As Zeta headed for the gymnasium, Barrick remarked that the school seemed like a graveyard. Alicia hoped it was not, and asked Kim if anybody had managed to get evacuated from the school. Kim said that Walker had informed him that no one had checked in, and if they had left, they needed to make sure no one was left behind. They entered the cafeteria, and a large herd of Tickers charged at them under the cover of dozens of tables. They wiped them out, but Kim complained that he had shit all over him now, causing Barrick to laugh. They then came to a long hallway, and a E-Hole opened up at the end of it, with a group of Theron Guards leading a group of Grenadiers and a pack of Wretches emerging. After defeating them, they found a room with several dead children in it, and Alicia and Kim wondered if anyone had made it. Barrick was upset that the COG had been unable to defend an evacuation point with kids at it, but Kim shot back that the COG did what it could for its people. Barrick responded that what the COG had done for him was blow up his house, destroy everything he ever had, and when then give him a gun to the same thing to other people when he no longer had any other choice. He asked Alicia if the COG was doing everything it could for her in the evacuation of her home. She was unsure, but told him that the Locust and Kryll were real, and every life they saved was special and another chance for someone. They then entered a locker room, which was covered in Serapede webs. Tai thought it would take a colony to make a web that big, but Barrick noted it could also be a giant one. They were then confronted by two giant Serapedes supported by Locust, and managed to defeat them after a hard fight. Zeta then entered the gym, but found only dozens of mutilated bodies, causing Barrick to vow to kill whatever did it. They proceeded to the other side of the gym, where a Berserker emerged from a locked room. They fled outside, but the Berserker followed them. Barrick and the others managed to defeat it by luring it into running into cars, causing them to explode and light the Berserkers skin on fire, allowing them to hurt it. Once the monster was dead, Barrick joked that she had almost been as tough as his ex-wife. Alicia wondered what they should do now, and Barrick looked to the rapidly inking sky that was filling with Kryll and noted it was time to have some fun.
Retaking City Hall
- "Never seen carnage like this before... their gonna pay dear for it."
- —Barrick, upon seeing the remains of Alpha Checkpoint
Barrick and the others proceeded to downtown Ilima, hoping to regroup with other COG forces. They lost contact with Walker due to the large number of Seeders now in the city, and decided to make it a priority to kill the Seeders. They entered a parking lot, where they fought off a group of Tickers, and defeated a large group of Drones supported by a Boomer. As they entered a parking structure, Barrick noted that they had just used to complain about things like gridlock, and Tai noted that many people complained about things they wished for later. Barrick laughed, and guessed that he would say that about Tai one day. Zeta fought up through the parking structure, and at the exit, Barrick pushed a car down the ramp, crushing two Boomers. As they exited onto the street, they saw the bodies of dozens of Gears strewn over the remains of a COG checkpoint. Barrick swore the Locust would pay dearly for these deaths, and they spotted a Seeder at the end of the road. They split into two teams, with one going along the street and the other on the rooftops, each taking their turn covering the others. Barrick worked with Tai, and the two teams met up at the end of the street, causing the Seeder to retreat underground. Alicia thanked Barrick for the assistance, and he joked that he was always watching her ass. As they made their way through the checkpoint building, Barrick asked Alicia if her younger brother was old enough to serve yet. She told him he would be in one year, and wished he did not have to go into the army. Barrick reassured her he would be fine, since he had a kickass older sister to look out for him. Alicia thanked him for the support, and they exited the checkpoint to find Nemacyst over Ilima City Hall, indicating the Seeders were close. Barrick asked Kim what the plan was, and he suggested finding the Hammer of Dawn mobile command center inside city hall and using it to destroy the Seeders. Barrick agreed with the plan, and they entered the grounds of city hall. They fought off a massive Locust force that attempted to prevent them from entering, and upon entering city hall, Barrick guessed that RAAM was pushing the Locust hard to defeat the COG, and that he could not wait to encounter him. Barrick and the others fought their way upstairs to the Hammer of Dawn mobile command center, and Barrick began using it to destroy nearby Seeders while the others fought off Locust reinforcements. Once the Seeders were dead, Barrick rejoined the others and helped them finish off the last of the Locust. As they headed for the back exit, they contacted Walker, who informed them they were the last unit in the city, and that evacuation was complete. However, they decided to investigate the orphanage for Wisen and other survivors, and asked for the extraction team to meet them there.
- "At least we can turn it into a nightmare for the grubs."
- —Barrick, after Tai sadly noted the construction site was an unfinished dream
Zeta worked their way east to a construction site, with only twenty minutes left until the Kryllstorm hit. Tai looked sadly at the site and noted that they once dared to build their dreams, but Barrick noted they could turn it into a nightmare for the Locust. They tore through a group of Locust, and Barrick found a Mechanical Loader to clear the way through the construction site for them. After bashing through a gate, Barrick picked up a shovel attachment for the loader to use as a shield. They only way through to the other side of the construction zone was guarded by two Troika Heavy Machine Guns, and Alicia thought they would never get through them. Barrick told her to keep her head down, and charged at the Troikias, kicking down gates with the loader and then knocking a dumpster into the machine gun nest, destroying the guns and killing the gunners. He was forced to abandon the loader due to obstacles, and the joined the rest of Zeta in fighting a large group of Locust guarding the other side of the construction zone. Once the last of the Locust were dead, Barrick spotted a large crane, and Alicia suggested using it to make a way out of the construction zone. Barrick asked Kim if it was okay to use the crane, since he did not want him accidently violating any COG regulations. Kim told him to shut up, and Barrick activated the crane controls, moving several pipes that were blocking the exit out of the way. Barrick then looked at the sky and noted that there had to be millions of Kryll flying around, and that things did not look good.
Defending the Orphanage
- "Make her proud."
- —Barrick to Jace, after Jace picked up Alicia's Lancer to help defend the orphanage
They made it to the orphanage without further incident, and found Wisen there with several other survivors, including children. They called into Control, and Walker sent an APC to pick them up. Jace came with the APC to be reunited with Wisen and his friends, but they then came ]under attack by Locust forces. The APC driver was killed, and Barrick and the others quickly took cover to defend the orphanage as the civilians ran inside. However, RAAM arrived behind them, and Alicia was killed by him while defending Jace. As they cut down the last Drone, Barrick, Kim, and Tai turned around and opened fire on RAAM, forcing him to retreat on his personal Reaver. More Locust began approaching the orphanage from across a nearby bridge, and Zeta moved up to repel them, with Jace joining them after picking up Alicia's Lancer. Barrick asked him if he knew how to use it, and Jace responded by cutting down a charging Drone. Barrick told him to make Alicia proud, and they charged across the bridge, cutting into the Locust lines. RAAM returned and destroyed the APC and bridge just as the Gears made it across. Kim called in air extraction to meet them at the orphanage, and they began fighting their way back to the building. They witnessed a Theron Elite kill two Gears in a building across from them, and Barrick noted that he looked like a tough one. After taking out another wave of Drones, they were confronted by two Mauler Elites, but managed to defeat them. They proceeded to the canal which the bridge leading to the orphanage had crossed, and Barrick noted the sky was almost completely covered by the Kryll. When they entered the canal, the Theron Elite arrived to confront them, and after a long battle they managed to kill him. They headed up a nearby staircase, and made their way through a building to the street outside the orphanage.
- "Come on, brother! Today is not the day!"
- —Barrick to Kim, as he stops his suicide charge through the Kryll to reach RAAM
As they came out onto the street, they witnessed a Gear get killed by RAAM firing a Kryll Grenade at him, and Barrick warned the others to stay clear of them. They quickly slaughtered the few Drones outside the orphanage, but RAAM began attacking from his Reaver on nearby buildings as E-Holes opened up around them. They injured RAAM's Reaver whenever they got an opening, eventually causing it to crash, knocking RAAM off in the street before it lifted off again. They fought him at close quarters as more Drones emerged to support him, and barely managed to drive him off, causing him to flee once more on his Reaver, much to Barrick's frustration as he was joined by two more Reavers. They were able to kill the two supporting Reavers, and wounded RAAM's Reaver so bad that it crashed behind the school and died. Kim ordered Barrick to get everyone else to the roof for evac while he got Alicia's COG Tag, and he led Tai, Jace, Wisen, and the other civilians up there as KR Eighty-Four arrived to rescue them. Barrick realized that Kim had yet to join, and looked off the roof to see him heading for RAAM's crashed Reaver. He called for him to return, but Kim kept going, and Barrick rushed back down to the street to get him. He barely managed to stop him before he charged at RAAM through a cloud of Kryll, and told him that today was not their chance to finish RAAM. They rushed back to the roof and boarded the Raven as it took off and flew through the last clear airspace above Ilima. Barrick looked for his lighter to smoke his cigar, and Jace handed it to him and lit the cigar for him. Barrick laughed, and told Jace he would make a mean Gear, and raised his cigar to the good fight and living to see another day.
Stationed in Timgad
Around four years later, Barrick was assigned to Echo-Nine, which was led by Sgt.Jonathan Harper. They were stationed in the Timgad region at the time of the Lightmass bombing, and cheered on the Tyro Pillar as it sped toward its target, a Locust sinkhole that led deep into the Hollow, while carrying a Lightmass Bomb. However, after the bombing, all of the Gears stationed in Timgad began developing rustlung, including Barrick and Harper, which was caused by the vaporized Imulsion fumes. Barrick continued fighting alongside Harper against reemerging Locust forces in the weeks that followed the bombing, but they were soon rotated out of the Timgad area. When they eventually began to feel the ill effects of rustlung, Barrick and the others were sent to Jacinto Med in Jacinto City for treatment. However, they were lied to about the actual causes of the disease by the doctors there, in an effort by elements in the COG government to keep the disease covered up.
The Pirnah Badlands
Deployed to the Pirnah Badlands
- "Sorry to hear about your squad, man."
"Not as sorry as I am."
- —Gil Gonzalez and Barrick, after he tells Delta-One that his entire squad was killed
Sometime in the weeks that followed, Barrick was transferred for unknown reasons to Echo-Six. His squad was tasked with patrolling the Pirnah Badlands area southwest of Jacinto City around two months after the Lightmass Offensive. During his squads assignment, he became friends with Nash, a fellow Gear who also had Rustlung. Sadly, the other members of Echo-Six were wiped out by Locust forces. Barrick survived long enough to be found by two members of Delta-One, Cpl.Dominic Santiago and Pvt.Gil Gonzalez, who had been sent to locate several missing squads in the area. After he helped them kill a Locust, Barrick reported to Sgt.Marcus Fenix, and informed him that the rest of his squad was dead. He then had a conversation with Pvt.Jace Stratton and Gonzalez, and Gonzalez told him that he was sorry about what had happened to his squad, and Barrick told him that he was not as sorry as he was. Barrick then learned how the others viewed Jace as the "kid" of the squad, but Barrick was impressed with Jace's attitude and thought that he was a survivor. The five Gears then headed back to Jacinto City in Delta's APC, stopping briefly to rest during the night. After Barrick and Cpl.Dominic Santiago checked the west section of the camp to make sure they were clear, they settled down for the night. Dom told them stories of Marcus and his mission in the Lethia Imulsion Facility, and Barrick told him to never let him go underground with the two of them, and Dom assured him that he was not planning on going down there again anytime soon.
- "Buddy... you're fucked."
- —Barrick, after chainsawing a Boomer between its legs
They continued their way back to Jacinto City the next day, but picked up a distress beacon along the way. They arrived to find what appeared to be an abandoned camp, but came under attack from Locust forces. As they scrambled for cover in order to defend themselves, Gonzalez was shot in the shoulder. Jace dragged him to cover as Barrick, Marcus, and Dom covered them. Marcus ordered Barrick to cover their right flank as he and Dom took the left, while Jace attempted to stop Gonzalez's wound from bleeding. As they killed the Locust, Barrick covered Marcus and Dom as they flanked their attackers, killing two Locust with his Gnasher Shotgun. As the battle wound down, he encouraged Gonzalez to hang on, but Barrick, Jace, and Gonzalez's cover was destroyed by a Boomer's Boomshot, and Locust reinforcements arrived. Barrick ordered Jace to get Gonzalez to new cover and provided them covering fire, giving Jace enough time to pull Gonzalez to safety. He charged at one of the three Boomers attacking them, and it yelled at him to die. Barrick slide under the Boomers legs as it fired and told it not today, and chainsawed it between its legs while Marcus threw a Bolo Grenade at the other two. Barrick then drove his chainsaw into the Boomers skull, and Marcus and Dom quickly finished off the other two Boomers. Sadly, Gonzalez had bled out and died in Jace's arms during the battle. The four remaining Gears then returned to Jacinto, and Barrick attended Gonzalez's funeral.
Mission to Montevado
Flight over the Dorado Hills
- "Not that nice! We know he can fly, but we still gotta get back on the fucking ground!"
- —Barrick, to Dom after he complimented Jace on his good flying
After a week of rest, Barrick was reassigned to Delta-One. They were sent on a Mission to Montevado, to investigate reports of the city experiencing seismic disturbances. As they flew over the Dorado Hills, Barrick wondered why they were investigating seismic activity, since they had been experiencing that since E-Day, but Marcus told him these were on a lot bigger. Barrick then asked how long until they got to Montevado, and Marcus told him they still had quite a ways to go. After Barrick coughed a few times, Marcus told Barrick that his smoking was going to kill him, but Barrick told him that the war would kill him long before smoking did. Not long after, the King Raven was hit by a Nemacyst, and Jace nearly fell out of the Raven, but Barrick and Marcus grabbed his arms and pulled him back in. They looked down and saw Seeders firing at them, and the Raven was hit again. Marcus asked if everyone was alright, and Barrick told him that everyone was good, but that the pilot had been killed by a second shot. Marcus asked if anyone could fly a Raven, and Barrick told him that he did not even like flying. Jace told the others that he had flown a Raven before, but as he got in the cockpit, he mentioned that he had never landed one. This disturbed Barrick, and he warned Jace not to kill them all. After Jace managed to avoid more fire from the Seeders, Dom complimented him on his flying, but Barrick told him that he still needed to land it. Another shot hit them and took out the landing gear, causing Barrick to panic even more, but Marcus told him to shut up and let Jace do his job. Jace managed to crash land the Raven on top of an Emergence Hole, killing the Locust coming out of it. Barrick stepped out of the Raven and admired the carnage, congratulating Jace on a "real nice job".
Battle for Fucked and Chased by a Brumak
- "How the hell are we supposed to kill a Brumak with this kind of firepower?!"
"Honestly? We can't."
- —Barrick and Dom after being ambushed by a Brumak, and lacking any kind of heavy weapons
Barrick and Delta then moved out on foot through the Dorado Hills toward Montevado, and he told the others that they had a long way to go. After a few days of walking, Barrick joked to the others that they should look on the bright side, and that at least they did not have to walk all this way in armor. Jace smirked at the comment, and Dom told Barrick to remind him to laugh when this was all over. They then came across a Stranded named Jonboy, who was serving as a lookout for the settlement of Fucked. Jonboy told them that a group of Locust kept raiding the settlement, and that they would give the Gears an APC in exchange for killing them. Marcus agreed, and Delta easily wiped out the Drones. When Jace noticed that there was a kid living among the Stranded, he convinced Marcus to take her with them to find her parents in Montevado. As the four Gears and Lily drove to Montevado, they were ambushed by Locust, and the vehicle was damaged. Barrick exited the APC with Marcus and Dom to hold off the Locust, while Jace told Lily to stay put. They killed all of the Drones, but a Brumak suddenly arrived. Barrick and Dom quickly found cover, and were soon joined by Marcus and Jace. They became cut off from the APC and Lily, and Marcus ordered everyone to scatter. Barrick took cover with Dom behind some rocks, and asked him how they were going to kill a Brumak without any heavy firepower. Dom told him that they could not, and they were then joined by Marcus and Jace. The Brumak found them again, and they scattered in four different directions, hoping to draw the Brumak away from the APC. They were saved by the sudden arrival of Sigma-One, with Pvt. Augustus Cole blowing off one of the Brumak's arms with a Boomshot, and Cpl. Damon Baird driving a Centaur tank. Marcus tied the APC to the Centaur, while Barrick and the others got into the tank. As they drove through a valley, the Brumak was buried under a ton of rocks when one of its missiles hit the valley wall. They stopped briefly, and while Dom and Marcus caught up with Baird, and Jace talked with Cole, Barrick found two Rat Bikes for Delta to use to reach Montevado. Sigma returned to Jacinto with Lily, and Barrick drove one of the Bikes with Jace riding shotgun to Montevado.
Sinking of Montevado
- "RAAAGH! You want this motherfuckers?! You want it?!"
- —Barrick, as he chainsaws Wretches
Once they reached Montevado, Barrick asked them what the seismic disturbance they were looking for was going to look like. Marcus realized he had a point, and Dom pointed out that they did not have any specialized equipment to detect anything. Marcus became annoyed with the mission, and ordered the squad to split up, with Barrick and Marcus scouting the south side of the city, while Dom and Jace took the north side, and see if they could find anything. As they searched, Marcus asked about Barrick’s family, assuming that that is why he joined Operation Lifeboat, but Barrick told him he joined up because being a Gear was more interesting than being a Stranded. Barrick was confused that no one was left at all in a city the size of Montevado, but Marcus told him they might just be hiding extremely well. When Barrick coughed again and spit up blood, Marcus told him he needed to quit smoking, but he told Marcus it was not the smoking that was causing the blood. Before he could explain about rustlung, they came under attack by a group of Wretches. They killed several of them, but the rest suddenly retreated when the ground began to shake. Montevado then began to sink into the ground, for reasons unknown to the Gears. They survived the sinking, but most of Barricks armor was badly damaged and falling off. He and Marcus discovered their bot, STAN, was crushed under falling rocks. They then headed to regroup with Jace and Dom, using there armors locators to guide them. As they moved toward them, Barrick informed Marcus about rustlung, and how a bunch of Gears who had been stationed in Timgad after the bombing came down with it, including him. He told him that it had been getting worse since then, so that was why he was unconcerned with his smoking, and he lit up the last cigarette in his pack. When they reached Dom and Jace, they found them under attack by Heart Leeches. After they killed the Leeches, Marcus told them they were going to stay together and wait for evacuation the next day. However, a Corpser suddenly punched through a mound of wreckage nearby, and Bloodmounts came pouring through, supported by Drones.
- "Go, man, go! You got a squad to get out of this hellhole!"
- —Barrick, telling Marcus to save himself while Barrick holds off the Locust
As they fought the Bloodmounts, they discovered that they were very low on ammo. They managed to kill several, but Marcus ordered Dom and Jace to climb out of the sinkhole while he and Barrick held the Locust back. Barrick eventually told Marcus to escape himself, but Marcus told him that there were too many to take by himself. Barrick told him that he knew that, and that the Rustlung was going to kill him eventually, and he wanted to die fighting. Barrick ripped off the remains of his armor, and charged into the Locust lines barehanded. He fought off the Locust and Bloodmounts with his fists, and yelled for Marcus to get out and look after the others. As he ripped Locust apart, Marcus escaped, and Barrick was shot by a Beast Rider in the back as he killed two other Locust. However, he managed to hold off the Locust long enough for the rest of Delta-One to escape, dying a hero's death to save their lives.
Along with other Gears who had died during the Locust War, Barrick's name was inscribed on a post-war memorial at the Tomb of the Unknowns in honor of his service and sacrifice during the war. Following his death, Jace gained possession of Barrick's cigar lighter and kept it with him long after the Locust War had ended when he began a career as an actor. When the Swarm attacked Settlement 2 over twenty-five years later, Lieutenant James Dominic Fenix took the lighter from a makeup station after Jace seemingly abandoned it there. Corporal Kait Diaz presumably took possession of the lighter after Fenix was severely wounded from a Hammer strike and later placed it in a makeshift memorial along with the possessions of other deceased Gears including the other members of Zeta Squad.
Personality and Traits
- "The COG does what it can for its people? Meh... I tell you what the COG did for me. The COG blew up my house. The COG destroyed everything I had. And when I was Stranded and had no other choices, the COG gave me a gun and sent me here to do the same thing to someone else."
- —Barrick, to Kim after he defended the COG's effort to protect citizens
Barrick's most defining traits were his immense size, his long hair, and his addiction to cigars, along with crude COG Crimson Omen tattoos on his shoulders. While not quite cynical, he was an intelligent man with no delusions about life and war. He knew and accepted that he had Rustlung, and that it would kill him, but did not make a big deal out of this until right before his death. Barrick was also a friendly person, as evidenced from his brief interactions with Jace Stratton, and hints that he did care for the rookie's safety.
While he served as a loyal Gear, Barrick had issues with the COG and how they ran the war, especially with the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack. He felt the COG was not doing all it could to protect its citizens from the Locust.
Barrick was also a capable soldier, and seemed to prefer the Gnasher shotgun. In his final moments he was strong enough to kill Locust Drones with his bare hands even when mortally wounded.
- "Being a Gear is a helluva lot more interesting."
- —Michael Barrick's reason for joining the COG via Operation Lifeboat
- "Heh. You're gonna make a mean Gear, kid. Here's to the good fight and living to see another day!"
- —After Jace helps him to light his cigar.
Behind the scenes
- Barrick was voiced by Rick Wasserman in RAAM's Shadow.
- Barrick's facial design is based off the musician Ian Fraser Kilmister aka Lemmy.
- It appears that Barrick wears the same model of armor as Marcus Fenix and Jace Stratton. He goes through two different sets of armor; his first suit was when he was a part of Echo-6 and after his rescue he received a new one.
- According to Harper's Story, Barrick was the one who revealed the sickness he, Harper, and other Gears and civilians in Timgad had was Rustlung - despite the doctors and politicians trying to cover it up. It's possible that, given his blue-collar nature, Barrick came from a family of Imulsion laborers who were aware of Rustlung while the COG tried to hide it.
- In Issue Two of Gears of War: Hollow, Barrick tells Dom to remind him never to go underground with him and Marcus. This foreshadows his death when he goes underground with them in Issue Six.
- Barrick is shown on the promotional image for the Gears of War 3 Season Pass.
- In Gears 5 Barrick doesn't appear with his famous cigars due to Rod Fergusson's personal views on cigarettes and how the glamorization of it in the media has created addicts who have developed health conditions and died from it, including his own father. The Coalition will no longer make references to smoking in their future installments of Gears of War.
- Barrick was added as a multiplayer character in the RAAM's Shadow DLC for Gears of War 3 on December 13, 2011.
- Barrick was added to Gears 5‘s multiplayer as a playable COG team character in Operation 8 Content Drop 2.