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A Drone torturing humans.

"The rest of us... they took as POWs. Tortured us. Demeaned us. Tried to break our spirit."
—Sgt. Jonathan Harper describing being processed.

Processing was a Locust torture tactic used on captured Gears and Stranded. The purpose of the process was for the Locust to break their Seran prisoners, which resulted in death or lobotomy.[1]


Pendulum Wars[]

Torture of Humans[]

In the years before Emergence Day, the Locust Horde had captured thousands of humans. Those who were not transformed by Locust scientist Ukkon into Drones, enslaved into a labor camps, or fed to the Hollow creatures - were tortured. The Locust called this "processing". There were various methods to torture, but all methods led to the final act of lobotomy. The process involved a prisoner being chained down while a device cut under the left tear duct and scraped away brain matter of the frontal lobe, resulting in the prisoner becoming a mindless slave to the Locust Horde.

Human prisoners were housed in various Locust citadels and bases around the Inner Hollow, but most were taken to the capital city of Nexus. Human prisoners were transported using Torture Barges, which could house the prisoners and torture them. It is unknown why the Locust torture humans, as they don't seem to require information. Other than transforming them into more soldiers for their army, to act as laborers, or to feed to the Locust beasts - it seemed that the Locust tortured the humans out of pure hatred for them as they found joy in inflicting pain onto humans.

The ancestors of the Locust Horde were Sires, human children ill with Rustlung and mutated by Imulsion and the DNA of indigenous creatures of the Hollow by Doctor Niles Samson in order to cure them. Once transformed, the Sires became mindless, feral, and violent. Dr. Stephanie Zimmer noted that the Sires were sadistic and cunning, as if they were made to torture and kill. Dr. Niles Samson was seen as a torturer and sadist, and the Sires were then created as a possible means for soldiers to end the Pendulum Wars. After using the Sires to create the Locust, the Locust were then bred and raised to torture and kill. Their creation and upbringing made them violent and sadistic.

Locust War[]

Emergence Day[]

As Ukkon was tasked by Uzil RAAM to prepare the Locust army for the emergence on the surface, Ukkon requested from Uzil a quota of captured humans to perform experiments on. Since Emergence Day, millions of humans went missing and the speculation was that the Locust were kidnapping people. For what purpose was unknown to humans at the time, but the rumors ranged from the Locust eating humans to the Locust torturing humans - to which the latter theories were true, although the Locust would also feed humans to the Hollow beasts, mainly the Bloodmounts.

Assassination of Ukkon[]

Lead Locust scientist, Ukkon, used the Torture Pods, similar to an iron-maiden torture device. Ukkon would place a human prisoner in the pod full of spikes and torture for information, including the whereabouts of other mop-up detachment units sent to clear out the Locust survivors after the Hammer of Dawn Strikes. These Torture Pods also contained a "kill-timer". If the Locust believed the prisoners were to be possibly rescued, they could activate the timer - in which the Pod kills the prisoner at the end of the clock.

Operation: Hollow Storm[]

"They're locking people up in these things. Taking them deeper into the Hollow. They were gonna "process" me, man. Whatever that means."
—Cpl. Damon Baird after being freed from Locust capture.

Captured Gears being taken for processing.

In 2nd Frost, 14 A.E., majority of COG Army forces engaged in Operation: Hollow Storm - in which they used Grindlifts launched in Landown into the Inner Hollow to finish the war by directly attacking the Locust stronghold. Shortly after entering the Inner Hollow, it was soon discovered that the Locust were taking human prisoners and torturing them. They also discovered that the humans were loaded aboard Torture Barges or taken to Nexus to be processed.[2][3]

Hundreds of Gears taken prisoner during Operation: Hollow Storm.

Hundreds more Gears were taken captive and tortured due to now being underground during Hollow Storm. However, many camps were liberated towards the end of the Operation. Despite this, some would never be able to recover. Cpl. Tai Kaliso committed suicide after only a few hours of torture, and Stranded woman Maria Santiago was euthanized due to being in a persistent vegetative state following weeks of torture and being lobotomized.

Known Methods of Processing[]

Tai being processed.

  • Physical beatings
  • Strung on hooks by the skin
  • Struck with spiked whips
  • Dismemberment
  • Flaying
  • Removal of appendages
  • Dipped into vats of raw Imulsion
  • Isolation
  • Locked into iron maidens
  • Starvation
  • Dehydration
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Slave labor
  • Lobotomy

Known Victims[]

Behind the Scenes[]