- "And we know it’s comin,’ baby. Sooner or later. The big one"
- —Cole inner thoughts on the impending assault
The Riverside Skirmish was in 9 A.E. COG Command sent Foxtrot-Six to locate and destroy a Locust built bridge. After leaving Jacinto City and noticing that the COG was relocating from Ephyra, the Packhorse left the safety of the wire and headed into No-Man’s Land where the Locust had a minor presence, but the Stranded took their chances. The Locust Horde was preparing for their massive assault on Ephyra City and was building surface structures from bridges to railways. While the COG fortified Jacinto, they sent the squads out to deal with any new Locust structures.
- "Is it because I’ve got opposable thumbs?"
- —Baird, after finding out he has to lay the charges
After being given their orders, Foxtrot-Six was leaving Jacinto City where they witnessed the new recruits from Operation Lifeboat who looked more like prisoners of war than new recruits, built defenses around the city while the COG prepared for Ephyra to be attacked. The Locust Horde was amassing for a major assault on the COG capital and began building logistics for their assault. Foxtrot-Six noticed one of the banks in the business districts was now occupied by the COG Defense Department and became division commutations centers while the COG Army was eyeing the Treasury for military importance. Foxtrot-Six left the city and entered No-Man’s Land where the Stranded settlements and the Locust Horde had a minor occupation. The Packhorse passed several Stranded settlements and discovered a new rickety bridge next to an old power station. The Locust was able to build the bridge in a few days and had poles sunk into the ground. The river was shallow and the bridge was just rafts of wooden planks suspended from metal poles. Baird was nominated for laying the charges as he was the lightest.
Demo job and ambushed
- "You selfish motherfuckers."
While the rest of the squad covered Baird, he laid the charges on the bridge until he noticed that he missed one and went back to set it up. When he returned to the squad, he was half way back to them until one of the charges exploded from a premature detonation. The explosion sent Baird into the river, drifting away while the bridge began falling apart. Cole went back to the Packhorse to use it's hitch only to find out that the Packhorse was stripped of all of it's parts by the Stranded leaving an angry Cole and the realization that he possibly could not save Baird. Cole with only one option left called in for support from Command. Command promised to free a King Raven up while the ten Drones attacked the Gears from the opposite bank of the river. After returning to his fellow Gears, Cole and the rest of Foxtrot-Six engaged the Grubs and was able to kill one of them. The Gears began hearing a noise coming over the river banks and the ground began vibrating. Command sent a Mammoth, a bridge-laying tank, driven by a conscript name Ailsa. She drove the tank over the river and ran over all of the Drones, allowing Cole to retrieve Baird from the river.
Alisa drove her tank back across the river and Cole wished that Baird was alert to notice that a “Stranded bum” saved his life and a woman at that. Alisa drove Foxtrot-Six back to Jacinto and left the stripped Packhorse.
- Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 368
- Gears of War: Coalition’s End pg 365
- Gears of War: Coalition’s End pg 366
- Gears of War: Coalition’s End pg 367
- Gears of War: Coalition’s End pg 369
- Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 371