- "The survivors of the Hammer Strikes - the Stranded - didn't want anything to do with a government that sacrificed civilians."
- —Lt. Anya Stroud on the Stranded.
The Stranded were groups of humans that were left behind on Sera after the Hammer of Dawn strikes. The Stranded were the people who failed to reach the safety of Jacinto Plateau before the enactment of the Fortification Act and the Hammer of Dawn Strikes, which were carried out to deprive the Locust Horde the spoils of human civilization. Chairman Richard Prescott deliberately set a prohibitively short time limit to allow for evacuation to Jacinto Plateau so that the Locust Horde would not be able to prepare for the impending attack. Once the Generals of the COG had unleashed the orbital beams and chemical weapons on Sera, the Stranded were all left for dead and homeless in the streets of the outlying cities - alone in the fight against the Locust. After the invasion of Jacinto Plateau by the Locust, pockets of Stranded established themselves inside cities such as Ephyra. They were looked on as depraved thieves and looters by Gears, as they would steal equipment from any dead Gear or destroyed vehicle.
Shortly before the Fall of Ephyra, the COG started reaching out to the Stranded with the Operation Lifeboat program, in which the COG would provide Stranded families with protection in exchange for the conscription of the males into the army. Also, despite the elimination of the Kryll on the surface of Sera following the Lightmass Offensive, the Stranded started moving below the surface of Sera and camping in the Locust tunnels. When the Hollow was flooded and the Locust Horde presumably defeated, tensions between the COG and Stranded factions started brewing again, breaking out into a Stranded Insurgency after the COG moved to Vectes. However, the emergence of the Lambent caused the two groups to join together to fight back against them. Not long after Chairman Prescott abruptly disappeared, the COG disbanded, and everyone on Sera became Stranded.
Following the conclusion of the Locust War and the eradication of the Lambent Pandemic, the COG was reestablished and the Outsider Movement began, but many of the Stranded remained abandoned and destitute. Driven nearly feral by their desperation, they and their descendants became known as Pickers, and survived by scavenging the ruins of of pre-war COG cities as well as raiding both COG and Outsider settlements.
One year after E-Day, the newly elected Chairman Richard Prescott tried to lead a counterattack but failed as every single head of state couldn't look past their own borders. With very few options left and the Locust getting closer to Ephyra every day, the Chairman fell into his last possible option; using the Hammer of Dawn to burn the Locust infested areas. Though the Chairman gave a three-day evacuation, it wasn't enough for the whole planet to escape.
After the Hammer strikes, cities like Char were completely devastated leaving only small places to hide. While on a recon mission, a few days after the strike, Padrick Salton and Col. Victor Hoffman found a woman who had survived the attacks, though Padrick tried to offer her a bottle of water, she violently refused it, arguing they had left them to die and that he would return with people who cared about her. She went underground with a large group of people. These people who survived the strikes would call themselves "Stranded" who refused the COG and viewed them as traitors and fascists because of this.
Assassination of Ukkon
Despite their dim view on the COG in the immediate aftermath of the Hammer strikes, Sgt. Gabriel Diaz and Major Sid Redburn were able to convince a force of Stranded led by Mikayla Dorn to aid them in their operation to assassinate the Locust scientist Ukkon after rescuing the Stranded from a Locust attack. Working together, the COG and Stranded forces were able to eliminate Ukkon's army and kill Ukkon himself, preventing Ukkon from creating more monsters to further the Locust war effort. Diaz and Redburn subsequently became Stranded themselves and dedicated their force to hunting down and killing Ukkon's creations.
By 9 A.E., the COG army was overstretched and Chairman Richard Prescott initiated the Lifeboat program, allowing Stranded men and women to join the COG Army. In return, the COG government would protect their loved ones. Recruited Stranded were sent to the temporary barracks at Wrightman Base. Most Stranded rejected Operation Lifeboat remembering that the COG abandoned them during the Hammer of Dawn attacks across Sera in 1 A.E, while some chose to join the COG army in hopes of saving their loved ones from famine, diseases, and the Locust Horde. The COG would recruit Stranded by introducing a recruiting officer, campaigning in the streets, or performing leaflet drops over Stranded camps.
Fall of Ephyra
Fourteen years after E-Day, some Stranded relocated to some of the cities of the Jacinto Plateau, most notably Ephyra. However, during the Lightmass Offensive, most of the Stranded camps and checkpoints were assaulted by the Locust. With the destruction of Chap's Gas Station and the damaging of Franklin's outpost, Stranded humans quickly left the city.
Some Stranded hid themselves in the Lethia Imulsion Facility, however most (if not all) were killed by Lambent Wretches. Though one was able to lead Delta Squad through the facility until he was killed by the "glowie" Wretches.
Return of the Locust
Following the Lightmass Offensive, the explosion of the Lightmass Bomb awoke the Riftworm, which Skorge communicated with to turn to their cause of wiping out humanity and the Lambent by sinking cities. After the sinking of Tollen and Montevado, Stranded began to move underground to escape the Locust counter-offensive on the surface. While they knew it wasn't safe in the Hollow, there was nowhere safe left to go. At least two Stranded groups headed underground, Stu's group and Chaps' clan. Stu and his Stranded clan were captured including Maria Santiago. Chaps and his clan survived underground until the first days of Frost when Delta-One entered the Hollows and rescued Chaps and his Stranded camp. Before being taken to the surface, Chaps helped Delta by telling them about Nexus and Maria and how to reach both.
Attacks on Vectes
After Jacinto sank and several attacks on Port Farrall, by the Savage Locust, several people left the city to join the Stranded, figuring they had a better chance of survival there. Later, the COG decided to move to the island of Vectes which was protected from the Locust by an abyssal trench and Delta-One was sent there to check it out. There, they discovered the town of Pelruan and the Stranded settlement of Massy's Territory which were hostile Stranded. The Stranded from that settlement launched a raid on the town in response to Delta's arrival, but were defeated and Massy was killed in the attack. Later, some of the population joined the COG while the rest destroyed the settlement and headed inland to start the Stranded Insurgency. They were joined by the seagoing Stranded after an exchange for John Massy ended in a Gorasni sub destroying the ship of the leader of the Lesser Islands Free Trade Association. The Stranded launched raids and traps against the COG on the island, inflicting some casualties but losing even more to the COG before the Lambent Pandemic started to affect the island.
Abandoning the Coalition
When that happened, the Stranded contacted Lyle Ollivar to evacuate them from the island. After finding out about the evacuation, Marcus Fenix agreed to allow it, but asked Ollivar to help defend the island from the Lambent, suggesting an alliance between the Stranded and the COG to battle the Lambent. Ollivar refused, but when he arrived at the island, he changed his mind and the Stranded helped set up defenses for the expected attack. The Stranded helped win the Battle of Pelruan and the First Battle of New Jacinto, but afterwards decided to leave the COG to its fate, abandoning the island and ending the insurgency. After the COG fell, the Stranded, led by Lyle Ollivar, approach the remnants of the COG on the CNV Sovereign and offer to trade with them and help them as with the COG gone after being forced to abandon Vectes, everyone was Stranded now. Captain Michaelson promised to think about the offer.
Later, during the Mission to Hanover, Mission to Mercy and Mission to Char, various Stranded groups were encountered with various degrees of helpfulness, varying from kind and willing to trade goods to aggressive and xenophobical towards the COG. Also during the Mission to Halvo Bay Damon Baird's team came in contact with a Stranded outpost inside the city, with Garron Paduk remarking he didn't like Stranded. After the Second Battle of Azura, the threat to the Stranded by the Locust and the Lambent ended as both groups were destroyed by Delta-One and Adam Fenix with the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon.
Outsiders, Nomads, and Pickers
During the twenty-five year period following the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic, the Stranded continued as a brand of identity among humans who resented the Coalition of Ordered Governments, which became rebuilt shortly after Victory Day. The known Stranded-based groups to form were the Outsiders, Nomads, and Pickers.
The Outsiders lived in villages and within the Wilds of Sera - living off the land and outside of COG jurisdiction. Many of these people were Tyran citizens and would take in people who became disillusioned with and abandoned the COG and their Settlements. Nomads were similar to Outsiders in terms of their views and ways of life. However, these were mostly comprised of Union of Independent Republics survivors, namely Gorasnayans. They lived in the red sand deserts of Vasgar.
Pickers were the lowest forms of Stranded survivors. Often lone survivors or part of small groups, Pickers were merely scavengers who lived within the ruins of Sera and salvaged whatever they could to survive, and were many times dangerous - willing to kill anyone for supplies. The Pickers were shunned by the Outsiders and Nomads for their lack of civility. However, First Minister Mina Jinn was preparing to relocate the Pickers in COG Settlements for treatments, but was unable due to the Swarm Invasion.
Rescue of Fort Umson
Siege of Outsider Villages
Alliance with the Nomads
Views on the COG
After the orbital bombardment of Sera, there were millions of humans left to fend for themselves. The now-dubbed "Stranded" generally view the COG and the Gears as fascist for sacrificing them to the Locust onslaught. However, with the resurgence of the Locust Horde, some Stranded clans, while still suspicious and cynical towards the COG, cooperate with the COG to some extent in order to obtain much-needed food and shelter by signing up for Operation Lifeboat, while other clans continue to raid COG squads for goods and weapons. Later, after the COG fell, some Stranded groups became more cooperative with the remnants because as Lyle Ollivar pointed out "everyone's Stranded now."
During the Mission to Hanover, one group was much more friendly to Damon Baird, Clayton Carmine, Augustus Cole and Samantha Byrne than most Stranded due to Cole's legendary reputation as the Cole Train, a famous Thrasball player from Hanover itself. Even members of Franklin Tsoko's group were more friendly to Cole for the same reason, with Baird's complaining showing that many were still fans and were asking for Cole's autograph and to relive plays for them. Though the leader of the Hanover Cougars stadium Stranded was not COG friendly, both the leader of another Stranded group and her own people, who still loved Cole, thought that she might be more amenable to him due to his fame. However, she was not, though this was at least in part motivated by anger over her outpost having just been overrun by Lambent forces just after the COG showed up, though the Gears had helped to repel the attack. Notably, this group did not melt down Cole's giant statue in the stadium concourse for resources which showed their level of devotion as fans to the former Thrasball star.
The land based Stranded that populated around Tyrus were nothing more than a pest and thieves to the COG. Some clans would use women to distract Gears while the men would steal equipment from them and loot the dead and dying soldiers, while other Stranded clans would make deals with Gears and some joined the COG Army as part of Operation Lifeboat. Franklin Tsoko had an armed gang protecting his outpost. During the Mission to Hanover, Mission to Mercy and Mission to Char, Stranded outposts were shown to be in each city, but under serious threat from both the Savage Locust and the Lambent.
Some Stranded groups became pirate groups and raided near Merrenat Naval Base, where Quentin Michaelson lead anti-piracy operations, while other pirate groups raided in the Lesser Islands chain. One notable pirate-stranded was Massy, who raided Pelruan city and kept a base nearby. Another Stranded pirate group was raiding UIR ships around a Gorasnayan protectorate.
The Stranded have overcome their lack of technology by simply utilizing whatever COG equipment they find, such as Lancers and APCs, and constructing crude but functional settlements from wood and scrap metal. They rely heavily on propane tanks for fuel. They often have to make do without medical supplies and proper sanitation. Until the Lightmass Offensive and the Sinking of Tollen and Montevado, Stranded were able to live on the surface, but those events forced many Stranded to move underground. In Franklin's outpost, women have been seen grilling rats and Kryll.
- Bolo Grenade
- Boltok Pistol
- Boomshot Grenade Launcher
- Gnasher Shotgun
- Gorgon Submachine Gun
- Hammerburst II
- Incendiary Grenade
- Longshot Sniper Rifle
- Mk 1 Lancer Assault Rifle
- Mk 2 Lancer Assault Rifle
- Sawed-Off Shotgun
- Scorcher Flamethrower
- Snub Pistol
- Torque Bow
- Troika Heavy Machine Gun
- Vulcan Gatling Gun
- Ash Man
- Balcony Man
- Michael Barrick
- Hank Bissell
- Miles Carver
- Gabriel Diaz
- Mikayla Dorn
- Aaron Griffin
- Hanover Guard
- Sofia Hendrik
- Mina Jinn
- Kevin Mahoney
- Jonn Massy
- Miranda Beth Morris
- Mo Morris
- Montevado Survivor
- Patrick O'Rourke
- Old Man
- Lyle Ollivar
- Garron Paduk
- Sid Redburn
- Maria Santiago
- Tyrone Shephard
- Marcella Trinh
- Franklin Tsoko
- Reyna Torres
- Dizzy Wallin
- Maralin Wallin
- Rosalyn Wallin
- Teresa Wallin
- Warehouse Stranded Leader
- Industrial District Outpost (Overrun by Locust; Abandoned)
- Griffin Tower (Overrun and destroyed by Locust; Abandoned)
- Dorado Hills
- Halvo Bay
- Grievous Bodily Love (Overrun by Locust; Abandoned)
- Kadar Valley
- Mercy Camp (Overrun by Lambent)
- Montevado Camp (Overrun by Locust)
- Timgad Bridge (Overrun by Locust)
- Massy's Territory (Destroyed by Stranded; Abandoned)