William Berenz was a member of the Coalition of Ordered Governments serving at the Vectes Naval Base on the island of Vectes during the Pendulum Wars. After the base was closed down, he settled with most of his team in the small town of Pelruan, where he became the Deputy Mayor after the island was cut off from the rest of the world during the first fifteen years of the Locust War. After the COG relocated to Vectes, Berenz became one of the official COG representatives in the town.
Working At VNB and Cut off From Sera
During the Pendulum Wars, Berenz worked at Vectes Naval Base on the island of Vectes as the head of the maintenance team. After the base was closed down near the end of the war, he and most of his team elected to stay behind in the town of Pelruan, viewing it as a nice place to live. However, after Emergence Day and the Hammer of Dawn counterattack, the island was cut off from the outside world, leaving Bernez and the rest of the town wondering what had happened to the Coalition of Ordered Governments. Bernez eventually became Deputy Mayor, with his friend Lewis Gavriel serving as Mayor. Together, they helped lead the town and the farms across the island, and coordinated defenses against the semi-hostile Stranded community on the other side of the island, even attacking it when they were forced to. Berenz and the rest of his team kept VNB in working order in case they ever needed it for some reason, and Bernez raised a pack of Dogs to hunt and kill Stranded in order to keep the town safe.
Return of the COG
Arrival of Delta-One
- "This is going to take some time. This is everything you need to know about VNB."
- —Bernez, showing a briefcase full of documents to Sgt. Marcus Fenix
Fifteen years after Emergence Day, two King Ravens were spotted flying over the island. Bernez and Gavriel grabbed their shotguns, and headed out with over thirty other townspeople to see who was aboard. The Ravens landed on the western cliffs of the town, and they saw a squad of Gear soldiers get off them. Gavriel fired a shot over their head and demanded to know who they were, and their leader identified himself as Sgt. Marcus Fenix, and claimed to have been sent by the COG, and said he could likely get Chairman Richard Prescott over the radio to confirm that. Gavriel was shocked and lowered his weapon, but Berenz was less trusting of them. Gavriel had the Gears follow him to the local bar, and when they arrived, he told Bernez to lower his shotgun, and that they didn't need protection from their own people. After going into the bar, Bernez listened as Marcus and Lt. Anya Stroud explained that most of the planets population had been killed since E-Day, and what was left of the COG wanted to evacuate to Vectes and establish VNB as a new city. They were shocked by this, but Bernez agreed to show them around VNB. He grabbed his briefcase full of information about the base, and met with Delta at their landing site. Marcus asked him if all of the chemical and biological weapons that had been tested at facility were really gone, and Bernez assured him they were. They got into one of the Ravens, and flew over to VNB to begin the inspection.
- "They're not welcome in town. This is the COG, and either they abide by society's rules or they leave."
- —Bernez, about the Stranded
Berenz drove Delta around VNB in an old pickup truck they kept on base, spending several hours searching the base and showing them the different systems and buildings. After finishing, they headed back to the front gate, where the Raven crew and Anya were waiting. Bernez had begun to feel excited about the prospect of the COG's return, and was happy that the base was intact enough for the COG to inhabit. After they reported to Prescott, Marcus decided he wanted to inspect the Stranded settlement. As they boarded KR-239 and began flying across the island, Bernez pointed out the hills on the island, and how they made a good natural barrier to stop the Stranded from easily getting to Pelruan. Sgt. Bernadette Mataki then asked him about the Stranded, and he told her that they were not welcome in town since they did not follow the COG. She asked what they had done, and he told her how they stole or damaged things Pelruan needed, and sometimes they killed. Since they didn't have a police force, Berenz held up his shotgun and said that he and others enforced the COG's laws if the Stranded broke them. As they reached the Stranded settlement, Marcus asked him if they had ever had to come down to it before. Berenz explained that they had been forced to once to deal with a problem. Marcus assured him they would be very strict about protecting civilians, and that they wouldn't suffer any more problems from the Stranded once the rest of the COG arrived. As they landed, they found most of the Stranded had gone inside after spotting them. As Marcus and Cpl. Dominic Santiago got off the Raven to talk to them, a couple dozen Stranded men emerged, armed to the teeth. Berenz told Anya that he hoped she understood the shoot-to-kill orders better now, since Pelruan had very few weapons and the Stranded had looted many from the mainland and across the islands. After a brief confrontation that almost turned violent and involved Bernie punching a Stranded out, they left the Stranded town. Berenz was extremely impressed with Bernie hitting the Stranded, and after returning to Pelruan, he opened up the town hall for the Gears to sleep in. Marcus told him they would patrol around the town tonight to make sure everything was fine.
- "Vern, Stranded could come back and raid us anytime. But do you seriously think they'll be back now?"
- —Berenz, telling Vernon that the Stranded would never risk another attack on Pelraun after being defeated by the COG
That night, a group of Stranded attempted to raid the town, but were fought off by Delta, the Ravens, and some of the towns citizens. Berenz let his dogs loose to help hunt the Stranded, and after the battle he met with Gavriel and the Gears in the town square, where a large group of citizens had gathered. One of them, Vernon, started yelling at Marcus and trying to get to him, shouting that it was there fault that the Stranded had attacked. Berenz and Gavriel stopped him, and told him that nobody had gotten hurt, and what little damage had been inflicted could be repaired. Vernon didn't care, and yelled at Berenz that nothing would have happened if the Gears hadn't been trying to assert their authority over the Stranded, and that they hadn't been raided in a long time. Berenz told him that they had always known the Stranded might try again someday, but he seriously doubted they would return now. Vernon told him it didn't matter, and that their way of life was over in one day with the arrival of the COG.
When more COG forces began arriving on the island, Berenz returned to VNB on a King Raven to help the engineering teams get the base running. A couple of weeks after the rest of the COG arrived, Berenz and Gavriel became the official COG representatives in Pelruan. They, along with a delegation from the town council, attended a speech given by Prescott at VNB, and waved at Pvt.Augustus Cole and Bernie during the speech. When the Stranded Insurgency began, Berenz let Bernie borrow one of his dogs, Mac, to assist her in hunting Stranded. He taught her the various command phrases used to commanded him to hunt, attack, and stay quiet, as well as several other commands.
Learning of the Lambent
- "I never thought I'd say this, but I wish it had been the Stranded."
- —Berenz, after Hoffman tells them about the Lambent
When one of Pelruan's fishing trawlers, the Coral Star, was reported over the Pelruan comms net to have destroyed by mutated creatures known as the Lambent, Berenz met with Gavriel and Sgt. Drew Rossi, the commander of the towns garrison, outside of the assembly building. A large crowd of other citizens gathered around as the news spread, and eventually Col. Victor Hoffman and Anya arrived to fill them in on the situation. Hoffman told them that they knew very little about the Lambent, and that they could no longer go out away from the shore to fish. Berenz wished that the culprits had been the Stranded, and Hoffman told him that he agreed, since the thing that destroyed Jacinto City had been a Lambent creature that had exploded. Berenz was horrified, and Hoffman informed them that he would be increasing the town's garrison, and be placing Anya in charge of it to reassure them and give them a direct line of communication to him.
Battle of Pelruan
- "We were living on borrowed time for so long, weren't we?"
- —Berenz, to Bernie about Pelruan being spared from the horrors the rest of Sera had suffered
A few weeks later, Bernie arrived in Pelruan with Mac, having been reassigned while recovering from blast injuries. As he opened his door for them, he told Bernie that she had spoiled Mac, and that he had put on weight. She told him that he worked hard and needed to keep his strength up, and then asked if everything was going okay in the town. He told her that Anya had been very efficient in reassuring people, and that everyone in town trusted her. Bernie told him that she knew some people in town were upset with the recent alliance with the Stranded against the Lambent, but that they needed all the soldiers they could get. Berenz understood, and remarked that Pelruan had been living on borrowed time for so long. She reassured him that they were going to survive and beat the Lambent, and Berenz thanked her, telling Bernie that he knew she would tell him if they were beaten. She left Mac with him to put with the rest of the towns pack while she checked in at the signals office. When the town was attacked by the Lambent, the COG garrison managed to defend the town and repel the assault. Berenz allowed Bernie and Pvt. Samantha Byrne to sleep in his house after the battle, but Mac had gone missing during the fight.
Personality and Traits
- "Nobody's going to come if we call the police, so... we are the police."
- —Berenz, on dealing with the Stranded
Berenz was an extremely loyal member of the COG, carrying on its traditions even after being cut off from it for fifteen years. He was extremely intolerant of Stranded, and always had a shotgun ready to deal with them if needed.