The Locust, more commonly referred to as the Locust Horde, are a race of mutated humans in the Gears of War series. Named after the insects because of their vast numbers and the amount of death and destruction they leave in their wake, Locust have been likened to boogeymen by many humans. There are many types of Locust, the most common of which are the drones.
Locust hierarchy is a simple caste-based matriarchal society. At the top of the chain was the queen, the last and only known one being Queen Myrrah, a Locust-Human hybrid. Next is the main field commander and Kantus high priest, General RAAM and High Priest Skorge respectively. Following this were the Therons and Kantus priesthood, the top soldiers of the commander and high priest, then finally the drones and Boomers, in order of rank.
The Kantus priesthood maintains the Locust religion, known as the Trinity of Worms. The Locust worship worms, the greatest of which is the Riftworm, which is seen as a living god by the Locust, able to devour cities whole. Like most religions, the Locust have there own book of religious tales, known as the Rulers of Nexus Plates by the Locust or the Locust Tablets by humans. The religion itself, besides all the basics of any religion, works as a metaphor for the Locust. The queen makes strong the drones, the drones protect Nexus, the main part of the Locust tunnels where they make their homes and Nexus protects the queen, allowing the cycle to continue.
The Locust trace their origins back to the New Hope Research Facility. In the early years of the Pendulum Wars, many of the Imulsion miners who had taken part in the Gold Rush began developing a sickness after extended Imulsion exposure. The infected children of the miners were gathered by the COG and moved to New Hope where it was hoped a cure could be found.
However, the facility's director, Doctor Niles Samson, decided to corrupt the facility's purpose, and sought to create race of beings superior to humanity. He had the children's genetics spliced with that of the various creatures that dwell within the Hollow which supposedly had immunity/resistance to Imulsion exposure, causing most of them to turn into feral, grotesque monsters, becoming the Sires. However not all of the Sires became feral, one Sire in particular, Ukkon, had retained his intelligence and capacity for speech, though he still suffered from Rustlung.
Among the facility's test subjects, there was one child who stood out among the others, Myrrah. Myrrah was found to be completely immune to the effects of Imulsion and could not contract Rustlung, as well as aging at roughly half the rate as the average human. At first, Niles had hoped to replicate Myrrah's immunity, but was unable to do so as Myrrah was a medical anamoly. Myrrah had formed a close bond to many of the test subjects, with Ukkon among them.
Eventually word of the atrocities happening at New Hope reached Chairman Monroe's office, and Monroe had the facility shut down and arranged for Niles and the facility's scientists to be indicted. However, before the staff could be charged, a fringe political party within the COG, believing in Niles' work and rejecting Monroe's morals and ethics, whisked Niles and his scientists away and relocated them to a new facility under Mount Kadar to continue their work.
Once Myrrah had matured, Niles had her embryonic stem-cells fertilized with Sire DNA, creating the first female Drone of the Locust Horde, the Matriarch. It was then discovered that a psychomagnetic link known as the Hivemind was created through Myrrah's stem cells, connecting all of the Locust to a collective consciousness, with Myrrah able to control them. Through the Matriarch, Myrrah was then able to amplify her powers, and the Matriarch herself was used to breed more Locust.
At some point during her time in the facility, Myrrah had formed a sexual relationship with Torres, a geneticist who was a part of the science staff since New Hope. While Niles saw this as inappropriate, he allowed it as he had hoped the relationship would produce a child for hereditary studies. The two had bore a daughter, Reyna, and Myrrah had become a devout mother to her while Torres grew to be uncomfortable with the experiments being done to Reyna, as it was discovered that Reyna had also inherited her mother's genetic gifts, including a connection to the Hivemind and resistance to aging.
Concerned with Reyna's future, Dr. Torres became disillusioned with the work Niles was doing and escaped the facility with Reyna, but was unable to bring Myrrah too. Niles was unable to recapture Torres or Reyna, and thus lied to Myrrah that Reyna had died during the escape attempt in order to keep Myrrah from wanting to leave the facility. Instead of simply settling the matter, the supposed death of her daughter lead Myrrah to despise Niles, the scientists, and humanity in general.
Over time, she came to see the Locust as her family, and plotted to free herself and the Locust from the facility. The Locust then began to exhibit mindfulness and orders commanded by Myrrah. At some point, Niles expressed doubt of his work at Mount Kadar and questioned whether he and his colleagues deserved to be punished for what happened there, fearing for his life for the first time. Niles then attempted to prevent Myrrah from her connection with the Matriarch, but it was too late for Myrrah finally realized her power.
Myrrah took control of the Locust and led a revolt against the researchers and guards, slaughtering any who got in her way as well as fatally wounding Niles. Niles then initiated the laboratory's cryogenic lock-down, which flooded the entire lab with cryogenic gas to keep the surviving scientists and guards from escaping and killing the Locust. Niles eventually died, but held no grudge towards Myrrah and the Locust, but instead wished for them to inherit the world. Myrrah and enough of her Locust survived and escaped the facility.
Founding of the Locust Horde
Myrrah led the Locust deeper into the Mount Kadar catacombs following their escape, where they later established the Nexus, which would then become the capitol of their civilization. The Locust would then also adopt the symbol of the fringe political party indirectly responsible for creating them as their own. The main palace was built from a stalactite that hung over an Imulsion lake. A city was built on the cliff surrounding the palace. Because the Hollow tunnels and ecosystems were created by the Riftworm, a religion was based to worship it, known as the Trinity of Worms, thus a theocratic culture was based on the iconography of worms. To build a strong military and science division, Queen Myrrah had her people find scraps of human technology to re-purpose as their own. The Locust Council was then created, attended by the highest ranks, of the Locust to inform Myrrah of social, political, scientific, and combat affairs.
To build their Horde even stronger, Queen Myrrah reverted back to the use of genetic manipulation. Indigenous creatures of the Hollow were genetically engineered and designed to become weapons, vehicles, and machines for the Locust Horde. Locust Drones were able to breed with Berserkers, but another process to create more Drones was to capture humans from the surface and use Niles Samson's genetic research to genetically mutate them into Locust Drones. Captured humans who were not used for experiments were either enslaved to be labor workers for the Locust Horde or used to feed the Locust beasts. While Queen Myrrah had contempt for humanity, she accepted that the Hollows were the Locust's by birthright, until the Lambent epidemic.
The Lambent War
Despite being designed to withstand the effects of Imulsion, the Locust Horde began to experience an epidemic in the Hollow known as the Lambent. As early as 17 B.E., creatures of the Hollow began exhibiting mutations. The Lambency was more advanced than Rustlung - as it occupied its host and compelled it to infect or kill any other living organisms. Upon infection, the host could mutate body parts to protect itself or enhance the host to better infect other organisms. Members of the Locust Horde began becoming infected, especially the Drones and Wretches. As the epidemic progressed, the Locust Horde began to lose more of their territory to the Lambent - as the Lambent would either kill the Locust or transform them into a member of the Lambent's army.
The Lambent War then commenced in 7 B.E. The Locust Horde began to enhance their military by recycling and re-purposing of disposed weapons and technology left by the humans in the Hollow. The Locust Army was then led by one of the original Locust Drones from the Mount Kadar Facility, Sraak, acting as their High General, who would eventually be succeeded and killed by RAAM. Ukkon, a lifelong friend to Myrrah, had by then became the Locust Horde's lead scientist, and began using genetic research left by Myrrah and Niles Samson to enhance the indigenous creatures of the Hollow as weapons and military transport. Meanwhile, the members of the Trinity of Worms, led by High Priest Vrol, believed in their victory due to their belief that the Hollow is their given holy right. However, as the war continued, many believed that their gods, the Riftworms, had abandoned them and began looking for more practical means of survival and victory.
Before Emergence Day, a biologist named Elain Fenix made several trips into the Hollow and eventually discovered the Locust Horde, who caught and executed her. Elain's husband, Adam Fenix, used his wife's notes resolved to find out what had happened to his wife and went into the Hollow himself. After identifying Elain's remains, Adam then met Myrrah, who saw potential in him and decided to spare his life. From Myrrah, Adam discovered that the Locust were preparing to invade the surface of Sera, plotting to wipe out humanity so that they would be able to colonize it, fearing that the Lambent would overtake them. Fearing this, Adam entered an agreement with Myrrah, in which he would look for a way to find a way to eliminate the Lambent so long as Myrrah keeps the Locust underground.
Unfortunately, Adam was given far too little time to properly analyze the nature of Imulsion, as he was also under pressure to complete the Hammer of Dawn super weapon in order to end the Pendulum Wars, forcing Adam to split his time. As this was happening, Adam's research into effectively neutralizing the Lambency kept turning up fruitless, and the Locust was losing more and more ground to the Lambent. Ultimately, Adam resorted to completing the Hammer of Dawn first, bringing a swift end to Pendulum Wars, and with too little time afterwards, Myrrah decided to carry out her genocidal invasion of the surface.
Six weeks following the end of the Pendulum Wars, the Locust began their invasion on a day that would be known infamously as Emergence Day (E-Day for short), attacking almost every city on the surface of Sera.
To the people of Sera the origins of the Locust are shrouded in mystery, many theories on their origins have been suggested by the remaining human population. One such example is that the Locust came from a neighbouring planet (or one of its moons) and feed on Imulsion. Other speculations exists saying they came from Hell. However rumours such as these are generally regarded as false.
The Locust War
On E-Day alone, almost half the human population of Sera had been destroyed. The cities built upon the Jacinto Plateau were spared from Locust invasion, as the plateau was made out of Sera's strongest graphite, preventing the Locust from tunneling through. While the surviving COG military would quickly rally and fight back against the subterranean menace, the situation proved to be more and more hopeless as the COG had trouble adapting to the Locust's brutal tactics.
The newly elected COG Chairman, Richard Prescott, realizing that the Locust would benefit from technological and military assets seized from the COG, ordered for the Hammer of Dawn to incinerate the near-entirety of the surface of Sera outside of the Jacinto Plateau, but had given a three day deadline for COG citizens and personnel to evacuate to Jacinto before the Hammer of Dawn could be fired. Once the three days were up, the Hammer of Dawn incinerated the surface of Sera, killing all Locust forces caught on the surface and millions of civilians. Though it seemed like such a move destroyed the majority of the Locust, it only truly served to prolong the war for 15 years.
The Locust War would eventually be brought to an end when Adam Fenix - who had been believed to be dead five years into the war - utilized a Maelstrom device on the island of Azura that distributed a Lambent vaccine across Sera. All Lambent life-forms across Sera were wiped out, as were the Locust because their whole race had been exposed to the source of Lambency for centuries longer than any surface life.
Types of Locust
Their are many varied types of Locust beasts that have been reared or even engineered to function as living weapons, from the diminuitive Tickers to the gigantic Brumaks. The various Locust creatures are listed below.