No blood for Imulsion – Sera’s energy crisis and a history of war
NO BLOOD FOR IMULSION – a slogan seen on posters pasted onto seemingly every other wall across Tyrus, and the language of traitors. It was a statement of opposition during the Pendulum Wars, designed to echo the “no blood for oil” sentiments of protestors before and during the Iraq war in 2003. And much like our own fossil fuels, Imulsion has a long and bloody legacy on Sera and the world of Gears of War.
Discovered over a century before the original Gears of War takes place, Imulsion was seemingly nothing – a golden liquid with no real properties and no real application. It was not until the later discovery of the Lightmass Process that it was found to be a fuel of seemingly unlimited potential. The answer, seemingly, to all of Sera’s prayers as humanity struggled for survival in an era of limited fuel and resources.
The discovery, however, only brought discontent. The map was redrawn as nations suddenly found themselves on massive Imulsion deposits, and 79 years before Emergence Day, the Pendulum Wars began. The Coalition of Ordered Governments, brought together in the ensuing economic crisis brought on by the harnessing of Imulsion, waged war against the Union of Independent Republics for what was Sera’s sole source of power.
The war was bitter and cruel, a seemingly endless stalemate, but eventually the COG gained the upper hand by capturing the Hammer of Dawn, and shortly after peace had been restored. It didn’t last long, however. Within a matter of weeks, a new and horrendous threat emerged, bent on wiping out the human race – the Locust. What humanity didn’t know, however, was that their own genocide had been brought on by Imulsion also.
The Locust had fought their own civil war, and Imulsion was to blame. Imulsion has the power to mutate the Locust, bringing about a whole new stage in Locust evolution – Lambency. The onset of such widespread mutation within the Locust had torn its civilisation apart, and the Locust had only one solution to the Lambent problem – take the surface from humanity, and eradicate both the Lambent and humanity.
Humanity faced a slaughter the likes of which had never been seen, and it was only halted by the deranged act of Chairman Prescott wiping out human and Locust alike by destroying almost the entire world in a massive strike with the Hammer of Dawn and chemical weapons. Humanity managed to stave off destruction for 10 years right up until the Lightmass Offensive, and the weaponising of Imulsion, in our first glimpse of Sera in Gears of War.
The Lightmass Offensive saw the use of a bomb designed to blow up masses of Imulsion deposits underground. As we see in the game, the Hollow (the Locust’s home underground) is swimming in vast deposits of Imulsion – literally lakes of it – and it is a sad inditement of Sera’s human population that even if the COG had known the full extent of the situation, the mission would still have been called for.
There is a moment where Marcus Fenix and his motley crew of Gears, after a mission that takes them right across Tyrus, end up deep in the Hollow and get to see one of these Imulsion lakes. They are blown away by the sight. No doubt to the Locust such a sight would be a reminder of the blight they have come to bear with, but to our naïve heroes, its stunning. To quote Augustus Cole’s reaction to the lake of fuel, “look at all that juice!”
Eventually manage to drop the bomb into the Hollow. The resulting Imulsion explosion wiped out huge numbers of Locust within the Hollow, destroying the Kryll breeding grounds as well as sending huge amounts of vaporised Imulsion into Sera’s atmosphere. The results for both sides is devastating. The Locust, still fighting their own war, accelerated their own plans for humanity’s destruction, while humanity, having failed to deliver the knock out blow they so longed for, began to contract a particularly nasty debilitating illness known as “Rustlung”.
It wasn’t for a few years that the Lambent threat began to come into focus in the eyes of humanity. Renewed strikes by the Locust call for a counter-offensive and so Marcus and his buddies are once again sent back into the Hollow to try to wipe out the Locust threat. What they find is a giant worm awakened by the explosive results of the Lightmass Offensive, capable of devouring earth and rock with ease, weakening the very base of their home base city of Jacinto.
Delta Squad’s efforts stopped the worm but not before desperation had set in within the Locust. They got to watch first-hand as the Lambent stormed the Locust city of Nexus, home to the Locust Queen, while the Locust fled the city to prepare for their last strike against Jacinto and their final endgame of flooding the Hollow while the Lambent were alone there. Delta, of course, would not let this stand and they set about performing their own Hail Mary play – sinking Jacinto before the Locust could hit, flooding the entire Hollow, killing the Lambent and the Locust in the process. Their tool of destruction to bring about the sinking of their city? Another Lightmass bomb.
Striding out amidst the massive Locust strike force on a captured Brumak, Marcus and Dom rout the assault and march it off into an Imulsion pool to try to catch a ride with the King Ravens flying down with the Lightmass bomb. The Brumak, however, has other ideas as it begins soaking up Imulsion like a sponge. The Imulsion forces mutation on a rapid and unbelievable scale, turning into a hideous monster covered in tentacles and snapping jaws. The COG’s only answer is to fire the Hammer of Dawn on the beast, incinerating it and causing a massive explosion. Jacinto’s sinking was complete.
Three long years separate the end of Gears of War 2 with its sequel, and even in this dark time humanity has not lost its touch. The COG fled to a chain of small islands hoping to hide and find peace, but without the strong government presence that kept society in line before, things quickly begin to implode. Eventually even Chairman Prescott disappears, seemingly abandoning the Gears and their civilian charge to their fate. As reports of Lambent activity rise and panic begins to spread, it becomes clear that the worst is not yet over. The Lambent are coming for the last of humanity.
The story of Gears of War is one of cause and effect, and as we approach Gears of War 3 we find that Imulsion really is the root of all evils on Sera. It is killing the planet, the Lambent are spreading like a virus and as Adam Fenix proclaims to have found an answer to the Lambent problem, we have to ask just how far humanity is willing to go for survival. While it’s readily apparent that humanity isn’t spilling its own blood for Imulsion as they enter the last critical phase in their struggle against the Locust horde, they are at the very least having their blood spilt because of it.