Gears of War: Anvil Gate
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|Series||Gears of War|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|August 31, 2010|
|Preceded by||Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant|
|Followed by||Gears of War: Coalition's End|
Gears of War: Anvil Gate is a 2010 science fiction novel by Karen Traviss, set in the Gears of War universe. The novel is the third in a series of five, following Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant. The events of Anvil Gate occur after the conclusion of Jacinto's Remnant, and focuses on Coalition of Ordered Governments' fight against the Stranded Insurgency and their uniting against the Lambent Invasion.
Gears of War: Anvil Gate follows two storylines: one begins shortly after the events of Jacinto's Remnant, and the other flashes back to 32 years earlier, seventeen years before E-Day.
The book opens on Vectes with Bernie setting out to hunt Stranded with the aid of a dog named Mac. At the same time, Chairman Prescott welcomes the Gorasini refugees to Vectes, although many Pendulum War veterans living in the native population are not very welcoming. Hoffman receives word that the Gorasini frigate, which Captain Michaelson had been looking forward to adding to the COG Navy, has apparently run aground in the middle of the ocean with all hands lost. At this point the tensions between the Gorasini and COG are made clear: Delta Squad aboard a King Raven is told to leave the search for the frigate to the Gorasini alone.
Bernie and Anya patrol in a Packhorse and move to ambush a group of Stranded, but their vehicle hits a trap and is disabled. Bernie, joined by Marcus and Baird, continues the hunt on foot. Mac leads them to a cave, which they enter and explore; they soon find a large Stranded cache of explosives. The Gears exit the cave after marking the explosives for engineers and eventually find the Stranded with orders to take them alive for Gorasoni Commander Trescu to interrogate. Mac badly mauls one, a second is hit by fellow Gear Sam Bryne's motorbike, and the third- the first one's son- is captured by Dom and Cole.
Dom, Baird and Sam are called aboard the patrol boat Amirale Enka. While they escort the COG fishing fleet, one of the trawlers, the Levanto, suddenly explodes, suggesting that either there is something under the sea, or that the Stranded are much more powerful than the COG had thought. Trescu begins his interrogation of the Stranded prisoners, shooting one and then threatening the father to make the boy cooperate. Aided by the son, the COG forces begin a sweep of the island. This is one of the factors which causes a near riot between the Gorasini, the Stranded population, and the Old Jacinto citizens, which is only averted by one of Dizzy's only angry outbursts against the Jacinto citizens for identifying him- and treating him accordingly- as Stranded.
Delta Squad goes out on another fishing expedition, but one of the trawlers catches a Lambent creature which mutates at a very rapid pace. It explodes, taking down the trawler; the COG finally has an explanation for all the recently lost vessels. Another unidentified small ship, the Steady Eddie, begins drifting towards Vectes later that night; investigating forces find a kind of "tree" on board. Baird discovers that the "tree" is incredibly resilient to damage. With this new knowledge, the COG goes out to search for the missing Gorasini frigate again with the submarine Clement, but at the area, there is no sign of any underwater obstacle that the frigate could have grounded on. Just as they actually find the wreckage, though, the sea around them fills with Lambent creatures. Clement surfaces, but a pair of Lambent stalks appear close by and start spewing polyps onto the Clement's hull. Baird fights them off from on top of the Clement before being extracted by a King Raven with the rest of Delta, minus Cole, aboard; the Clement submerges again. The COG realized that the stalks appear to be headed for Emerald Spar, the Gorasoni oil platform.
The COG quickly reinforces the platform's badly undersized crew, many of which have brought their families with them. The humans prepare to defend the platform's exterior against the Lambent, but instead a stalk burrows through the bottom of the platform, bypassing the defenses. A large firefight quickly begins throughout the platform as the humans struggle to repel the polyps, but the combined weapons fire and explosions of the polyps eventually sets off a fire in the platform. With more Lambent still coming, the humans are forced to evacuate the platform, leaving them bereft of an imulsion supply. As they leave, the platform explodes due to the fire and stored fuel. Hoffman and Trescu convince Chairman Prescott of the need to fortify Vectes against the inevitable Lambent incursion. A Stranded armada of small craft is spotted en route, ostensibly to evacuate their friends and families from the doomed island; however, they end up joining the COG, not for any moral purpose, but simply because banding together is the only way for humans to survive at all. Before the Lambent attack begins, the COG submarines near New Jacinto detect a large contact underwater; from the tentacles and the size, they conclude that it is a Leviathan.
At Pelruan, Bernie, Sam and Anya find a Leviathan moving inshore; instead of fighting stalks, the Leviathan- now clearly Lambent- drops off hundreds of polyps. A King Raven moves in to assist the local Gears and civilians fighting them off, but the Leviathan uses a tentacle to fling polyps at it, taking it down. The distance between the two incidents forces the COG to conclude that there are multiple Leviathans operating; a total of three. As the Gears, Gorasini and Stranded struggle to repel their disgorged polyps, the COG searches for a way to destroy the Leviathans themselves. A King Raven crew manages to kill one by expending all of its ammunition into its head. The remaining two are lured into respective traps; the first is killed by the COG submarines with torpedoes, while the second is lured to the surface where Baird manages to kill it with the Hammer of Dawn. However, Baird is forced to fire the Hammer very close to shore badly damaging the base. The Stranded also decide to abandon Vectes and leave the COG to be destroyed by the Lambent, ending the Stranded Insurgency. Hoffman has convinced Prescott that, for his own safety, Prescott must leave New Jacinto and move further inland. After Prescott leaves, Hoffman's distrust of the Chairman forces him to raid his office, discovering data disks which do not match any known COG encryption. Not knowing how to access the disks, he gives them to Baird to uncover. Baird tells him that, not only does it match no current COG encryption codes, but it does not match any codes at all, suggesting that the Chairman had had technology built for himself. Baird promises to access the disks someday.
Bernie discovers that her dog, Mac, has disappeared once the Lambent invasion started. Delta finds him ten days later during a routine patrol aboard a King Raven. Mac bears numerous recent burns, indicating that the polyps are still on Vectes; the King Raven soon discovers a large grouping of stalks in the middle of the island. As the Raven crew calls Control for backup, they fly closer to the stalks. Baird closes the novel by wondering what the blisters on the stalks are for, and deciding that he was about to find out "the hard way."
The newlywed Lieutenant Victor Hoffman is posted to the COG garrison of Anvil Gate, a fort protecting a mountain pass leading from the neutral country Vasgar into the especially imulsion-rich COG province of Kashkur. At the same time, Captain Adam Fenix bids farewell to his wife and four-year-old Marcus as he leaves for the Kashkur front. Vasgar's president faces a vote of no-confidence and is forced to step down; UIR troops, ostensibly to maintain order in Vasgar, invade the country, providing them with a backdoor to Kashkur. Bai Tak, a Pesanga herder, is severely affected by a drought and is forced to join the COG army in order to ensure a steady money supply for his wife, Harua. After weeks of inactivity, the COG CO at Anvil Gate is killed by a UIR RPG; at the same time, Anvil Gate's land connection to the rest of the COG is severed by UIR saboteurs who collapse the cliffs around the pass. The COG and UIR artillery trade a few shells; the small engagement turns into a minor COG victory as the Indie shells are incapable of damaging Anvil Gate's fortifications. Anvil Gate's water supply is also sabotaged by the UIR. Hoffman, now in charge, calls for Pesang reinforcements and gets Bai Tak's squad, which immediately begins clearing the local hilly country of UIR mortars and snipers.
Fenix and his subordinate, Lieutenant Helena Stroud, are forced to fight an urban battle for Shavad. They are plagued by the efforts of UIR snipers and saboteurs in their rear. In particular, an art museum seems to have either an artillery observer or sniper in it; Fenix reluctantly calls in artillery to demolish the building. He is horrified by the act of destruction against the artworks inside, as well as all the deaths of his men. Lieutenant Stroud clears the museum of the sniper before the COG is forced to withdraw after losing a key bridge to the UIR. Fenix vows to never allow wanton destruction like this happen again by preventing wars in the first place, accepting a previous offer in weapons research where he decides he will work to develop weapons that will act as deterrents.
With supplies becoming increasingly scarce, barely supplemented by Pesang hunters, Hoffman is forced to ration Anvil Gate's water and food among the local citizens. One of them is caught with a secret hoard of stolen COG rations and Hoffman is forced to execute him. With disease also becoming an issue, and with resupply from the air choked off due to UIR anti-aircraft fire, Hoffman comes up with a desperate plan. He feigns surrender, accepting the UIR's offer to allow the citizens to leave provided that the Gears evacuate along with them. Hoffman allows a few hundred UIR infantrymen into Anvegad before his men trap and incinerate them. With the UIR besiegers seriously weakened, the COG manages at last to reopen the air route to Anvil Gate, lifting the siege. In the aftermath, Fenix accepts the offer and is promoted to Major, while Stroud and Hoffman are both promoted to Captain. Hoffman also receives the Sovereign's Medal for his defense of Anvil Gate.
- Gears of War: Anvil Gate, Random House Inc. Retrieved 15 May 2010
- Gears of War: Anvil Gate, by Karen Traviss (2010) ISBN 0-345-49945-X