Gears of War: Coalition's End
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|Series||Gears of War|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books)|
|August 1, 2011|
|Preceded by||Gears of War: Anvil Gate|
|Followed by||Gears of War: The Slab|
Gears of War: Coalition's End is a 2011 science fiction novel by Karen Traviss, set in the Gears of War universe. The novel is the fourth in a series of five, following Gears of War: Anvil Gate. The events of Coalition's End occur after the conclusion of Anvil Gate, and focus on the Coalition of Ordered Governments' struggle to hold back the Lambent invasion, forcing them to make a stark choice—fight this devastating new enemy, or flee to the savage wastelands. The novel would eventually climb to number 23 on the New York Times best sellers list for hardcover fiction.
Gears of War: Coalition's End follows four storylines: one begins shortly after the events of Anvil Gate, and the other three flash back to various years following E-Day, each following a particular character from the series.
As the story begins, Dizzy and Sam are drinking and talking before Hoffman comes and pulls Sam aside to tell her the story of how her father died. Feeling guilty about it, Dizzy reassures her it wasn't her fault. On the other side of the island, a stalk emerges from the ground, Delta squad then assigned and approach it in a King Raven. It has red blisters but no polyps come out of it. After setting down to observe it, polyps emerge and attack them. While most are killed, some escape to the woods and kill a farmer before being finished off by Marcus and Bernie. The acid that spewed from the blisters land on the ground and kills every organic thing it touch and continues to crawl slowly away from the site killing every growing things that it covers. Prescott arrives to the scene of the stalk and has Baird take samples for him. Back at Vectes Naval Base, EM Royston Sharle and Hoffman crunch numbers on how long they can stay on Vectes with no emulsion source and usable farm land due to the spreading infection.
Miran Trescu, leader of the Gorsani, is having an increasingly hard time keeping his people's spirit up. With their emulsion rig gone and this new Lambent threat, more people are angry their nation's pride has been sacrificed for further defeat. Back in his tent, his son and his friends tell him that their radio has been picking up data burst of unknown static. Seeing the lambent threat growing and supplies running low, he informs a friend of his intention to prepare to leave if the situation grows worse. The next day out on patrol with Bernie and Dom on a King Raven, Marcus spots emulsion pooling out of the ground. Crude emulsion had been seeping from the ground, the Gorsani immediately begin to prepare for pumping the crude. Meanwhile, Baird still is unable to crack Prescott's disk for Hoffman. Hoffman then tells Anya about the disk after she overhears. While on the way to the emulsion pool, Dizzy and Sam, riding on his rig "Betty", are ambushed by a wave of polyps. Dom and Marcus rescue them both and kill the polyps with little damage done to the rig. The news that the town of Pelruan might have to be evacuated got out and left people uneasy as a town official pesters Hoffman for information, Tresu also has a problem as he is nearly killed by an angry Gorsani calling him a traitor.
Marcus and Dom are out on patrol watching the crude pumping station as two dozen stalks erupt from the ground. After killing them all, it becomes clear the polyps are evolving and becoming stronger.
Days later, the disk is becoming a more pressing matter on Hoffman's mind as he tells more of his friends. Marcus suggests they could find something they could use in the Pelruan archives. Marcus and Hoffman sort through papers and talk, Hoffman demanded that Marcus stop blaming himself for his father's actions before he leaves. As the stalk acid continues to spread and parts of the island continue to die, Hoffman and Delta take a raven back to the mainland to access the situation there. After talking to some stranded, it becomes clear that lambent stalks have been appearing in the mainland as well. A stranded leader tells them where the safer parts of the coast are in exchange for some fuel. It also seems that Anvil Gate is still standing although abandoned.
Hoffman believes that the lambent was a COG bio-weapon that turned on them and that Prescott's disk was proof of this. He confronts Prescott about the disk (in front of Michaelson and Trescu) demands an answer, but Prescott denies that it has to do with lambent and that it wouldn't matter if it was. The exchange of words between them sets back Hoffman and still has no answers. Back at the pumping station, Cole and Baird stand by as a bull comes berserking through but the bull's luminous spit suggests the bull had somehow become like the lambent. After killing a Gorasni soldier, the bull is killed. Baird, having grown closer to the Gorasni engineers and mechanics, vows never to refer the Gorasni as "Indies" again.
Prescott and Hoffman sit down to discuss the current situation, Prescott ultimately reveals that he selected Hoffman to lead humanity for a reason and tells Hoffman he will ask something very difficult of him but wouldn't be able to tell him why. Hoffman says no to this, stating he won't change his answer unless he knows what exactly the chairman wants. There is a lot of talk about moving back to the mainland to avoid the lambent but the camp is torn on whether to stay or not. Prescott goes on the air to reassure the people that things are under control.
Dom and Sam are handing out food when a call stating a lambent attack comes in. Sam has taken a liking to Dom but Dom's memory of Maria leaves him reluctant to start a new relationship. When they arrive, it turns out that it's a pack of lambent cats and dogs (causing them to realize that the so-called disease has jumped the species gap). After finishing them off, it's becoming clear that the stalks acid is creeping closer to Pelruan. Realizing the stalks are coming closer, Prescott wants to leave the island and move back to Vectes. If they leave, the COG settlement would have to be split. This could mean the end of the COG altogether, but after speaking to some disgruntled COG citizens, he convinces them that things will be alright. The civilians want to have a vote on whether or not to stay. Prescott plans to stamp his authority and move anyway but Hoffman, Trescu, and Michaelson want to stay and refuse to let him have access to their resources if he moves them. Prescott, feeling that has lost the faith of his advisors, resigns from office. He steps out leaving the three men in charge.
While on patrol on a rainy evening Delta Squad notices Prescott's security gears moving boxes onto a small boat before Prescott comes out in an oilskin jacket and moves toward the boat. Marcus calls Hoffman and Hoffman comes out to confront Prescott. Prescott says that he has something very important to do and he can't tell Hoffman. In anger Hoffman tells him to go but Prescott offers Hoffman and Delta to come with him to see what he has to do but Hoffman refuses. Marcus comes out and criticizes him for abandoning the COG and in anger Prescott throws his insult back at Marcus and says he "was more responsible than his father." His security gears then start the boat and leaves.
Marcus, Hoffman and Trescu return to the mainland to find a shelter for the Jacinto refugees and Marcus finds proof that Sera is still alive and that it could still be saved. Everyone believes that Prescott made a deal with the stranded population for whatever reason. The EM Sharle suggest Anvil Gate due to its wildlife population, hydro power and defensive position. After arriving back, a stalk emerges and a massive wave of polyps attack and kill many civilians easily due to tight, overcrowded spaces. Dr. Hayman tells Hoffman that many will die because of the lack of medication.
At this point, it's clear that the island is no longer safe, and Hoffman, Sharle and Trescu are forced to do what they think is best for their people. They still have Anvil Gate and there are still safe spot on the mainland. Trescu announces his plans to return to Gorasyna and Hoffman grants him the supplies and fuel they need. They decide that Hoffman will take the Peluan citizens to Anvil Gate and Michaelson will take the rest to the mainland shore for the stops suggested by the stranded. They all know that if they go, the COG will not be able to stand but the decision had to be made.
As people begin to pack to go, Dom and Marcus escort an elderly veteran to remove a memorial title to remember the Pelruan Pendulum Wars soldiers. After Marcus and Dom help him remove the memorial the ground quakes and polyps emerge. They fight them off till a King Raven arrives and pulls them up. The valley fissures and close to a million polyps rise from the ground. Using an RPG, Marcus causes a chain reaction and kill most of them. Meanwhile, Hoffman is staying goodbye to all his fellow soldiers and gears. Bernie is coming with him (as well as Mac the dog.) Bernie spends sometime with Cole and Baird where Baird admits he will miss her. Dizzy comes up to Hoffman and asks if he and his daughters could come to Anvil Gate for the protection and is welcomed to come. A ceremony is held as Hoffman officially disbands the Coalition of Ordered Governments. Hoffman sets off to set up Anvil Gate before they arrive. Once they arrive, Hoffman takes Bernie around the base showing her what happened during the siege including where Samuel Byrne (Sam's father) died. During the forts reconstruction, several trucks pull up to the base. Expecting Stranded they expect the worst but Pardrick Salton steps out. A sniper from the south islands, he is a friend of Hoffman and Bernie. He reveals that he has been staying with the remnant of the Pesanga people and their leader Haura, the wife of Bai Tak; Hoffman's friend who died during the raid at Aspho Point, and Bai's sons and grandchildren come out to greet him. Hoffman has an emotional moment as Bernie holds him.
Delta squad is at sea moving back to the mainland. With the COG disbanded, the stranded leader, Lyle Ollivar, offers them to make a deal for land. Michaelson assumes that he wants to trade for Prescott back and asks about what he wanted with them. Ollivar claims he had no idea that Prescott had left and leaves them after Michaelson told them he would consider a deal.
Later that day, all contact with Anvil Gate was lost.
- Gears of War: Coalition's End, by Karen Traviss (2011) ISBN 0-356-50104-3