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"If we get an invasion of these things like on Vectes, we haven't got the Gears to deal with it."
— A female Gear after she and her partner killed a small group of polyps
While out on patrol in a Packhorse around the outskirts of Gerrenhalt, two Gears spotted a group of lights in the nearby forest. They headed to check it out, believing it to likely be a group of Stranded. When they approached, they lost track of the lights, but they returned as a small group of Polyps charged their vehicle. The two Gears exited the Packhorse to attack the creatures, and quickly put them down. The two Gears realized that if a larger group attacked the settlement, they would not have enough Gears to defend it.
— Cole, after Marcus wondered how they would find the civilians
The next day, the Gears fears were proven when several stalks emerged in the center of the settlement. As the Gears attempted to fight off the polyps and get the civilians to safety, they found themselves getting quickly overwhelmed. One Gear contacted the CNV Sovereign and requested reinforcements. Cpt.Quentin Michaelson dispatched KR Eight-Zero and Delta-One to assist the beleaguered settlement. As they waited for the reinforcements, the Gears commander circled their Packhorses into a defensive perimeter and sent a squad of Gears with the civilians to a warehouse down the road to keep them safe. However, they lost contact with the Gears, and struggled to hold of a massive wave of polyps that was approaching their position. KR Eight-Zero arrived and dropped off Delta-One while providing air cover, and Lt.Anya Stroud received a status update from the Gears commander. Anya sent Sgt.Marcus Fenix, Cpl.Dominic Santiago, and Pvt.Augustus Cole to find the missing Gears and civilians while she and Cpl.Damon Baird joined the other Gears in defending the road. Marcus, Dom, and Cole found the Gears dead and the remaining civilians trapped by polyps in the warehouse, and another stalk emerged. They killed the polyps and got the civilians to safety. Anya and the other Gears finished off the remaining polyps attacking the town, and the survivors of the settlement and Delta gathered at the warehouse, finding that many of the civilians had been killed along with many Gears. The surviving Gears and civilians began cleaning up the damage and gathering the dead.