- "Always move towards the light." That was the main thing Dr.Wisen talked about. “Don’t give up. Keep striving. Stay in the light." I’ve tried to stay in the light... I’m trying every day. It’s tricky, though. So much pain in the world, you can’t help but feel it. And tough as it is you realize that feeling is the key to everything. Being hollow is the danger... feeling is the key. It’s tough sometimes. Hell, it’s tough most of the time. But feeling is what makes us human."
- — Jace, regaining his hope and faith in humanity's chances for survival
Corporal Jayson "Jace" Stratton was a survivor of Emergence Day and a Gear soldier in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army. He served in Delta-One and Midnight Squad, and later became the commander of Alpha-Seven during Operation: Hollow Storm. A religious man, Jace had doubts about a higher power after fighting in the Locust War and watching his family and best friend Gil die during the war and witnessing the deaths of many innocents, but restored his faith after saving a girl and her mother. Jace fought in several of the biggest engagements near the end of the Locust War, including Operation: Midnight and Operation: Hollow Storm. After being promoted, he was given command of Alpha-Seven, but he would later rejoin Delta aboard the CNV Sovereign during the Lambent Pandemic after the COG collapsed and fled Vectes.
Early Life and Emergence Day
The son of an interracial marriage, Jace was born in Tyrus, and lived with his mom, dad, and brother in Jacinto City. As a child, he would hear stories about the Boogeymen, but, like many other children, dismissed them as just stories. His dad was a huge Thrashball fan, and often talked about superstar player Augustus Cole. On Emergence Day, Jace's idyllic family life was shattered when he witnessed his parents and brother get shot by the Locust while he hid in a closet. He then held his dying brother in his arms until he passed, crying the whole time. He continued to hide from the Locust, but several Drones and a Berserker arrived, and nearly found him. He was saved when two Gears arrived and killed the Locust. Shortly after this, he became buried under a pile of debris, but he was saved by several people, including Dr.Gregory Wisen, who pulled the debris off of him and took him to safety.
Evacuation of Ilima
Rescued by Zeta
- "Man, this shit is crazy... what's up with the sky?"
- — Jace, as he views the sky darken with ink
Jace was taken by Wisen to his orphanage in Ilima, where he lived for the next decade. When a Kryllstorm threatened the city, the Coalition of Ordered Governments began an evacuation of the city. Jace went with a group to be evacuated from Ilima Savings and Trust, but the city came under attack. As Echo-Five fought to defend them, Jace and the other civilians fled into the bank, but were followed by the Locust. Jace managed to find safety in the vaults, locking himself in a security cage with a baseball bat. He swung it at Wretches that gathered outside the cage, and called for help when he heard fighting outside the vault. He returned to yelling at the wretches as four Gears entered and shot the wretches, and a female Gear opened the cage and asked his name. He told her, and she said she was Pvt. Alicia Valera, and reassured him he was safe now. He thanked her, and said he thought he had been done. She asked if there were any other survivors, but Jace told her he did not know. Valera told him to come with them, and they would take him to safety. They headed back upstairs, and Jace explained to them how he had become separated and trapped apart from the other survivors. Lt.Minh Young Kim promised him they would attempt to find them, and Jace then looked out a window and saw the sky darkening, and asked what was going on. Pvt.Tai Kaliso told him that Seeders were inking it, and Jace asked what that meant. Cpl.Michael Barrick explained that once the sky was inked up enough, the kryll could come in and kill everyone in the city. Valera reassured Jace that they would get him out of the city before that happened. Jace followed behind Zeta as they cleared out Locust forces between them and the convoy point. After learning from Commander Walker that the Onyx Guard had been deployed to the city, Jace asked who they were. Barrick explained that they were elite troops that were not sent for a simple evacuation. Valera then told Jace to wait in a building near the convoy point while they cleared out the Locust, and he was glad to stay out of danger. When the area was clear, Jace joined them at the convoy, and Valera said goodbye to him. Jace was upset he could not stay with them, and mentioned that Wisen was still at the Ilima High School. Kim said the caravan could not wait any longer, and he needed to get on it if he wanted out of the city. Valera offered to check out the school and make sure Wisen was safe, and Jace thanked her and told her to stay safe herself.
Defending the Orphanage
- "I've gotta protect my own!"
- — Jace to Wisen, as he picks up Valera's Lancer and fights against the Locust
When Wisen and other civilians were located at the orphanage, Jace was on the APC that was sent to pick them up. He waved excitedly at Valera and Wisen, but the reunion was cut short when the driver of the APC was shot, and Locust attacked the orphanage. Jace took cover behind the APC, and attempted to run over to the safety of the orphanage, but tripped on the body of the driver, and was picked up by General RAAM. He screamed for help and kicked RAAM in the face, and Valera saved him by knocking him from the General's grip, only to end up impaled on his blade herself. The rest of Zeta drove RAAM off, and Wisen called for Jace to get into the orphanage. Jace hesitated, and then grabbed Valera's Lancer and joined the battle, telling Wisen that he had to protect his own. As he took cover next to Barrick, the Gear asked him if he knew how to use the gun, and Jace responded by shooting a Locust in the face, looking surprised as he did so. Barrick told him he would do fine, and to told him to make Valera proud. They rushed across a bridge to combat the Locust, but it was destroyed by RAAM afterwards, cutting them off from the orphanage. They entered a courtyard and fought off a large group of Locust, including two Mauler Elites, and then proceeded down into the canal below the destroyed bridge. Jace spotted a Theron Elite rappel down into the canal, and they fought him off until they managed to get rid of his kryllshield and kill him. They worked their way up a building beside the canal, and emerged down the street from the orphanage. They witnessed a Gear get hit by a Kryll Grenade fired from RAAM's Reaver, and Barrick told him to try and avoid those. They retook the courtyard, and defended it against the attacking Locust forces. They eventually managed to defeat all the Locust and forced RAAM's Reaver to crash behind the orphanage, and headed up to the roof to be evacuated by KR Eighty-Four. Barrick dropped his lighter as they boarded the King Raven, but Jace picked it up for him. As they flew out of the city, Jace held the lighter out for him and lit his cigar, and Barrick told him that he would make a mean Gear one day.
Becoming a Gear and First Assignment
Training and meeting Gil
After leaving Ilima, Jace and the other refugees with Wisen settled into a new orphanage in Jacinto City. After he left the orphanage, Jace enlisted in the Coalition of Ordered Governments Armed Forces as a Gear. He completed basic training, where he met and became friends with Gil Gonzalez, and considered Gil to be like a brother to him. He also received minor pilots training, but never learned how to land a King Raven.
- "You boogie-monster motherfuckers, shut up!!"
- — Jace, as he fires on RAAM and the Theron's
After graduating basic training, Jace and Gil were selected to take part in Operation: Midnight. As part of Midnight Squad, Jace and the rest of the Gears in the squad traveled down the Landown Highway in the Stromson Forest aboard two Assault Derricks, and dropped off near the Ferro Bridge. Lt.Draper, the commander of the squad, briefed the squad on their mission to hold the bridge until a convoy could cross it. After reaching the bridge, Draper split the squad in two, having Jace, Gil, and Pvt.Rufus follow him while the others secured the far side of the bridge. Jace and Draper stayed on top of the bridge while Gil and Rufus checked below it. Jace wondered why the Locust had yet to react to the Gears presence on the bridge, and Draper told him to not to try and understand how the Locust thought. The Locust then did react to the Gears, with General RAAM leading a group of Theron Guards to attack the bridge. Jace and Draper opened fire, but the Therons were so stealthy that Jace was barely able to spot them. They were unable to hold them off, and ran to regroup with the rest of the squad. They linked back up with Gil and Rufus, but Rufus was killed by a Torque Bow bolt, and another one exploded near Jace's head, taking off half of his left ear. The three of them then regrouped with Sgt.Jonathan Harper, who had lost both his men. They tried to hold off RAAM and the Theron's, but were on the verge of being overrun until a group of King Ravens arrived and killed all the Theron's except RAAM, who escaped. Draper told the Gears they did a good job, and they were contacted by Pvt.Takashi, one of Harper's men who had actually survived and was left hanging upside down from the bridge, and asked them for a pickup, much to Jace's relief and amusement.
Continuing the Fight (10 A.E.-13 A.E.)
Assigned to Delta-One
Skirmishes Around Jacinto
- "Yeah, well, I'm not exactly thrilled with death."
- — Jace, while looking at the shot up bodies of a group of Locust
Shortly after the Lightmass Offensive, Jace, along with Gil, was assigned to Delta-One, and fought in several minor skirmishes around Jacinto. He fought one of these skirmishs a month after the Offensive alongside Sgt.Marcus Fenix, Cpl.Tai Kaliso, and Pvt.Dizzy Wallin. He was disturbed by the carnage after the battle, and told Tai he was not comfortable with death. Tai told him that all life is sacred, but Jace responded that that was hard to remember that sometimes. Tai told him that even though that was true, they must try.
Mission to the Pirnah Badlands
- "I'll admit, I was out of my league that day."
- — Jace, describing his first full scale battle against the Locust
Two months after the Lightmass Offensive, Jace and the rest of Delta were sent on a mission to the Pirnah Badlands to find missing squads and gather supplies. A week into the mission, they only found squads that had been killed in action. He and Marcus split off from Gil and Cpl.Dominic Santiago at one point, and entered into a battle against the Locust. Jace ran out of ammo in his Lancer during the battle, and dropped it so he could pull out his Snub Pistol. He was in danger of being overrun, having never fought in such a large scale battle before, but Marcus saved him from a Drone who had picked up Jace's Lancer and was about to use the chainsaw on him. Jace was awed by the effortless way Marcus killed the Locust, and knew that he was out of his league trying to keep up with him. Marcus asked him how he was doing, and Jace executed a wounded Drone, telling him that he was done with his. Marcus warned him not to get cocky, and handed him back his Lancer, telling Jace to never to drop it again under any circumstances. They killed the rest of the Drones, and headed out to regroup with the others. As they approached the building where Dom and Gil had been scouting, they saw a Drone get shot out of a window, and assumed they were still in there. When they found them, they discovered that Dom and Gil had located a surviving Gear, Cpl.Michael Barrick from Echo-Six, and learned that the rest of his squad had been killed. They had been the last squad Delta was to search for, so Marcus decided they should head back to Jacinto. Dom introduced Jace to Barrick as a "kid", and Gil told Barrick he was sorry to hear about his squad. Barrick learned that Jace was a new Gear, but Jace told him both were new Gears, but the others thought of him as a kid. They talked briefly about the war, and Jace said they had to deal with the situation they were in or die, impressing Barrick with his attitude.
Heading Back to Jacinto
- "I'd call it an honor."
- — Jace, on serving with Marcus Fenix
As they drove back to Jacinto in the squads APC, Jace felt disappointed that they had only found one Gear and a lot of ammo and supplies, wishing that they had been able to find and save more people. They stopped for the night in some ruins, and Marcus had Jace and Gil patrol the south perimeter of their camp. As they walked, they talked about serving with Marcus, who was a living legend among the Gears. Gil found it weird, but Jace considered it an honor to be in the same squad as Marcus. When they heard a noise, they went to investigate, but were relieved to find that it was just a rat. Once they settled down into camp, Jace and the others listened to Dom tell stories about his and Marcus' mission in the Lethia Imulsion Facility during the Lightmass Offensive. Jace was amazed by the story, and Dom said that he hoped he never had to go down there ever again. Jace wondered if they needed to worry about that, since the Lightmass Bomb was supposed to have wiped most of them out, but Marcus said he would believe that when they stopped seeing Locust.
- "It wasn't the first time somebody died in my arms."
- — Jace, as he holds Gil's body
While continuing the drive back to Jacinto the next day, Delta picked up a distress Beacon and headed to investigate it. They arrived to find an abandoned camp, and began searching for the beacon. Jace found it in a tent and called the others over to look at it. Marcus inspected the device, and realized that it was a Locust trap, and the Gears rushed to get into cover. Gil was hit by a Locust sniper, and Jace dragged him to cover and attempted to stop the bleeding while Marcus, Dom, and Barrick held off the Locust. Jace had Gil apply pressure to his wound, and called out to the others when he saw more Locust approaching from the right flank. When the sniper pinned down Marcus, Jace used a Longshot Sniper Rifle to kill the sniper, and began to think that they were winning the battle. However, Boomers arrived, and destroyed the squads cover. Jace quickly moved Gil to new cover while the others fought the Locust and tried to keep him awake, but Gil was too wounded to help, and he died in Jace's arms as the last of the Locust were killed. Jace was reminded about how his brother had died, and how he had cried, but discovered he was unable to do so now, feeling only numb and hollow on the inside. Marcus came over to him, and told him that they needed to get going. They loaded Gil's body into the APC, and headed back to Jacinto, with Jace looking at Gil's body and holding his COG Tag in his hand. Before doing anything else, they held a funeral for Gil, burning his and several other Gears bodies so they could rise to Heaven, since the ground held only the Locust.
Week of Rest
- "I'm not sure, just... just seemed like the right time."
- — Jace, after Dr. Wisen asked him what brought him by the orphanage
After the mission, Jace and the rest of Delta were given a week off. Jace spent part of the week visiting the orphanage he grew up in after leaving Ilima. While waiting on Dr.Gregory Wisen to have a moment free to see him, Jace watched a TV that showed coverage of Chairman Richard Prescott telling the Sovereigns Press Corps that the Kryll had been wiped out by the Lightmass Bomb, but the Locust were still a very large threat. He also saw a report about how tremors continued to be felt in the areas around Jacinto. An aide to Wisen then came and told Jace that Wisen was ready to see him, and Jace thanked him for letting him know. Wisen greeted him warmly, and was pleased to learn that he had become a Gear. He asked Jace what brought him by, and he told him that he was not sure, and it had just seemed like the right time. Wisen told him that he was always welcome there, and that he was part of their family, which Jace appreciated. Wisen asked Jace if he wanted to speak to some of the children, but Jace was hesitant to do so, and said that he may do that next time he came by. Wisen told him that he understood, and to remember to take care of himself, and that he could make it through anything. Jace spent the rest of his time off visiting other friends and places he used to hang out around the city.
Mission to Montevado
Flight over the Dorado Hills
- "That was when I knew I could do it. If Marcus Fenix had faith in me, then I'd damn well better have faith in myself."
- — Jace, gaining the confidence he needed to land a King Raven
Once the week was over, Jace and the rest of Delta reported to Col.Victor Hoffman and Lt.Anya Stroud, and were given orders to head out on a mission to Montevado, in order to investigate large amounts of seismic activity in the area. Jace was worried because they did not have a fourth member of the squad, but then learned that Barrick had been reassigned to Delta. As they flew over the Dorado Hills in their King Raven, Jace thought about Gil's funeral and just how close they all are to death at any given moment, when a Nemacyst fired by a Seeder hit the Raven. Jace nearly fell out of the Raven's bay, but Marcus and Barrick grabbed him and pulled him back to safety. A second shot hit the cockpit of the Raven, blowing it open and killing the pilot. Marcus asked if anyone else could fly it, and Jace hesitated at first until he realized that no one else could fly, and the parachutes had been destroyed. He told Marcus he could fly it, and got into the cockpit. Marcus asked him how often he had flown, and Jace told him it had been only once, but he had not had to land it. The others were scared by this revelation, but Jace managed to dodge another Nemacyst. However, the next shot hit and took out the landing gear, and Barrick began yelling at Jace. Marcus told him to shut up and let Jace concentrate on landing. This gave Jace the encouragement he needed, and he aimed the Raven for an Emergence Hole. As they crashed onto the ground, the Raven's rotors cut through the Locust coming out of the ground, killing them all. Barrick got out of the Raven first, and admired the carnage, telling Jace he did a "nice job". They made sure their bot, STAN, was still working, and then began walking in the direction of Montevado.
Battle for Fucked
- "Probably the first time I ever felt like a hero. We absolutely mopped those bastards."
- — Jace, describing the Battle for Fucked
They walked for several days through the Dorado Hills, until they encountered a Stranded named Jonboy. He told them that Montevado was still a long way away, and that they needed a vehicle to reach it. He took them back to the Stranded settlement of Fucked, and Jace thought that it was an appropriate name for the small settlement, and their situation. Jonboy informed them about the Locust raids on the town, and told Marcus they would give them a vehicle if they killed the Locust raiders. Jace and the others waited for the Locust to emerge, and then ambushed and killed them all. Jace felt great about saving the settlement, and was impressed with how the Stranded had managed to survive without support from the COG, and felt a bit of hope that other Stranded communities like this one had survived across Sera. However, he then saw a child among the Stranded, and was horrified. Jonboy told them that her parents had gone to Montevado with some others to try and get help, but had never come back. Jace talked with her, asking if she was waiting for her parents, and said that he was too. He asked if she wanted to go with them to try and find her parents, and she said she did. Jace asked Marcus if they could take her along and try and find her parents, since Fucked was too dangerous a place for a child. Marcus agreed, and Delta left Fucked in an APC with the child. As they drove through the Dorado Hills, Jace learned her name was Lily, and he promised her they would find and rescue her parents.
Chased by a Brumak and Meeting Sigma
- "Reality sucks sometimes."
- — Jace's inner thoughts after the squad is attacked by a Brumak
Soon after, the APC was ambushed by the Locust, and one of the wheels was shot, bringing the vehicle to a halt. The others went outside to fight the Locust while Jace told Lily to stay put, and that she would be safe as long as he was alive. Jace left the APC feeling like nothing could stop him because a kids life depended on him, and the four Gears managed to kill all of the Drones. However, a Brumak then arrived, and the Gears communications were still jammed by the Seeders, leaving them unable to call for backup to help kill it. Jace decided to charge at the Brumak, before realizing that was an extremely stupid move. One of its shots hit the ground behind Jace, blowing him into the air and knocking him out. Marcus managed to get to him and wake him up, and they regrouped with the rest of the squad behind cover. Jace wanted to try and get to Lily, but Marcus told him they could not with the Brumak out there. The Brumak found them, and they scattered in all directions except towards the vehicle. They were saved when Sigma-One arrived, and Pvt.Augustus Cole blew off one of the Brumaks arms with a Boomshot. Cpl.Damon Baird picked up Jace and the rest of the squad in Centaur II-W0801, while Marcus attached the APC to the tank. Jace wanted to get Lily out first, but Marcus ordered him to get into the tank quickly. They drove away from the Brumak, which was killed when one of its shots brought the valley down on top of it. Once they stopped, Jace made sure Lily was safe, thinking that if he had let her down it would feel like another part of him had died, and was relieved to discover she was. As they rested, Jace was ecstatic to meet Cole, telling him that it was an honor to meet him and that his dad had always talked about him. Cole asked him if his dad was still alive, and after Jace told him he was not, Cole said that he was in a better place now. However, Jace was not impressed with Baird, thinking that he seemed like he was a dick. They found two COG Bikes to drive to Montevado since the APC was too damaged, and Marcus had Cole and Baird take Lily back to Jacinto, telling Jace that it would be too dangerous for her. Jace promised her that he would do his best to find her parents, before setting off for Montevado on one of the COG bikes with Barrick.
Sinking of Montevado
- "Hopes? Ha... hopes. I remember those."
- — Jace, after Dom tells him not to get his hopes up that they will find Lily's parents
After arriving at Montevado, Dom remarked that the place seemed like a ghost town, and Jace agreed with him. Marcus sent to Jace and Dom explore the north side of the city for any sign of the seismic activity while he and Barrick took the south side. As they walked, Jace asked Dom if he thought there might still be anyone in Montevado, and Dom said that a city this size usually had a few Stranded. Jace wondered if they would find Lily's parents, but Dom warned him not to get his hopes up. Jace laughed, and said that he remembered hopes, but Dom warned him not to lose his, and that they were all that could keep you going sometimes. Soon after they heard a noise, and went to check it out. They found a Stranded man who told them that they needed to get out of the city, and the locations of two Stranded camps in the city. However, he warned them that they needed to leave immediately, and did not want to be in the city at night. Jace and Dom soon realized what he was talking about when they were attacked by a large group of Wretches, and the Stranded started to run away. Jace told him to stay put so they could defend him, but a group of Wretches managed to overwhelm the Stranded. Jace was angry that he had gotten killed, but Dom told him to focus on killing the Wretches. They killed a large number of them, but the Wretches then fled. Jace and Dom were confused, until the city began shaking, and sank into the ground. Jace was pinned under a pile of rubble and was barely able to breathe, which made him think about what had happened to him on E-Day. He heard Dom calling his name, and managed to make some noise to let him know where he was, and Dom managed to find him and pull him out from under the rubble. They found that their Lancers had been smashed, but they still had their side arms. They found a Locust body that had had its heart ripped out, and Dom told Jace that Heart Leeches were nearby. As they moved through the sunken city, they tried to figure out a way to regroup with Marcus and Barrick, and Dom decided they should work their way back to surface to see if they could get a signal. They were attacked by heart leeches soon after, and Jace shot a Imulsion tank, burning many of them. However, this stirred up an even larger number of them, and they were close to being overwhelmed when Marcus and Barrick arrived. The four Gears killed all the heart leeches, and then found an open air area of the sinkhole. Marcus decided they would wait for the evac Raven, and Jace wondered what kind of Locust weapon could sink a city. He was about to ask for permission to look for Lily's parents, but a Corpser came through the wall near them. It fell back, much to Jace's confusion, but several Bloodmounts came pouring through the hole.
Escape from Montevado
- "I thought I was going to die. But sometimes... sometimes life has other plans for you."
- — Jace, on being cornered by a Berserker and then rescued by Marcus
The squad was low on ammo, and kept falling back from the Bloodmount onslaught. Marcus ordered Jace and Dom to climb up the side of the sinkhole and escape the city while he and Barrick held the Locust off. They protested, but Marcus demanded that they leave. As they worked their way up the sinkhole, they found a Stranded camp. Dom offered to evacuate the Stranded when the Raven arrived, and Jace asked if Lily's parents were in the camp. One of the Stranded told him that Lily's dad, Blake, had been killed, and had another Stranded bring out Emma, Lily's mom. They told Jace that her hand had been bitten off by a Wretch, and she had come down with a fever afterwords. Dom then spotted Marcus climbing up the sinkhole wall to join them, with Barrick having sacrificed himself so that the others could escape. However, the cliff that Jace was standing on collapsed, and he fell back down into the Sinkhole, and wound up in the Hollow. As he regained consciousness, he heard the scream of a Berserker, and thought that he was completely screwed. He climbed down onto the side of a ledge and tried not make a sound that would draw the Berserkers attention while he figured out a way to try and escape. However, he kicked a rock, and the Berserker located him. Jace thought he was going to die, but luckily Marcus arrived on a ladder lowered by a King Raven, and ordered Jace to jump towards him. Jace managed to jump and grab his arm as the Berserker charged at him. The creature fist just barely missed him, and Jace watched as it fell off of the cliff and into a deep crevasse. Jace was pulled up into the Raven's crew bay, and the Ravens loaded up the Stranded and headed back to Jacinto.
Return to Jacinto and Restored Hope
- "It's tough sometimes. Hell, it's tough most of the time. But feeling is what makes us human."
- — Jace, with renewed faith in the human spirit and hope for the future
After returning to Jacinto with the rest of Delta and the rescued Stranded, Jace returned to the orphanage with Lily while her mom recovered at a hospital, where she was in stable condition, but remained in a coma. Wisen welcomed him back home, and Jace told stories to the children there about his life as a Gear. He also went to a bar with Dom, who told him about his search for his wife, Maria, and how she had gone missing ten years ago. Jace was impressed with Dom's dedication, and wished him the best, telling him that he was sure he would find Maria one day. Dom thanked him for the support, and told him that he was sure he would find her as well. Jace then met with Marcus, and updated him about Emma's condition, and how he was praying for her to get better. Marcus told him that he had done an great job out there, and had made the right calls and saved Lily's life, and never to forget that. Jace would often visit the hospital with Lily, and reassured her that everything was going to be okay, his faith and hope in humanity having been restored by Barrick's sacrifice, his survival, and having been able to rescue the Stranded.
Mission to Jilane
Meeting Alex Brand
- "Two blocks away. Might as well be on the moon."
- — Jace, after learning Foxtrot is too far away to provide support quickly
One month later after the Mission to Montevado, Jace fought alongside Dom and three other Gears in a battle outside of Jacinto, trying to prevent a group of Locust from killing a group of civilians inside a building. Jace and the three Gears covered Dom as he ran into the building to stop the slaughter. One month after that battle, Jace, along with the rest of Delta and Foxtrot squad, were sent on an operation to clear an urban area of Locust. When they entered an area which Foxtrot had cleared, they came under attack from Locust forces, and were pinned down by snipers. As Jace and Marcus held off the Locust, Dom contacted Foxtrot and told them to get back and help them. After learning they were two blocks away, Jace became worried they would not be able to hold out that long. However, Sgt.Alex Brand was able to take out the sniper nest using Tickers, and Jace and the others were able to kill the rest of the Locust. After the battle, Jace and Dom were surprised to learn that Alex was a women.
Briefing on the Mission
- "'Dill is going to be pretty full. What if we actually find someone?"
- — Jace, before the mission to Jilane begins
After returning to Jacinto HQ, Jace and Dom talked about Alex. He mentioned that he found her very attractive, and Dom agreed with him. They were then joined by Baird and Cole, and briefed by Hoffman and Anya on a mission to Jilane, to investigate a distress beacon that had been detected in the city. Alex was also being assigned to the squad to serve as scout, since she had been born in and lived in the city. After the briefing, Jace hung out with the others, and they talked about the mission. Baird thought it was stupid, and believed that the only thing that a female scout would lead to was a beauty parlor. Cole was excited to have a female squadmate, and Jace and the others watched as he talked about he was going to woo her, unaware that she was standing behind him. They laughed when she startled him, making him drop his beer, which she caught. As they packed up PA-142 for the mission, Jace wondered where they would fit anybody they rescued. Baird told him there was no chance of that happening, but Dom said that people could survive anywhere. Alex then told them about her experiences in Jilane, and how terrible the farms were.
Arrival in the City
- "This is nasty shit. I'm staying at the door."
- — Jace, after finding the test tubes where the babies were kept
After driving to the city, and locating the farm, Anya contacted them and told them that they were near the beacon's source. Jace was encouraged by this, hoping that they might actually find survivors. Jace was put into Delta-Two with Dom and Cole, while Marcus, Baird, and Alex were Delta-One. They went in after Delta-One did, going in the opposite direction to explore half of the facility. As they walked through the building, Cole mentioned that the thing he missed most about the old world was seeing kids playing and having fun, and Dom said that he missed being a father. Jace talked about how he could not even remember being a kid, but that when thinking of his family he would feel safe, and he knew that they had loved him. However, he could not even remember his parents’ names or what it had been like living with them, and that he wished he could. At first they found only bodies, but Cole located a room full of test tubes where babies had been kept and grown. Jace was disturbed by this, and decided to stay by the door, but they then heard shots being fired from the direction the other half of Delta had taken.
Finding the GBL
- "Ah, fuck me..."
- — Jace, after he and Thecelia were interrupted by a Locust attack
They found the others being held at gunpoint by the Grievous Bodily Love, but got the drop on them and were able to rearm the others. The leader of the GBL, Matron, explained that they were survivors of the farm, and how they had survived despite being abandoned by the COG. After Marcus reported the situation to command, he told Jace, Dom, and Alex to stay with the GBL and make sure there were no more misunderstandings, while he took the others to locate the beacon. Jace talked with some of the children survivors, and told one of them, Shawna, that he was a Gear. One of the women, Thecelia, came over and began talking to him. She told him that Jace was a nice name, and he told her it was short for Jayson, but that it was better shorter for battlefield purposes. Thecelia told him that a shortened name was not useful on some battlefields, which flustered Jace. She then asked if he had ever been to a birthing crèche before, taking Jace by surprise. He told her he had never been to a farm before, and then apologized for having called it a farm. She told him it was alright, and that she knew what the birthing crèches were called on the outside, and that he was sweet. Thecelia then took Jace back to one of the procreation rooms, and the two of them began having sex. They were interrupted when an alarm began to sound, indicating a Locust attack, which annoyed Jace. As they got dressed, Thecelia asked for a raincheck, and Jace told her that she could collect anytime.
- "It's dead quite out here. Thats going to make it tough to sneak all the kids around."
- — Jace, reporting to Baird as he makes his way through an escape tunnel
They began moving through the halls of the facility, making sure no kids had been left behind when the others went to the emergency bunker. Thecelia showed him an emergency tunnel the kids could use that led directly to the bunker, which Jace thought was a good idea unless tickers got into them. Right after he this, tickers blew up the tunnel hatch in front of them. Jace had her fall back while he fired at the tickers, blowing them up. They kept moving, and ran into Dom and Camille fighting a group of Drones. They killed them, but Camille was killed in the fight, and Thecelia picked up her body to take with them. They headed to the bunker, meeting up with Marcus and his group on the way. They made it into the bunker, but Marcus was hit in the face by a Mauler and left outside, unconscious. Matron had the door closed, and the Gears argued that they needed to go out and rescue him, but Baird sided with Matron in needing to protect the children. While the others argued over what to do, Jace stayed near the kids to protect them. Baird took charge of the situation, and asked if anyone had spotted tickers. Jace told him he had encountered some. Baird directed Jace, Dom, and Cole to fire at the Locust, and act like they were a small force low on ammo. Jace commented that they were low on ammo, and Dom told him that it would look convincing then. Jace offered to go with Baird when he went to kill the Kantus leading the attack, but Baird told him that Jace would only be thinking about the kids the whole time, and to go with them instead. Jace and Thecelia went into the tunnels with the kids, and waited for Baird's distraction to go into action. Once it did, they took the kids to a secure location, and the others eventually came and regrouped with them after rescuing Marcus. When Baird insulted the women by calling them all "COG assets", Jace became annoyed with him and told him to stop being rude. However, the argument was cut short when a large group of Locust reinforcements arrived.
Escape and Aftermath
- "The Gears need fighters like you. Hell, I need you."
- — Jace, asking Thecelia to become a Gear and be with him
After Matron told them were a group of vans were, Jace and the others headed to them. Jace asked Thecelia is she was coming with them or staying behind with Matron and Annalisa, and she told him that she would go with them. Jace got into the driver’s seat of one of the vans with Thecelia in the passenger seat and Alex in the back of the van to provide covering fire. After they got under way, Jace realized that Alex had stayed behind, and that Baird had as well. After Matron set off a bomb that destroyed Jilane, Baird managed to contact the others and told them that he, Alex, and Annalisa had escaped. Jace asked what had happened to Matron, and Baird told him that she did what she had to do. Once they got back to Jacinto, Jace asked Thecelia if she would become a Gear, telling her that they could use a fighter like her, and that he needed her. She refused, telling him she would go back to the farm so that the human race could continue. Jace offered to visit her, but she told him not to, not wanting him to see her in that kind of a situation. She then left him, thanking Jace for being one of the good ones.
End of the War
- "All right then, storytime it is."
- — Jace, to Alex after she asks him to tell her about how he lost part of his ear
One week after the Mission to Jilane, Jace went to the orphanage to visit Lily and the other children, and learned that Emma was still in a coma. Jace later meet with Alex at The Rusty Nail for a drink, and told her about his visit. The bartender handed them two beers, and Alex noticed Jace's ear. She asked him what had happened to it, and he told her about Operation: Midnight. Once he finished, he asked Alex if she had any war stories to tell, and she said she would tell one if Jace bought the next round of beers.
Operation Hollow Storm and Port Farrall
- "This is Corporal Stratton of Alpha-Seven, we're in the Hollow."
- — Jace, reporting to the CIC that his squad has arrived in the Hollow
Two months after the Liberation of Jilane, Jace was transferred to Alpha-Seven and promoted to corporal. During Operation: Hollow Storm, Jace lead Alpha-Seven into the Hollow, landing shortly after Delta squad. He contacted control and informed them that they had deployed safely. He was then contacted by Marcus, who told him it was good to have him down there and wished him luck, and Jace did the same to him. While Delta Squad was helping Omega-One, Jace asked for backup from other squads over the comm and ordered his squad to charge the Locust Drones, which was successful in pushing them back. Jace and Alpha-Seven eventually met up with Sgt.Jonathan Harper, who had recently escaped from Locust captivity. Jace lost a member of his squad to enemy fire, but he managed to lead Harper and the others back to the surface. Jace survived the Sinking of Jacinto and moved with the rest of the COG to Port Farrall. Twelve days after the Sinking, Jace was scheduled to take night guard duty shift at Checkpoint Eight after Dom.
Vectes and the Stranded Insurgency
Guard Duty at VNB
- "They executing them now? Is that how it's going to be?"
- — Jace, after learning about the execution of a Stranded prisoner
Several months after the COG moved to the island of Vectes, Jace was on guard duty at Vectes Naval Base. He heard a shot come from the infirmary, and headed to check it out. He found Col.Victor Hoffman outside, and asked him if there had been an accidental discharge. Hoffman told him that Commander Miran Trescu had executed a Stranded insurgent, Edwin Loris, during interrogation. Jace was worried and uncomfortable with executing prisoners, but Hoffman told him that they would have had to do it eventually anyway.
- "Hey, is this going to be the multiple factor thing you go on about? You know- it's never one thing that causes catastrophic failure. It's a lot of them at once."
- — Jace, impressing Baird by showing he actually listens to him
A few days later, Jace found Baird in Boathouse 9 at VNB working with the wreckage from the Harvest, a fishing trawler that had been sunk several months back, trying to determine what caused it to sink, along with two other vessels. Jace asked him if he thought the Stranded had some kind of technology that the COG did not know about, but Baird told him that any technology the Stranded had they would have had to steal from the COG. Jace wondered if there was a connection between all three sunken boats, and Baird told him he did not have any idea. He asked Jace if he had any ideas, and Jace began helping him examine the pieces, saying that he had seen this on TV, where investigators would piece together wreckage to determine what went where. Jace held up a large piece with bullet holes in it, and asked which side went on the outside. Baird realized that was a good point, and they began examining the pieces of the Harvest determining which ones were on the inside of the boat and on the outside. They discovered that the bullet holes had come from inside the boat, meaning that either the Harvest had been boarded by Stranded, or something else caused the crew to open fire inside the hull. Jace wondered if the fisherman usually went out armed, and Baird told him that they would have to check into that. They wondered what had caused the explosion, since simply firing into the hull would not have made one, and Jace asked Baird if this was going to one of those multiple factor things he always talked, which meant that more than one thing had gone wrong. Jace managed to impress Baird by giving him these good theories to work with, and the fact that he actually paid attention to what Baird had said. Their investigation was interrupted by Marcus, Dom, Hoffman, and Trescu, who asked them what they had found, and Baird told them what they had discovered.
Battle on the Emerald Spar
- "Two rig crew missing. Hey, can anyone give us a hand with this fire?"
- — Jace, reporting his situation after the first Stalk was destroyed
Several days later, Jace flew with several other Gears to the Emerald Spar Imulsion Platform to defend it from approaching Lambent Stalks carrying Polyps. When he arrived, he exchanged ammo with Pvt.Samantha Byrne, and they settled in to prepare for the battle. After the Stalk attacking the platform was destroyed by KR-239, Jace reported that two of the rig crew members were missing. He then asked for help putting out a fire near his position. However, a second Stalk attacked the platform, unleashing a new wave of Polyps. Jace and the other Gears were unable to defend the Imulsion rig from this new wave, and he and the rest of the defenders were forced to abandon the platform.
- "The civvies got a point. We gotta think ahead. Can't just wait around to see if the stalks stop and things get better."
- — Jace to Baird, talking about the dangerous conditions on Vectes
Several weeks later, the Lambent had attacked Vectes several times, and the entire population of the island was moved to VNB. Jace helped build huts for the civilians to live in and showed them how to build them. While attempting to put a door on a hut, a crowd of over fifty people approached him and demanded to know why they were staying on Vectes instead of evacuating to somewhere safer. Jace told them that he did not make decisions like that, and asked for someone to give him a hand with the door, but nobody moved to help him. Baird arrived, and asked the crowd if they were not happy with the COG for some reason, and they said they wanted to go back to the mainland. Jace gave Baird a look to come help him, and Baird went over to support the doors weight while Jace attached the door. Baird continued to argue with crowd that the mainland was no safer, and that recon missions had found Lambent there as well. The crowd was surprised that recon missions had been sent to them mainland, and Jace told Baird that would just get them even more wound up. After he finished putting the door on, he told Baird he was done arguing with civilians, and got into Baird's Packhorse. They headed to the mess hall, and Jace said the civilians did have a point about how it was dangerous to continue to stay on Vectes hoping things would get better. Baird told him the officers would decide what to do, but Jace told him that all their decisions were based on guesswork. Baird asked him if he was trying to take his job as resident whiny asshole, and that only a handful of civilians had died since the move to Vectes compared to the mainland. Jace asked him if he was in love or something, since he had never seen him so trusting of the command staff, and Baird told him he was just looking at the facts. They passed Cole teaching a bunch of children how to play Thrashball. They watched him for a bit, and Jace was impressed that he still had his speed and moves, since it had been a long time since he played the game.
Eating in the Mess
- "Holy shit, that's just gonna make the civvies want to leave sooner."
- — Jace, after hearing Prescott's speech about having backup plans
After parking in the vehicle compound, Jace showed Baird a pair of gloves that Sgt.Bernadette Mataki had given him that were made out of a cat. He said she was like a survival queen, and asked him if cat really tasted like rabbit. Baird said he hoped he never found out, and Jace told him that the mess might still have some rabbit if they got there quickly. When they reached it, they found the Gears there eating in silence, watching Prescott address everyone over the TV. Jace was surprised that Prescott was addressing them like that, and wished that there was a movie on instead. After they got their food and sat down, they listened to the speech, and Prescott said that while they were not going to abandon the island at the moment, they had to be prepared for the worst case scenario and would have plans in place to do so. Jace said that that would only make the civilians want to leave even more, and another Gear pointed out that he was covering his ass. Baird told them to stop being so cynical, getting a laugh out of all the Gears. Jace pointed out that it was a nice touch of Prescott to have mentioned Branascu in his speech, but Baird said it was a negated by the whole "abandon-ship" part. Jace asked him if he ever wanted to go back to Tyrus, and that he like Vectes better. Baird lied and said that he did not care either way.
Third Battle of New Jacinto
Several months later, Prescott had abandoned the COG, and all of the remaining population on the island had moved to New Jacinto, with Hoffman and the rest of the command staff making plans to evacuate the island and split into several different communities. Before they could begin evacuating the island, several stalks burst through the ground in the middle of New Jacinto, unleashing Polyps and other mutated creatures into the streets. Jace joined Anya, Sgt.Drew Rossi, several civilians, and an Armadillo in defending an intersection while covering fleeing civilians. They were soon joined by Marcus, Dom, and many other Gears, and finished off the remaining Lambent attacking the city.
Defending the Sovereign
The Return of Prescott
- "Bet he strolls back in here like nothing happened."
- — Jace, as Prescott landed in his Raven
After the COG collapsed and evacuated Vectes, Jace lived on the CNV Sovereign with Delta as part of the rapid response force that looked after mainland communities. Fourteen months after leaving Vectes, Jace was attempting to knock a candy bar out of an old vending machine when he, Marcus, and Dom were summoned to the CIC. Jace continued trying to get the candy out of the machine until Marcus and Dom found him, and Dom told him that they were needed, and that it was Stalk city out in the water. Jace agreed to come along, hitting the machine one more time before walking away. After reaching the captain's quarters, they met with Anya, who told them that Chairman Prescott had returned in a Raven and was wanting to land. Jace interjected that he was the ex-Chairman, and they all wondered what he wanted from them. As they headed to the flight deck to meet KR Zero-One, Lambent Polyps and Drudges attacked the ship, with several Polyps killing Nash right in front of them, and Jace and the other Gears began fighting to repel them. Jace was shocked by the appearance of the Drudges, and Marcus told him that the Lambent must have mutated again. After killing the initial wave of Lambent, they raised the deck lift to allow KR Zero-One to land. As it landed, Jace said he bet that Prescott would act like nothing had ever happened, and Marcus and Dom wondered where he had gotten brand new Ravens from. Prescott told them he would have answers for them later, and that he needed to see Hoffman. Anya explained that Hoffman was at Anvil Gate, and that Captain Quentin Michaelson was in charge now. Prescott said he needed to talk to him then about a mission, and he then gave Marcus a disc, telling him he would want to see what was on it. They headed for the CIC to view the disc, but another wave of Lambent attacked the ship. They helped Keith secure the deck, and then went up to the CIC. The disc contained a message from Adam Fenix, Marcus' father. Jace started to say he thought that Adam was dead, but Dom told him to leave it. They watched the rest of the disc, and Adam asked Marcus' for his help in stopping the Lambent. However, the rest of the message was damaged, and more Lambent attacked before Anya could recover the data. Jace and the others headed out to the deck to help the rest of the Gears, and received a message from Prescott that Michaelson had been wounded. They fought their way across the flight deck and down into the lower levels again, reaching Michaelson's office to find Prescott fight two Lambent Drones. They helped him, but Michaelson and both Prescott's guards had been killed. Prescott told them they needed to go to the hanger deck and help the pilots take off, and Marcus ordered him to stay in the office because he had been wounded.
Repelling the Lambent
- "Look at the state of this tub! How are we going to repair all this shit?"
- — Jace, as he observes all the damage being done to the Sovereign
They hurried along the corridors toward the hanger bay, fighting more Polyps, Drudges, and Lambent Drones en route. After reaching the storeroom outside of the hanger bay, Jace and the others found it on fire, and Jerry, Eli, and Amy defending it. Jerry told Delta that there were a few more Ravens waiting to take off, and that the fighting had already been pretty fierce. They then entered the bay and cleared out the Locust, allowing KR Zero-One to take off and assist in the battle. They then headed to help KR Zero-Three, but a giant tentacle reached into the bay and grabbed the Raven, destroying it. Jace and the others fought off more Polyps and Drones, and then activated the lift to get to the deck to help fight off the source of the tentacle, a massive Lambent Leviathan. When they reached the deck, they found massive fires all over, and got to work kill Lambent creatures and putting the fires out. After activating two water valves, they found a civilian working to put out other fires near a fuel tank. Jace yelled at her that the tanks were going to explode and to get away from them, but the warning came too late, and the woman was killed, which upset Jace. As they moved forward, the Leviathan attacked them, slamming tentacles down onto the deck, breaking it, and sending Delta sliding into the engineering deck. Jace and Anya landed on one walkway while Marcus and Dom landed on the other, and they began heading to get back up top while word came over the comm that the ship had been fully evacuated of civilians and most Gears. Pvt.Augustus Cole then contacted them, saying he and his squad were on the Centennial Bridge above the ship, and that they would try to find a way to help them. As they headed back up to the flight deck, Jace wondered how they were going to repair all the damage, and Marcus told him that at least it would shut Baird up for a few months. Cole then contacted them and asked if they could lure the Leviathan to the front of the ship. After they returned to the flight deck, Jace and Anya covered Marcus and Dom as they used two Silverbacks to hurt the Leviathan and force it towards the front of the Sovereign. Once it was in position, Cole and his squad dumped a crate full of Tickers onto it, making the Leviathan start to explode, which would likely destroy the ship. Marcus told Jace and the others to run and jump off of the ship, but a tentacle from the Leviathan cut off Jace and Anya from Marcus and Dom, and they jumped off the deck without the other two.
- "Hey! The cavalry finally showed up!"
- — Jace, after the rest of Delta arrives to assist him and Anya
After making it to shore, Jace and Anya found Prescott badly wounded. Taking up position among several containers that had washed up on the beach, Jace guarded Anya as she went to work trying to save Prescott's life. However, they came under heavy attack from the Savage Locust, who kept Jace pinned down. He managed to kill several of them, and set off green smoke to alert other survivors to their location. Anya made contact with Marcus, who told her they were coming to assist them. Jace continued to hold out against the Locust, until Dom contacted him and said they were there. Delta took out several Drones that were flanking Jace, and he told them he was glad they finally showed up. They finished off the rest of the Locust, and Jace stood guard alongside Cole while Marcus, Anya, Baird, and Dom worked to keep Prescott alive. However, he was too badly wounded to save, but he gave Marcus vital information on where he could find his father: the island of Azura, a secret COG research facility that Queen Myrrah had captured days ago, and the location of which was on the data disc Hoffman had stolen from Prescott. After Prescott died, more Locust arrived, and Jace and the rest of Delta defended their position. A Brumak then attacked them, but the Gears were able to destroy its weapons and detonate the explosives on its back, killing it. Jace then stayed with Anya, Pvt.Samantha Byrne, and Clayton Carmine to assist with the cleanup and salvage from the ruins of the Sovereign while Marcus, Dom, Cole, and Baird began the journey to Anvil Gate, which Jace and the others would join them at after finishing their task.
Mission to Mercy
The Road to Mercy
- "Ohhhh... now thats gotta hurt!"
- — Jace, after decapitating a Brumak with razor wire
After the salvage mission was completed, Jace and Carmine went to Anvil Gate along with several other Gears, following Anya and Sam, who had left in an earlier convoy. They arrived after the battle there had been won and the data disc decoded, which revealed the location of Azura, which was protected by an artificial hurricane. The Gears planned to reach the island by a submarine located at the Endeavor Naval Shipyard, and after spending the night at the fort, Delta began making preparations to leave. Jace drove one of the trucks, with Marcus and Anya in the back, while Sam and Dom were driven in another truck and Pvt.Dizzy Wallin drove a fuel tanker. They headed for the city of Mercy to fill the fuel truck up with Imulsion, but they encountered heavy Locust resistance along the way. Multiple Reavers attacked them, and Jace drove as best he could to avoid them, falling debris, and Imulsion geysers, while Marcus and Dom fired at the Reavers using Vulcan Cannons. After blasting through pipelines, Dizzy cleared the path for them by driving through a Locust roadblock. However, they then encountered several baby Corpsers, and Jace ran over several of them, but the mother then attacked them and collapsed the road. Jace managed to avoid the Corpser and get back on the road with the other vehicles, and they arrived at Concord Air Base. They encountered more Locust, and a small Corpser jumped onto the hood of the pickup. Jace told Marcus to hold on because he could not see to drive, and found a low hanging bridge to ram into, knocking the Corpser off and killing it. The Locust then blew a hole in the road in front of them, and the trucks fell in. They became stuck in the sand, and Jace began working to free them from the pit while Marcus and Dom covered the trucks with the Vulcan's. Jace managed to get the truck free, and they got out of the pit and back onto the road. They encountered more resistance, including a Brumak guarding a large barricade, and Jace drove to avoid the rockets it fired. Jace wondered how they were going to get past the barrier, and Marcus told him to use a ramp to jump over it. Jace liked the idea, and told them to hang on. The two pickups began dragging razor wire between them as well, and Jace told the other driver to use it to take the Brumaks head off. As they hit the ramps, the wire sliced through the Brumaks neck and decapitated it, and Jace said that that must have hurt.
Defending the Fuel Truck
- "Yo, Marcus, we got grubs, up the highway!"
- — Jace, after spotting Locust approaching Mercy
They encountered no more Locust in the next few hours, making it to Mercy without further incident. They arrived at the gas station, finding the place seemingly abandoned, and the gas line shut down. Marcus ordered Jace and Dizzy to stay with the vehicles while he, Dom, Anya, and Sam checked out the town. Several minutes later, Marcus contacted them and informed them that they had encountered Lambent Humans, which shocked them, and Marcus said that he would get the pipeline working, but that they also needed to stop the Lambent Humans from escaping. After Marcus and the others got the fuel line going, Jace spotted Locust approaching Mercy along the highway they had come from. He contacted Marcus to let him know, and Marcus asked if the fuel truck was ready. Dizzy told them that it was spewing fuel from the damage it had taken during the drive to Mercy, and that he could not fix all the leaks. Marcus told them to forget about it and just get back to the pickup, and Jace told him they would be locked and ready to go when they got back to them. The others emerged a few minutes later from a bomb shelter above the station, but were cut off when Locust emerged from the highway tunnel. Jace and Dizzy took cover in and behind the fuel truck and opened fire on the Locust, while the others were stuck defending their position as well. They cut down dozens of Locust, but Lambent Humans began swarming the others position, and Stalks emerged, dropping multiple Lambent Drones and Drudges right on top of Marcus, Dom, Anya, and Sam. More and more reinforcements for both the Locust and Lambent arrived, and Dom was separated from the others on top of the gas station roof. As Jace and Dizzy continued to defend the pickups, Dom jumped off the roof and entered the fuel truck, telling Marcus, Anya, and Sam to get out of there. He drove down the tunnel and then came racing back, crashing into the fuel tank and igniting it, setting off multiple explosions as the fuel station exploded. Jace and Dizzy ran behind the pickup truck for cover, and Marcus, Anya, and Sam all jumped clear of the station, but all of the Lambent and Locust were caught in the blast and were killed. However, Dom was dead, and they were unable to recover his body as they needed to leave quickly before more Locust arrived.
Mission to Char
The Ash City
- "Yeah, kinda creepy. It's like this is what they were doin' when the Hammer strikes hit."
- — Jace, after Delta found the ash remains of Char's citizens
They drove to Char, hoping to find gas for their truck, but ran out shortly into the city. Jace was shocked by the state of the city, and could not believe that people still lived there after the Hammer of Dawn counterattack. Dizzy told him they did, but that they were not the welcoming kind. Marcus said they were out of choices, and that they needed to find fuel, welcome or not. Jace talked briefly with Anya and Sam, but Marcus told them to stop tiptoeing around him, and that they needed to make sure Dom did not die for nothing. They began walking through the ruins, leaving Dizzy behind to guard the truck, and discovered that the population of the city had been turned into ash statues when the Hammer had hit the city. Jace remarked that it was creepy, and noted how they had all been running for their lives. Marcus told them that this was a mass grave, and to show what respect they could. They soon lost contact with Dizzy, and someone dropped a piano in their path as they headed through a building. As they exited the building, a Stranded covered in ash activated a booby trap, causing two rigged Lancers to fire on them. Jace spotted the Stranded run off around a corner to the left, and they pursued him. Jace told the others that they needed to keep an eye on the ash statues, since anyone of them could be the Stranded in disguise. They then spotted him pushing something through the ruins, and continued to follow the Stranded while keeping an eye out for traps. As they passed under the bridge, they saw the Stranded firing at something in front of them, and Jace wondered if the guy was cross-eyed and trying to hit them. However, he was shooting at a gas tank, but the Gears managed to get away from it before it exploded. Jace began getting angry, and wondered where the Stranded had gone so quickly, but Sam told him she was sure he would show up again. Around the next corner, the Stranded dumped a dumpster full of polyps out in front of them, but they quickly dispatched them. Jace said that the guy was out of his mind, and wondered how the hell someone even got a bunch of polyps in a container anyway. After going through some ruins, the Stranded dropped shopping carts and explosives in their path, but they avoided them, and Jace yelled out that that would not scare them, and that they were Gears. Marcus told him to calm down and save his breath, and Jace apologized and said he was right. They avoided another trap which used a recording of a baby crying to lure them in, which angered Jace even more. After shooting through more polyps, they arrived at a Stranded settlement in Griffin Tower, and defended it from a Lambent attack. When the last Lambent was killed, the Stranded they had been chasing began to come down in an elevator, much to Jace's disbelief, and went to see what he had to say. He told them that Aaron Griffin, the local Stranded leader, would not like them being there, but agreed to take them to him. As they moved through the tower, Jace mentioned that he had heard about Griffin, and that he supposedly hated the COG. When they reached Griffin's office, he agreed to let them have some fuel if they recovered his missing shipment, and he revealed he had captured Dizzy and would kill him in one hour if they did not get back.
Recovering the Fuel from Griffin's Refinery
- "Aw shit, Anya. My bad. I ain't mean it like that."
- — Jace, after commenting that it must have been hard to carry out the Hammer strike and Anya saying that she had been there
Jace and the others reluctantly left Dizzy in the tower, and exited the tower through the basement, taking what supplies they could find. As they exited the building, they found themselves near the epicenter of the Hammer strike on the city. Jace said he had never seen a city in this trashed, and commented that it must have been hard to push the button to carry out the strike. Anya said it was, and that she had been there. Jace apologized, saying that he had not meant it like that, but Anya told him it was okay. After killing a group of Lambent in a ruined building, Jace commented that it was no wonder Griffin wanted them to recover the Imulsion, since it was a long and dangerous walk. Jace then said he hoped Dizzy did not try to break out on his own, and Sam said she would go back and rescue him if they did not need the fuel so badly. As they moved through the ruins, more stalks emerged and cut off their path, but they managed to defeat the Lambent and find a way around, just barely avoiding getting crushed in a collapsing tunnel. Jace said he guessed they were not going back that way, and they entered the old subway system, which was infested with polyps. They fought through them and exited the subway at the base of the refinery, and fought off dozens of Lambent to reach the entrance. They entered, and Jace commented that the place looked deserted. Marcus activated the power so the elevators would work, and Jace was glad something was finally going right, but Marcus told him something always went wrong again. Marcus called an elevator, but as it came down, they Jace asked if anyone else heard the noises coming from it. Lambent humans burst from the elevator and began crawling out of the vents, and Jace and the others began defending themselves in the middle of the room from the onslaught. After taking out all the Formers, they headed up the stairs and found a crude elevator with a car as a counterweight. Jace moved the car off the elevator with Marcus, and the elevator began heading up. Sam said that it really seemed that Imulsion was the cause of the Lambency, and Jace was worried since they had been exposed to Imulsion as well. Marcus reassured him they would be fine, and that the people at the refinery and at Mercy had been refining it. A Gunker then fell through the elevators roof, and they quickly opened fire on it with all they had, until it fell through the floor and exploded. Jace asked what the hell it was, and Sam explained that she had seen them in Hanover, but not that close, and Jace said he never wanted to see them that close ever again. The elevator reached the top floor, and Marcus told them to find the cable car connecting to the other tower, and Jace hoped it had not been trashed. They found the car loaded with the Imulsion, but it was secured to the building with a safety cable. They fought through more Formers to reach the cable, and after cutting it they finished off the last of the Lambent and returned to the cable car.
- "What the- did he escape?"
- — Jace, after Dizzy contacted them
As they got on the cable car, Dizzy contacted them, and Jace wondered if he had escaped. Dizzy told them that Queen Myrrah was attacking Griffin Tower on her Tempest, and that they should stay away. They looked over and saw the Tempest blasting away at the tower, but Jace then saw her pulling out as her forces moved in to kill the survivors. Marcus told Dizzy to go to the top of the tower and wait for them, and the got on the cable car and began heading over. Jace noticed how far from the ground the cable car was, and he asked Marcus if he thought it would hold. Anya told him they would stand a better chance if they took out the Gas Barges that were heading for them. Two barges flanked them, but they managed to hold them off long enough to make them break off when the cable car reached the tower, much to Jace's relief. They landed three floors below the roof, and began fighting their way to the roof, assisting the surviving Stranded they came across. Dizzy contacted them again and said he and Griffin were pinned down on the roof, and Jace was annoyed to see Shriekers join the fight as well. They climbed a ladder to reach the roof, and fought through the Locust forces until they reached Dizzy and Griffin, and killed the last of the attacking Locust. Griffin was extremely angry with them, accusing them of spreading nothing but death everywhere they went. Marcus lost control, yelling at him that he had lost his brother, and that he, his tower, and fuel could go to hell. Griffin swore he would settle this with them another time, and left on another cable car. Jace and the others took the Imulsion and returned to the truck, filling it back up and continuing on to Endeavour.
Mission to Endeavor
Repairing the Submarine
- "Man! Is that it? I thought we had subs the length of a Thrashball field!"
- — Jace, after seeing the CNV Adamant
After arriving at the naval base and smashing though the gate, Jace jumped down with the others from the back of the truck and assaulted the Locust that defended the shipyard. They took out a number of Shirkers, and Jace directed the others to a turret in the guardhouse next to the gate. They fought past the turret and killed the remaining Locust, and entered Hanger One. They found a rusted naval ship inside, and Jace hoped that not all of the ships were in that poor condition, and suggested they try the next hanger. They also discovered numerous giant cobwebs everywhere, and Dizzy wondered if they were from a spider, but Sam said they did not look like spider webs to her. Jace said he was sure they would find out what had made them soon enough. They left the hanger and crossed over the bridge to the next one, but they were ambushed by more Locust, who unleashed Serapedes to try and kill them. They managed to kill them and the Locust, but Jace wondered what other surprises the Locust had in store for them. They entered Hanger Two and discovered the CNV Adamant inside, and Jace was disappointed with how small it was. Dizzy told him it was just what they needed, and that a smaller sub would be easier to sneak into Azura. Dizzy began inspecting the sub, and told them that they needed a new rotor, as well as fuel. They headed to find a rotor first, and dispatched a group of Wretches and Tickers, but two bay doors opened and dozens of Locust opened fire on them. Jace managed to warn the others, and they took cover and began working their way through the Locust forces. They took out two more turrets, and entered another building to continue their search. Jace found an elevator and suggested continuing their search up top, and Marcus agreed. They rode up and found a ship in dry dock, with a Kantus leading a Locust squad in defending the ship. They killed the Locust, but Gas Barges arrived and dropped reinforcements. They wiped out the reinforcements, and Jace suggested finding a maintenance area in order to locate a rotor. Sam spotted one, and they headed over to investigate it. They discovered a half-finished ship inside, defended by dozens of Locust. Jace yelled at them if they had seen a rotor laying around anywhere, but the Locust did not answer, and Jace said he was just asking. After finishing the Locust off, Jace spotted a rotor, and Marcus used a Mechanical loader to pick it up. Jace, Anya, and Sam escorted him back to the submarine, defending the rotor from Locust attacks, including Reavers. After arriving back at the hanger, they headed out to find fuel for the submarine. They fought through the docks, and found a ship with a fuel tank on it. Marcus said they needed to lower the brow to get aboard, and Jace asked him what the hell a brow was. Marcus yelled at him that it was the ramp, and Jace told him to just say that then. They moved the ramp into position and cleared the rest of the Locust from the ship, and then used a crane to move the fuel into the hanger. As the fuel tank moved into position, another Gas Barge arrived and dropped off Locust reinforcements, but they managed to hold them off long enough for the fuel tank to reach the hanger, and they then returned to the hanger deck.
- "Yeah, over here too! We need to clear them out before we open the next door!"
- — Jace, after Marcus reported that he and Sam had encountered Queen's Guards
With the CNV Adamant repaired, they needed to get it out to the docks and put it into the water so they could leave the base. Dizzy operated the door controls while Jace and the others escorted the ship through the tunnel to the dockyard. They cut through a Locust squad past the first door, and Dizzy opened up the next door for them, with Jace guessing that they would not find a wide assortment of cash and prizes beyond it. He and Anya took position up on the catwalks, and Dizzy opened up the door, revealing a large Locust presence. Jace told the others they need to take them out before they could open the next door, and the Gears engaged the Locust. Jace and Anya took out the Locust on the catwalk and provided covering fire for Marcus and Sam as they moved through the tunnel below them. When they reached the third set of doors, Jace guessed that the Locust were preparing a big send-off for them. Dizzy opened the door, and four Grinders, several Kantus, and Tickers came pouring through, firing on the Gears. However, Jace and the others had the high ground and managed to get the Locust in a crossfire, tearing them to pieces. A Reaver and Shriekers then arrived, but they managed to bring them down as well. The four Gears regrouped and moved past the third door. As they entered the basin, a Armored Kantus jumped down in front of them, and Jace commented that they must have upgraded. They used explosives to kill it, but another one arrived, supported by Palace Guards. Jace and the others managed to kill that one as well, but a third joined the battle with more guards and a Serapede, shortly followed by a fourth with more reinforcements. However, the Gears managed to overcome the Locust, and Marcus flooded the dock so the Adamant could be dropped down by Dizzy. They regrouped with him, and Anya contacted Cole and learned that they had found reinforcements. They then left the port and began their journey to Azura.
Crossing the Ocean
- "Man, this is beautiful, but I've had my fill of ghost towns."
- — Jace, as the Adamant passes by a sunken city
The next day, they were closing in on Azura, and Jace, Marcus, Anya, and Sam each took up position in one of the Adamants guns. They passed by an unknown sunken city, and Jace commented that it was beautiful, but that he had had enough of ghost towns. Dizzy powered up the guns, and Jace commented that he had never used flechette guns before. Sam said they could do with some practice, and they shot their way through an obstacle in the ruins. Jace spotted a lot of explosive mines in the area, and Marcus told them all to keep their eyes open, since they did not come all this way to get killed by their own mines. Several Manglers then began swimming around the submarine, and Jace grew nervous with their presence. They began ramming the ship, and Jace and the others opened fire on them, but the Adamant began taking damage and taking on some water. Dizzy began taking the ship down, but Jace was worried about how far down it could go. Dizzy told him that would not matter if the Manglers smashed the submarine to pieces. However, the Manglers followed them down by using their searchlights, and Dizzy killed the power to them. Jace said that he could not see them to shoot anymore, but Dizzy said he could use the sonar to navigate and avoid them. However, they heard something large nearby, and Marcus told Dizzy to turn the lights on. They spotted a Leviathan bearing down on them, and Dizzy barely managed to avoid it. Dizzy took the submarine back up, but Jace and the others lost track of the Leviathan and wondered where it had gone. It came up behind them, and they opened firing, hoping to drive it away. It rammed them, and Jace reported that it had nearly breached the hull. It charged at them from the front, but they shot it in the face and made it back off. It continued pursuing them, and Jace warned Dizzy that they had entered a minefield. They cut through the field, hoping to drive the Leviathan away using them, and cut a path through the field using the guns. They then went into a tunnel to try and lose it, but it kept sticking its head in and tried to bite the ship. However, they kept driving it off, and Jace yelled that it had picked the wrong day to mess with them. It attempted to pursue them deep into the tunnel, grabbing them with a tentacle, but they managed to blast it off. As it tried to squeeze in after them, it caused part of the tunnel to collapse, crushing itself to death. Jace swore he would never get into a submarine again, and as they moved forward, they spotted Manglers get swept up in the current. They entered a whirlpool, and were tossed around in a circle by the current. Jace said that he was going to puke, but Dizzy managed to get them out of it. They then encountered Azura's torpedo defenses, and Jace and the others destroyed them as Dizzy navigated to an underground tunnel that led to the Azura docks.
Infiltrating the Island
- "So the government shipped people out here? Nice of Prescott to keep us in the loop."
- — Jace, after they arrived at Azura
As the Adamant surfaced, Jace and the others were horrified to see that the Locust had killed the civilians on Azura and dumped many of them into the bay. He was angry that Prescott had shipped people out to the island without telling them, and Dizzy said it must have been only the people he considered important, which they obviously were not. Jace got off the ship with Marcus, Anya, and Sam, while Dizzy hid the submarine underwater in case they needed a quick getaway. They overheard a recording activate, saying how the people at Azura were there for protection, and Jace wondered why Prescott had not spent all his time on the island. They began heading for the nearby train station, taking out several groups of Locust that were nearby. When they reached the station, a train arrived and dropped more Locust off, and blocked the tunnel. After the Locust were killed, Jace wondered what they were going to do now, and they began looking for a way around. They were then contacted by Adam Fenix, and Marcus and Anya spoke to him over the comms, telling them he was locked in his lab in the tower, and that he had a way of killing the Imulsion, which was really a parasitic organism. He gave them directions to a maintenance tunnel that would led to the beach from which they could reach the Maelstrom device and shut it down so the reinforcements could land. They emerged into the heavy rain, and began fighting their way through heavy Locust entrenchments towards the device. Jace was astounded by how much the Locust had entrenched themselves into the island, and Sam noted they must be building a new headquarters. When they came under mortar fire, they cut through a cave to flank the Locust. They found the entrance to the Maelstrom building too reinforced to get through, and began looking around for a side door. They found a Locust tunnel that led back to the train tracks, and as they ran along them, Jace guessed that the Locust had dug in so heavily not because of them, but out of fear of the Lambent. Jace then spotted a light approaching from the other end of the tunnel, and they quickly rushed onto the next platform to avoid getting hit. However, the Locust spotted them, and alerted the rest of the Locust forces on the island to their presence. They secured the platform, and then continued onto the Maelstrom building.
Shutting Down the Maelstorm
- "Wow... look at that... instant summer."
- — Jace, after the Maelstrom device was destroyed
They boarded an elevator and began heading up to the top floor, but it stopped before it got there and the power went out. Marcus said it was likely an ambush, and he was proven correct when Wretches and some Drones came out and attacked them. They managed to restore power, and Adam directed them to find a service ladder so they could reach the top floor. After finding the service ladder, they emerged on a landing platform near the Maelstrom building. They killed a Reaver and fought through more Locust forces, and when they reached the door to the facility, Sam wondered how many years it had taken the government to building, and Jace said he just wanted to know when they had planned to tell them. They took out a Shrieker swarm and more guards at the entrance, and entered the building at an elevator. Adam contacted them to let them know that they needed to shut down three generators in order to shut off the Maelstrom device. They emerged into an office and took out two Locust guarding it, and they then entered the generator room, which was heavily guarded by Locust. As they secured the room, they shut down the three switches, but it failed to shut down the Maelstrom. Adam said the Locust must have set up a backup supply somewhere else, and suggested cutting off the coolant, which would destroy the building. They entered the coolant room, and fought through multiple Palace Guards and Armored Kantus to shut down the five coolant valves. After shutting down the last valve, they ran through the building as it began exploding, barely making it outside before it exploded completely. After they caught their breath, they watched as the storm surrounding the island cleared up, and Jace was impressed by how quickly it worked. They established contact with Baird and Cole, who arrived alongside the Gorasni and COG fleet, and dozens of King Ravens began landing all over the island. Baird and Cole arrived at their location with a repaired JACK, and Marcus broke the news to them about Dom. They were upset and angry, and Marcus ordered Jace and Sam to get on the Raven and return to the ship in order to help direct the troop landing. Jace told him that they needed them there with him, but he told them it was not negotiable, and they reluctantly got on the Raven and went to the Gorasni flagship.
Jace and Sam eventually rejoined the battle with the next wave of Gears, and after the Imulsion countermeasure was activated and Queen Myrrah was defeated, he joined hundreds of other Gears in gathering around Pinnacle Tower to meet the rest of Delta and celebrate the end of the war. Dizzy and Clay joined them, and they all talked with each other until they noticed Marcus and Anya sitting on the beach together, staring out at the sunset. Jace and the rest of Delta looked at them in silence, and reflected on all they had lost, but realizing that they had finally won their wars and could look forward to a future at last.
Personality and Traits
Though he was a spiritual man, Jace doubts a higher power due to the onslaught of the Locust Horde, which is why he is kind-hearted and remembers the hardship he had on Emergence Day when his family was killed. Jace took it abound himself to make sure Lily not only made it to Jacinto City, but that her parents would too, feeling that it would make up for his own families death.
Jace lost part of his left ear during a battle against the Locust. Jace was very smart and anaylitical, managing to even impress Baird by listening to him and helping him figure out what happened to the Harvest and other vessels attacked by the Lambent.
- "When we were kids, we'd hear stories about the bogeymen,. People said they came from underground... that they stole children in the night. It freaked the Hell out of us...but we know deep down that it was just a story. We kids made it up to frighten each other. We could always take comfort in the fact the boogeymen weren't for real. They couldn't hurt you. They where make-believe. If only that were true."
- — Jace Stratton on the legend of the boogeyman.
- "Before E-day, we used to bury the dead...but there wasn't much space left in Jacinto for plots or cemeteries. And even more so...there was no damn way we were ever gonna put our people into the ground again. Beneath us was hell...heaven's above...and that's where we all deserve to be."
- — Jace's thoughts on Gil's funeral.
Behind the Scenes
- Jace is the protagonist of the Gears of War: Hollow and Gears of War: Barren comic series.
- In the comic, Jace wears the same armor as Fenix out of hero worship. In Gears of War 2, he wears the standard Gear armor.
- The toy monkey that young Jace kept in Issue 1 is seen again in Issue 6 when Jace gave it to Lily.
- Jace is voiced by Nolan North in Gears of War 2. Originally, he was going to be voiced by Drake in Gears of War 3, but a scheduling conflict prevented him from working with Epic Games. He was replaced by Michael B. Jordan. In RAAM's Shadow, a younger Jace was voiced by Justin Shaw.
- A exclusive action figure of Jace was available at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con.
- At one point Jace was going to die. Jace was supposed to die when the ship blew up at the beginning of Gears of War 3.
- RAAM's Shadow
- The Slab
- Hollow (First appearance)
- One Day
- Gears of War 2
- The Quickening
- Harper's Story
- Jacinto's Remnant (Mentioned only)
- Anvil Gate
- Coalition's End
- Gears of War 3