This is a super-speculative theory that I've been thinking of and refining for days now. I've seen all of the collectibles and read most of the books. Based on all the information we have so far of the Locust, I decided to compile one gigantic super theory on why and how the Locust exist. It is a very, very, very, long read. So, for those who are really into the Locust, read on.
Chapter 1: The Kantus
The Kantus are a very peculiar species. They seem to be the far more cultured of the Locust Horde. They are able to manipulate wildlife behaviors through very specific sounds and tones that may be inaudible to the human ear. They are evolved as Reptile-like creatures with callous and cracked skin and are very tall and slender in figure. The Kantus have exceedingly long life spans and are able to compile their wisdom and experience.
My theory on the Kantus's ability to control the Hollow creatures come from certain sound waves and patterns that irritate or soothe their consciousness. The Hollow is a very dark place and creatures undoubtedly evolved on senses of smell and sound than sight. The Kantus likely evolved an ability to produce certain sound waves that can trigger certain behaviors in other species in order to survive from Hollow predators like Corpsers. This gift was eventually refined and Kantus were able to learn to emit acute sounds to elicit specific results.
I believe that the Kantus are responsible for the massive tunnels that are dug throughout the hollow. All the old engravings and gateways are the works of the ancient Kantus civilization. The Kantus were once a very peaceful race that cherished nature and cared for its surroundings. Seeing as the Kantus were able to control the native creatures of the Hollow, it is not farfetched to believe that their culture and ways embraced them and sought not to harm their obedient companions. They established schools and institutionalized religions. The Kantus believed in the Trinity of Worms and the absolute sanctity of rockworms.
The Kantus had used Imulsion for primitive fuel to light torches. They also developed pulley and gear-oriented technology for heavy lifting that their rather brittle bodies could not handle. The great Kantus civilization centered itself under Mt. Kadar at Nexus but had very far-reaching outposts throughout Sera.
The Kantus were vastly intelligent in all matters biological. Kantus doctors could heal grievous injuries. They were very advanced in the making of poisons, plant extracts, and concentrated pheromones. They lived with the Hollow creatures in peace, with the exception of a few religious disputes and crusades against opposing Kantus cults.
Chapter 2: Crusade
In the very beginning of Kantus civilization, there were various factions that worshiped different animals. They recorded and passed down knowledge of songs and sounds that could control behaviors of different species. Vast libraries of information, sketches, and biological studies often lined the walls. At first, several primitive sects and shamanistic tribes were scattered throughout the Inner Hollows. In time, they soon developed into independent states. It was not long before conflict arose between the different tribes. The Trinity of Worms Clan was by far the largest tribe. Its culture was influenced greatly by the strength and endurance of the docile rockworm and their prime deity the Riftworm. The Warriors of the Trinity wore arm bands and shin guards made of blessed rockworm hide, not unlike Skorge's armor in appearance. Primitive weapons of all Kantus included spears, spades, and scythes. The Trinity increased in size and eventually declared a crusade against all other Kantus clans. The ensuing war was quick and clean. Wielding the gargantuan Riftworm, the other tribes were quickly subjugated, converted, and assimilated in a relatively bloodless battle. Much of the assimilated tribes had their scrolls and knowledge archived for future use and taming of their respective beasts should the need arise.
Only one tribe eluded conquest. They were the infamous black Kantus priests that controlled the Kryll with utmost perfection. Their low rumbling chants instilled fear in all. The Trinity greatly feared the Kryll and stayed far from their breeding grounds. However, after years of fighting, the fearsome Kryll-callers were nearing defeat. In one final stand, they united in an unholy chorus that brought forth endless masses of Kryll. The Kryll attacked the Riftworm and caused it great injury. In the end, the Riftworm was still able to topple the final Shadow stronghold at great cost to itself. Once the dark chorus was violently silenced, the Kryll simply dispersed. After the battle, the Riftworm burrowed in the Hollows and simply disappeared into the vast caves, whether in hibernation to heal its wounds or in death. The Riftworm had ceased to respond to Trinity calls and was nowhere to be found. In spiteful retribution, the Trinity ordered the cleansing of all the Shadow priests' libraries and burned all records of its existence save for a few scraps of information long forgotten.
Once their rule was ensured, the united Kantus civilization was ushered into an age of peace, innovation, invention, science, culture, religion, and philosophy. They refined their beliefs and renounced violence. The armor of the Trinity Knights was retired except for ceremonial use. The Trinity of Worms religion trumped all others and bound all Kantus together into one. They expanded their land rapidly and chiseled great forts from the rock. The story of the Riftworm soon faded into a documented legend and many wondered when their god would return once again.
Chapter 3: The Drone Horde
Drones are a bipedal, humanoid Hollow-native species. They are evolved to have an extremely sturdy skeletal system and robust muscles. Their brutality is matched only by their numbers. Consisting of a vast majority of males, the Drones are driven by a divided tribal culture that competes for female mates. The Drones are a direct contrast to the Kantus; they are violent, savage, and primitive.
Strength and power are the only two needs of Drone society. Those who are weak are invariably killed or left to starve. Leadership conflicts are constant happenings. The Drones idolize and follow those who they believe are strong. Drones believe in only one philosophy: Trial by Fire. Only those who have proven their worth in battle are allowed to command.
The Drones never had a centralized society up until a certain point. Opposing tribes always squabbled over territory, food, and fuel. Drones have relatively short biological lifespans but live even shorter lives in the unforgiving Hollow. Old Drones that cannot work are ostracized and starve. Old leaders are often overthrown by the young and reckless.
The greatest test for any Drone leader is the fight for a mate. In order to prove his strength to his subjects, Drone leaders spar against Berserkers single-handedly. If the Drone is able to prove himself to the hard-shelled Berserker through brute force and convincing pheromones, then it will submit to him to be mated with in front of all the onlookers. Through this system, the Drones practiced extremely primitive eugenics, in that only the strongest are allowed to breed the next generation.
Berserkers are a phenomenon because of their difference from the rest of the Drones. They are large and might have evolved their infamously hard shells and aggression from predators picking female Drones for easy snacks. At birth, Berserkers are larger than Drones and have a vastly different facial structure and harder kin composition. They grow rapidly for 5 years before maturing physically and sexually where they remain relatively the same for the rest of their lives. Roughly one Berserker is born per 100 Drones. Berserkers are similar to Queen Ants in that they can produce multiple offspring from one copulation. From analyzing a Berserker's anatomy, I dare speculate that they carry offspring in their back, until it is released by opening the entire area and releasing multiple newborn Drones, (roughly the size of an 18 year old human)
Young Drones undergo a rapid growth period in which their height, weight, and muscle mass grows exponentially within the course of 2-3 years. The Drones that we see in the Gears games are merely children with the most rudimentary knowledge and training.
After this short growth period, depending on the amount nutrition and essential minerals are taken in, Drones are roughly 6-10 ft. tall. Very well-nourished Drones may begin to molt their skin as soon as they finish their growth period. However, for most Drones, their skin starts to molt at the age of 5-10 and begins its hardening process. During this time, Drones become naturally aggressive and prone to recklessness. In addition, facial features change and their teeth become more pronounced. Drones begin this process during adolescence and continue up until their adult life. In the Gears games, they would be Grenadiers.
At last, a Drone that completes its molting phase is an extreme rarity considering Drone culture. These Drones are the most revered of all considering their experiences. Their aggression mellows out into patient plotting. Once again, at this stage, their facial features change again. However, biologically, their voices do not. In the Gears games, they are the Therons.
Chapter 4: The Unification of the Horde
At some point in history, the Drones are united under one sweeping conquest. Very similar to the flight of Genghis Khan of the Mongols, one brilliant Theron Warlord systematically conquers all the smaller tribes and assimilates its people. This Warlord captured Berserkers and forces their rape in order to boost war numbers and to deflate the enemy's. In this tumultuous time, numerous weapons were to support the war effort. Technology boomed under his jurisdiction. Torque Bows, Mauler Shields, Flails, Cleavers, Digger Launchers, Bolo Grenades, and others were invented in this time. The dreaded war machines were also created. Wild Tickers sabotage enemy supplies. Bloodmounts and Wretches decimate infantry. Brumaks, Siege Beasts, and Torture Barges were invented to destroy enemy fortifications. Large creatures were restrained against their will in large cranking steel structures that directed their movement. There were no firearms then, so Brumaks were giant battering rams and Torture Barges were siege towers.
In order to feed the growing masses of newborn Drones, the Warlord slaughtered the thriving Rockworm species. Rockworms were once found throughout the Hollows in infinitely abundant numbers. Wherever the Drone Empire moved, their numbers were hunted to near extinction.
The Warlord also invented the Boomer class. Taking selectively large newborn Drones, he ordered that they be confined to a life of food gorging. Boomers were sheltered and fed like kings until they reached a point of inhumane obesity. Over-consumption of heavy-metal laden foods (Rockworm) has detrimental effects on brain development (Real science). Boomers are fed to the desired size and then told one word pertaining to their role. Ex: "Charge!" He deployed this devastating class of large warriors into the fray. Boomers were vital to the army and were often deployed on suicide missions that reasonable Drones were a bit reluctant to carry out. They were an excellent front line soldier able to sponge numerous injuries while dealing unrepairable damage to enemy numbers, morale, and infrastructure.
The Warlord and his successors had eventually completely united all the Drone populations throughout Sera in one violent stroke. Under his iron-fist, an empire built on war and brutality expanded its size with ever increasing tenacity.
Chapter 5: When Worlds Collide
As the Drone Empire grew exponentially in size and strength, they were bound to encounter another indigenous species: the Kantus. First contact was made several centuries before E-Day. The Kantus encountered new life outside one of their outer settlements. Drone hunting parties were slaughtering the holy rockworm by the thousands for food. With haste, the local Kantus leadership sought to intervene this sacrilege. However, miscommunication and quick aggression by Grenadiers turned the encounter bloody. With its local leadership dead at first contact, the Kantus outpost fell quickly to the ensuing Drone siege. Kantus calls relayed a message of high alert to all nearby cities.
The Kantus were largely unarmed and unprepared for the coming onslaught. City after city fell to the Drone Horde. The Kantus warrior monks were no match for the sheer force and might of the Horde. The Kantus were at an extreme disadvantage in the war. They were caught completely off-guard, did not have war technology, were not evolved to be as physically strong, and did not reproduce nearly as fast as Drones did. At this point, the Kantus began to change their ways.
Putting their minds to the anvil, the Kantus created numerous weapons and strategies to combat the Horde. The Kantus thought of many clever ways to route Horde forces and stop sieges. Imulsion moats and the pouring of hot imulsion onto enemy forces below was only one method of defense. The Kantus would often place Corpser nests near their cities and pacify the Corpser matriarch with their hymns. During a siege, the hymns would suddenly become shrill and violent, spurring the Corpsers inside into hysteria. Spotting the nearest threat, often a barraging Brumak or an imposing Torture Barge, the Corpsers would wreak havoc on Drone forces and war machines. As a result, Brumaks are soon bred to attack Corpsers on sight and in time, the behaviors become mutual.
The Kantus also exploited the Nemacyst, an Imulsion consuming creature that propelled itself with a mixture of deadly gases. The Nemacyst traveled in large numbers and were attracted to the smell of ink pheromones left by other Nemacyst as well as imulsion fumes. The Kantus were able to use concentrated pheromones in order to lure "Nemacyst airstrikes" as well as develop noxious Ink Grenades for handy uses.
Lastly, the Kantus tamed the Reavers. Kantus were able to mount the Reaver. However, only very few Kantus were able to handle the pressures of high-speed flight. The constant direction of Reavers by voice in high-speed flight and wind noise is almost impossible. Therefore, Reaver riders in Kantus society were rare but treasured immensely. Ink bombing and behind the lines infiltration were enabled by the Reavers' flight.
Centuries of constant fighting and siege made the Kantus more violent. They began to border savagery. Despite their defenses, more and more cities were falling and their capital in Nexus would soon be in peril. Leadership disputes began to arise throughout the settlements. Some Kantus sects began to turn against the instituted Trinity of Worms. For practical uses, some Kantus themselves began to harvest rockworms for necessary food and armor. Many Kantus began creating war machines for their own purposes, defying their own philosophy of gentleness with nature. Ticker bombings begin to be deployed by the Kantus. The central Kantus government became increasingly desperate. The Kantus looked to the past for answers. Their Riftworm god had forsaken them but its cursed counterpart, the Kryll, still flocked in abundance. Secret studies into the dangerous forbidden art of "Kryll calling" were beginning to make progress as Kantus scholars searched for surviving documents of the ancient Shadow Priests. The demons of their past would now prove to be their redemption.
In the final decades of the war, the Kantus began to plot one final counterattack. Anatomical studies of Drones yielded that all soldiers were male, regardless of rank or role. Kantus doctors were able to create a concentrated male pheromone. The Kantus government developed a secret unit of Kantus to destroy the Drone threat no matter the cost. Their mission was to eliminate the illusive female Drones to decimate Locust numbers. These elite Kantus wore Armored Kantus equipment and usually signified a 'dead man walking'. They were taught in the very basics of Kryll-calling but at the time were still unable to control their feeding. Calling the Kryll was almost certainly suicide. The Elite Kantus were given the full blessings of the Kantus Hierarchy to do their solemn duty and die with honor.
The Armored Kanti rode on Reaver to scout the Drones. They eventually discovered the heart of the Drone encampments. In a typical operation, the Armored Kantus rode alone and infiltrates the Drone encampment. Then it enters the Berserker breeding den where it lures them with the male pheromones into submission. Then, their guard is down, it silently assassinates all of them using some sort of injected poison. Only Berserkers that react violently to all outside stimuli are spared from this fate. The Elite Kantus then attempts an escape. If none is possible, it creates one last supersonic screech that spur the Kryll. All Drones and the Kantus perish in the feeding. Only the violent Berserkers (if any) remain amongst the devastation.
This coordinated counter-attack proves fatal to the Drone army. Their numbers quickly whittle down as their short life span and low reproduction rates take their toll. The Berserker population is dangerously low and the remaining Berserkers are nigh impossible to mate with, aside from coordinated restraint. The Kantus have finally turned the tide of the war, but at an immense cost.
Chapter 6: Peace Amongst Beasts
It is now roughly 200-100 years before E-Day. Both sides of the war are devastated. Neither side can afford to continue the war effort. An uneasy ceasefire is unofficially made. Theron leadership, who once despised the Kantus for being weak, now grudgingly respect them for their resilience and fierce retaliation. Drones live with a shortage of food because of the decimated rockworm population. Average Drone height shrinks and Boomers soon become a rarity. Over the centuries, both cultures had changed remarkably. The Drones, in order to combat the Kantus, had become more clever and conniving. Kantus, in order to combat the Drones, became more savage and blood-thirsty. Soon both their cultures are not so different from one another anymore.
The Kantus begin to clean up the ruined fractures of their civilization. Nexus remains under Trinity governance, but many political factions spring up throughout various settlements. Most are violently crushed, but one rogue sect: The Kryll-Callers resist submission and try to recruit others to their cause. The surviving Elite Kantus are relieved of their armor and duties. The armor suits are displayed in Nexus as the saviors of the Kantus race and are considered to be artifacts in their own right.
The Drones regroup and retreat to a central camp outside Nexus. The remaining violent Berserkers are herded together by lesser Drones that fear for their lives. The remaining Drones are few and hungry but manage their existence. Theron and Kantus diplomatic talks begin for the exchange of food and weapons. The Drones and the Kantus form an uneasy alliance and begin to expand their lands again. They are known to the COG as the Locust.
Chapter 7: New Fronts
(VERY SUBJECT TO SPECULATION)
The Pendulum Wars have begun. As the humans battle above ground, their waste and weapons rain down to the Hollows below. Human mining operations begin to dig deeper and deeper underground and begin to incur on Locust lands. First contact with wild wretches and forgotten tribes of unarmed drones is possible. The anatomy of the muscular Drone catches the attention of COG Command. The secret New Hope facility is established near Mt. Kadar where first human-drone contact was made. Studies of Drone muscle mass, bone density, and adrenaline systems are the keys to a super-soldier. Both genders are used in the ensuing genetic experiments to observe results.
When New Hope is shut down, the successful hybrids are taken to Mt. Kadar. The failures are kept in tanks as Sires. One young hybrid, Myrrah, is extremely intelligent and deceptively strong. The scientists bring much of their portable technology and equipment with them. When they arrive, they encounter a Drone patrol. The Drones sense their own kind among the scientists and hesitate.
The hybrids break their bonds and escape from the scientists. The Drones gun down the humans but see the hybrids as their own. The Hybrids produce Drone hormones, but look human. However, being born in the Hollows, Drones rely more on smell than sight. They are taken in to Nexus. Myrrah takes the scientists' state-of-art equipment and information with her.
The other hybrids die under unknown circumstances. Only Myrrah remains. She properly introduces the Locust to firearms and reverse engineering. She provides the Locust with computers and electronic databases. She empowers the army with reverse-engineered customized COG weapons. Hammerbursts, Gorgons, Boomshots, Gnashers, and Boltoks are mass-produced. The scientists' specialty of genetics and neuroscience enable her to make war machines deadlier than ever. She leads the production of helmets placed on the beasts in order to make them remotely controllable without the use of Kantus calls or forced manipulation. Brumaks, Corpsers, Reavers, Nemacysts, Bloodmounts, and more are all tamed to perfection. With the taming of Nemacysts, previously useless Seeders become their appointed mortars. Nemacysts are ejected from a Seeder and then remotely lead to a target. The more primitive beasts fall out of favor and are forgotten.
Kantus and Drone worship Myrrah for her strength, wisdom, and seemingly divine gifts that she has bestowed onto them. Both races, now united under their new Queen Myrrah are ushered into a golden age. Drones restore their numbers through both cloning AND coordinated Berserker rape. Drone ranks and a hierarchy system is established. Therons now require voice modification by trained Kanti to prove their rank. The Kantus are relegated to their native religious and intellectual roles as scholars. The Trinity of Worms religion is revised to include Queen Myrrah as a goddess.
Roughly 40 years before E-Day, the Queen soon begins campaigns to remove all resistance to her rule. At around the same time, the Kryll-Caller faction disappears from their temples and venture into the unexplored dark hollows to escape persecution.
Domesticated rockworm meat and strict food rationing wipe out hunger, but reduce Drones to a standard height of 6 ft. Drones are converted into the Trinity of Worms religion. The Locust Horde has reached its peak.
Chapter 8: The Hierarchy of the Locust and the Subsequent Lambent Invasion
Drones, under the standard food rationing, grew to an average of 6 ft. They are given rudimentary education on their assigned role and are to work without question. All Drones must undergo mandatory military service or training.
Grenadiers are adult Drones. They are irrational, aggressive, and violent, but at times can be sadistically conniving. Due to their constant skin molting process, Grenadiers voluntarily remove their armor as it is uncomfortable and restricting. It is a combination of daring bravado, comfort, and pride. Because of the tendencies of a Grenadier in battle, they have a very low life expectancy. However, those that survive wounds return with even harder skin and more bloodlust. Grenadiers that survive battles, constantly prove themselves on the front lines, and live long enough to become an Elder Drone are promoted to Therons.
Therons have different but similar facial structure to Grenadiers. Their voices do not change naturally. All Therons are to become apprentices of the Kantus in order to be officially promoted. As apprentices, they are educated on military tactics, religion, and learn to wield the Torque Bow. When enlightened Therons graduate from Kantus apprenticeship, they must endure the process of throat scarification. It is a ritualistic process that only a Kantus can perform successfully. A Theron must endure the pain of a ritual knife scrapping the inside of its throat. The result is a Theron with an hoarse voice to prove its official status as a full-fledged Theron Guard. Its voice is impossible to replicate by any natural Drone's vocal chords.
Boomers still exist for the sole purpose of heavy duty labor, but must also undergo military training.
A few years before E-Day, the first Lambent Drone is reported. Similar cases spread throughout outposts located near Imulsion. Further research of Imulsion reveals its true identity as a dormant parasite. Myrrah orders a complete cleansing of all affected sites, but the infection spreads too quickly. The entire Horde is militarized and mobilized against this new and foreign threat but it is too much. There is simply too much Imulsion. Thousands of Drones turn lambent everyday. Victory is almost impossible. There is no way to escape the Imulsion, unless...
Queen Myrrah looks to the surface, remembering the horrors of New Hope and the petty squabbles amongst the destructive humans above. Their refinement of the Imulsion only sped up its mutation rate. She enlists Adam Fenix's aid. He fails to help her in time, and the Lambent begin to win the war.
Queen Myrrah has no other choice for her people and gives the order to "Rise."
Thank you for taking the time to read the entire theory if you did. If you simply skimmed it, thanks anyway.
If anyone could provide constructive criticism, comments, or opinions, that would be great. I know this is flawed and speculative in many ways but I tried to make it as comprehensive as humanly possible. So please, do take the time to read at least some of it and give me some ideas on what I could revise.
Edit: I have recently revised my theory to include some details of the Savage Kantus prior to being united under the Trinity of Worms. I have also added details hinting to and contributing to my theory of General RAAM. You can read that here: http://forums.epicgames.com/threads/...-came-to-be%29
Thanks everyone for reading and the positive comments!