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Sergeant Major of the Army Craig Randall SM (COG tags CSID 24A134-5BC54-LD) was a Gear who fought in the end of the Pendulum Wars and in the Locust War, and later became a prominent figure in Clayvale's Confederation of Ordered Governments.
Craig was born into a family of upper-class Ephyrans. He attended a private school, and lived a relatively normal childhood for an individual of his background. In his later school years, he became involved in a relationship with a classmate, Ellen Huron. They remained together through their graduation, and maintained a long distance relationship when Craig joined the COG Army, as was standard for firstborn Tyran males during the Pendulum Wars.
Craig served with the 26th Royal Tyran Infantry Battalion in the Ostri Republic during the final days of the Pendulum Wars, taking part in some of the most brutal battles of the entire conflict. During this brief period, Craig ascended to the rank of Corporal.
A month before the end of the war, Randall's platoon was ambushed by Ostrini soldiers. Much of Craig's platoon were killed and Craig himself was left with a large laceration across his face from an Ostrini bayonet. Randall would be pulled from duty until after the signing of the armistice, something which frustrated him considerably.
However, as Craig and his fellow Gears were unloading from the boat and reuniting with their families, an enormous, spider-like monster opened up what seemed to be a sinkhole, from which hideous, well-armed bipedal creatures began to emerge. These strange creatures immediately opened fire, indiscriminately murdering Gears and innocent civilians alike. Confusion quickly erupted, and Craig grabbed a Lancer and began to fight back against the unknown attackers. Meanwhile, his loved ones, like other nearby civilians, were grabbed by navy sailors and pulled onto the boat, which attempted to leave the pier so that the creatures could not reach them. But as it departed from shore, the monsters boarded the ship, quickly taking control of its weapons. The beasts began to open fire on other COG vessels, which, rather than allowing the Gears and sailors aboard to regain control of the ship's guns from the enemy, simply fired several salvos at it, destroying the ship and killing most of those aboard. Out of those whom Craig knew, his younger sister Madeline was the only person to survive the destruction of the boat, having been dragged to shore by a brave Gear whom was shot and killed almost immediately upon making it back to dry land.
Craig and his sister Madison eventually made it safely out of Porta Ogari on a King Raven. Madison would be mute for almost six months following this, and Craig would be left incredibly distraught by the sudden and wholly unexpected loss.
Hammer of Dawn CounterattackEdit
Approximately one year after the initial Locust attacks of what was now known as Emergence Day, the COG made the decision to carry out a drastic offensive campaign against the Locust attackers. The COG's mighty orbital wonderweapon, the Hammer of Dawn, would be used extensively to raze large portions of Sera's surface, in hopes of demoralizing the horde through sheer casualties. The only location guaranteed safety from these attacks would be the seemingly impenetrable Jacinto Plateau, where layers of thick granite beneath the surface made it nearly impossible for Locust to emerge. All people living outside the plateau were provided with three days notice to abandon their homes and head for Jacinto, or they would face the possibility of being caught in an area targeted by the Hammer of Dawn.
During the offensive, Craig was assigned to be a joint fires observer for Hammer of Dawn operators back in Jacinto, spotting targets, coordinating firing solutions, and observing effects on target. Randall knew this was to be a dangerous job, as though precautions would be taken to keep fires observers safe, there was still always the risk of unforeseen collateral damage. What Randall did not anticipate, however, was quite how harrowing the experience would be. Not only could Randall see the Locust being obliterated by the Hammer strikes, but also the horrific deaths of the innocent men, women, and children caught in the crossfire.
Many of the Gears operating in a JFO role during the counterattack deserted or requested to be relieved of duty, being unable to handle watching so many innocents die. Those who stayed and saw their duty through to the end were rewarded, with Randall receiving a promotion to Sergeant as well as being made second in command of his squad, Yankee-Two, upon returning to Ephyra. However, the horrors he witnessed during the counterattack had started shaking his faith in the COG, and would affect him deeply on an emotional level for years to come.
Meeting Amanda Morrison & Colin DavisEdit
In the years to come, Randall would become increasingly numbed by the horrors of the war with the Locust. In 2 A.E., Yankee-Two's commander, Michael Polk, was killed, and Craig would take his place as squad leader. The war dragged on, and Craig witnessed countless soldiers and civilians perish at the hands of the relentless Locust Horde. Despite growing personal doubts that the war against the Locust could ever be won, Randall fought on with distinction, earning him the attention and praise of his superiors.
Approximately three and a half years after E-Day, Randall was selected to aid in a breeding program meant to help keep the population up. Although somewhat wary about the concept, Craig was longing for intimacy after the years of combat, and was willing to get it where he could, assuming the sexual encounter would be consensual. However, upon arriving in Madrigal to take part in the program, Craig was mortified to discover that his partner was a terrified seventeen-year-old girl. Angered, Craig went to the facility administration, who informed him that these women were doing their mandatory duty to serve the COG, and that he was required to spend the night with the girl.
While Craig would spend the night with the girl, named Amanda Morrison, he would not sleep with her. Morrison explained that she her parents had died on E-Day, and that she and her sister Natalie Morrison had traveled to Jacinto just prior to the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack in hopes of finding safety. Homeless, COG authorities soon picked the girls up off the streets, and they were sent to Madrigal to serve in one of the new "birthing creches". However, Amanda and her older sister were both unable to conceive through in-vitro fertilization, and thus more "traditional" impregnation methods were tried. Amanda and Natalie were both raped several times by several decorated Gears, but Natalie turned eighteen without having conceived a single child, and was thus sent off to serve in the Army.
Despite this negative first experience in the creches, Craig would return again and again, for no other reason than to try to protect Amanda from potentially being raped again. Over time, the two began to develop romantic feelings for each other. For a time, they repressed these feelings, mostly due to the age disparity between them, but eventually, they would be revealed, and the two would use each other for emotional support. However, Amanda soon turned eighteen, and while Randall managed to convince the administration to hold off sending her to the Army (an almost certain death sentence) for several months, he was eventually given an ultimatum: get Amanda pregnant, or never see her again. Reluctantly, Craig agreed, and miraculously succeeded in getting Amanda pregnant.
In the meantime, in Frost of 4 A.E. Yankee-Two was transferred to platoon Iota-357, under the command of Captain Donald Berkeley. The platoon was deployed to the city of Majosa to defend a weapons factory, and it was here where Randall met fellow squad leader Colin Davis, a Pendulum Wars veteran and former Stranded. Both former members of the "Unvanquished" 26th Royal Tyran Infantry, Randall and Davis became fast friends, earning each other's utmost respect through their skill and valor on the battlefield, and Randall found Davis' peculiar eccentricities to be quirky and endearing. While Majosa would ultimately be lost to the Locust, Iota-357 would destroy the factory before the Locust could reach it.
Fatherhood & the Siege of MadrigalEdit
During her pregnancy, Craig continued to visit Amanda in the Madrigali birthing farms. Despite not knowing how it would or could work out, Craig was determined to be a father to his child and to help Amanda raise them. In 5 A.E., Amanda went into labor. A healthy baby girl was the result, and the couple named her Natalie, after Amanda's older sister, whom Craig had unfortunately discovered had died in combat.
Their happiness soon turned to horror, however, when Locust began to emerge in Madrigal just days later, laying siege to the city and its farms. The city's main defenses were quickly overrun, and reinforcements were called from Jacinto. In the meantime, however, Randall would need to help defend the farms from the Locust until help could arrive. Initially, the administrator of the Madrigal creches, Damian Gregor, insisted on arming every man, woman and child and sending them against the Locust, but Randall refused to allow this to happen, telling Gregor that no one other than trained Gears should have to experience the hell of fighting the Locust, and that if he did arm them all, Randall would make sure it was Gregor who went into battle first. Faced with risking his own life as well, Gregor reluctantly agreed to let the Gears handle the situation themselves.
Eventually, however, the creches, despite being heavily defended, were overrun as emergence holes began opening within them. COG forces finally abandoned the farms just as the first responders from the Jacinto Plateau began to arrive, which included Randall's platoon, Iota-357.
Fall of TurinEdit
Fall of NanikawaEdit
The War Drags OnEdit
Battle of EphyraEdit
Mission to EphyraEdit
Personality & TraitsEdit
Prior to E-Day, Randall was patriotic, idealistic, and naïve. He believed strongly in the COG and its ideals, and was proud to fight for those ideals. He was a model soldier: loyal, dependable, and ready to push himself in order to achieve what he wanted. Yet Randall was also a kind, gentle soul at heart, caring and compassionate, and dedicated to his family and loved ones. His family and friends were a central part of his life, and he cared for them deeply.
E-Day was when Randall first began to change from bright-eyed idealist to weary cynic. The shock of losing almost everyone he cared about all at once left Randall numb, and the burden of being left to care for his family's home and belongings as well as his traumatized sister would quickly leave him emotionally exhausted. Still, Randall initially had faith that the might of the COG would keep humanity alive and grounded during the fight against the newfound Locust threat, but that soon began to wane thanks the horrors he witnessed during the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack.
Still, Randall dedicated himself as much as he could to the military, hoping that the situation would somehow improve. But every death and every loss and every hollow pyrrhic victory wore on him. Despite his best efforts to stay optimistic, deep down he feared that the war with the Locust was lost already.
The birthing creches were the final nail in the coffin for Randall's faith in the COG. But in the creches, Randall also found something to fight for: Amanda Morrison. Coming to visit Amanda every few weeks gave Randall something to look forward to, and his resolve began to strengthen once more. It was around this time that Randall also met Colin Davis, a quirky, charismatic Pendulum Wars veteran whose liveliness Randall found infectious.
- Unlike most experienced Gears, Craig favors the combat helmet.
- Due to the events of E-Day, Craig has a fear of boats. Although he is willing to ride them, he typically feels uneasy and on-edge while doing so.