closesecond: (Default)
How's my driving? Post here to contact the mun for any comments, questions, ideas, feedback, dirty jokes, fantasy baseball advice, etc.
closesecond: (One Vision - One Purpose)
The Command & Conquer canon can be a confusing and contradictory mess - mostly because Westwood (and later, EA) were largely making everything up as they went along. The most obvious problem is that it's hard to see exactly how the Tiberium series and the Red Alert series fit together. Somewhat understandably, EA has taken the position that they are two separate universes. This removes the confusion and ambiguity, but is nonetheless unsatisfying. It's hard to ignore the fact that Kane undeniably appears in the Soviet campaign of the first game. You can't just explain that away. (Also, I'll be damned if I ever acknowledge what EA says about anything).

This leads some fans to make the claim that the Soviet ending of the first Red Alert (in which it is implied that, sometime around the mid-90s, the Brotherhood will eventually engineer the collapse of the Soviet state that now dominates Eurasia after Stalin's victory) is the only part of the Red Alert series that is canonical to the Tiberium universe. The level of technology present in the First Tiberium War, they claim, is not compatible with the events that occur in the Third World War.

There are two problems with this argument. First, which TW1 tech level do you mean? In Tiberian Dawn, the tech level for both GDI and Nod was rather more grounded. For instance, Nod's light tanks were repurposed and modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, probably purchased from another nation's surplus. Weapons like the Orca gunship, orbital ion cannon, stealth tank, and Obelisk of Light do exist, but these are portrayed as bleeding-edge technology that has only recently been developed. However, in the first-person shooter Renegade, which depicts the same time period, everything gets a bit more G.I. Joe-ish, and more closely resembles the futuristic technology portrayed in Tiberian Sun. Soldiers are equipped with laser rifles, the Nod light tank is a sleek original design, and Nod has already begun Tiberium-based genetic enhancement. These portrayals are not at all consistent with each other.

The second problem is that the political climate of the First Tiberium War is not compatible with a Soviet victory over Europe in World War II. The political borders on the campaign map match their post-RL Cold War alignment. It's hard to imagine that Konigsberg would not belong to Germany in a post-Soviet-Eurostate world. Remember that there were no Nazis in the Red Alert 'verse. (This makes even less sense after an Allied victory which isn't followed by another World War - the unconquered Prussia would still be German). And Germany was not the only country whose borders are incompatible with this version of history.

Furthermore, the existence of the UN (which didn't come into being until after World War II in RL, and probably in the C&C 'verse as well) seems hard to justify. After conquering Europe, would the Soviet commander who succeeded the assassinated Stalin as premier really have suffered it to exist? If any international authority existed, it would have been dominated by the Soviets. The UN could have been formed post-collapse, but this would be a nascent organization, which is inconsistent with the long secret history within the UN that GDI is said to have. Furthermore, America's prominence within GDI as depicted in game makes more sense within the context of an American victory over the Soviets. In short, the political climate of Tiberian Dawn just feels too much like the real nineties for me to buy that it's a world in which Stalin conquered Europe.

Clearly, there isn't any way to reconcile the disparate aspects of the C&C canon in a way that is sensible and satisfying. One person's guess is as good as any other's. But unlike some people, I'm perfectly okay with this. As fun as it can sometimes be to argue over canon, I've never been particularly bothered over which series of made-up events gets to be considered "real." As far as I'm concerned, these ambiguities and contradictions give me free rein to make up whatever I like.

I have therefore decided, primarily for the sake of synergy with another mun playing Tanya Adams ([personal profile] alertcommando), to include the first two Red Alert games and Yuri's Revenge as part of the Tiberium universe (much as the excellent C&C 3 fan novelization by Peptuck does in passing). Thus, the technology of the First Tiberium War will more closely resemble the way it's depicted in Renegade than the way it's depicted in Tiberian Dawn. These events will be acknowledged through broad strokes, because a canon as confused as Command & Conquer demands vagueness on matters like these. The only tech to be specifically acknowledged will be psychic powers (an ability that died out with the last of Yuri's Psy Corps), time travel (a technology deliberately suppressed due to its inherent dangers), and the Chronosphere (essential to the Allied victory, but also too dangerous to be used).

Red Alert 3 will be considered a separate timeline caused by time travel, because that is explicitly how it's portrayed in the game. Good thing, too, because it's hard enough reconciling these sub-canons WITHOUT having to deal with the balls-out insanity of the third installment.

If you've got a problem with how I've chosen to handle things, tough. It's my account. Deal with it, fanboy.
closesecond: (One Vision - One Purpose)
The Black Hand are the finest soldiers the Brotherhood has to offer - indeed, the finest the world has to offer. Plucked from the most hellish war zones on the planet, subjected to grueling training with thousands of years of military experience and doctrine behind it, and equipped with the latest in bleeding-edge military technology, they were a match for almost anything, including enemies many times their own number. Yet there is no amount of training or experience which can prepare you for a combat situation quite like walking through a barroom door and finding a sprawling alien metropolis on the other side.

The Black Hands are standing on an a metal platform suspended roughly ten feet above a cracked and barren surface. Looming, hideous techno-organic towers twist and lurch above them at angles obscene to nature, their pinnacles disappearing above a sickly green haze. The canyons between them are abuzz with winged insectoids, which flitter and dart between them, though even they are miles above the surface.

For a moment, the soldiers stand completely still, laser rifles drawn. Brother Harris is the first to break the silence.

"Where the hell are we?"

"I don't know," says Brother-Captain Alvarez. "But wherever it is, Freeman isn't here."

The captain turns to his techical sergeant. "Zweber, give me a readout on these surroundings. See what you can find out."

Zweber flips open a panel on his wrist and examines the readout. Slowly, he shakes his head. "Well, to get the obvious out of the way, the GPS is blank, so we're nowhere near Earth. I'm also picking up very strong tiberium readings in every direction, including straight up and straight down. At these levels, if we don't find a way off planet, we'll be dead in two hours."

He squints again at the readout. "Just a moment, I'm picking up a..."

A thunderous rumbling fills the air. And then another, and another. They are growing louder.

Wordlessly, the captain signals them to activate their stealth fields. The soldiers vanish from sight.

Slowly, the source of the sound moves into view - a three-legged biomechanical monstrosity. It is huge - at least twenty feet tall at what passes for the withers. There is a large, milky blue parody of an eye at the center of its not-head, and above it extend three tentacles, the tips of which glow with electrified purple energy. Whatever it is, it is clearly a beast of war.

The soldiers neither move nor make a sound as it walks across the canyon floor. And then it stops. And turns. And lowers its tentacles.

It can see them.


Technical Sergeant Zweber peeks around what passes for a corner in this place. The tripod is no more than a dozen feet away, scanning the environment in front of it. Fortunately, he is behind it. But he knows this won't help him for long.

He takes a long look at the tripod's spindly legs and turns his head back toward the only other Black Hand still alive.

"Brother," he whispers. "Do you still have some C4 left?"

"Yes, sir," the younger soldier says.

No further words are necessary. They know what their only option is.


The tripod falls to the ground with a graceless thud as Zweber dives out of the way of its thrashing energy blasts. The beasts tentacles continue to thrash and fire for a few seconds before falling silent as its glowing tips fade away.

Slowly, Zweber gets up - only to see the younger soldier atop the corpse, hacking at a still-glowing blue globule beneath the creature's torso-head with his cutting laser.

"What the hell are you doing, Marko?"

"Kane wanted us to bring back alien biotech," he says. "And that's exactly what I intend to do."

"We have to survive first in order to get to that point. We don't need to be carrying any more dead weight."

"With all due respect, sir, I'm not coming back to the prophet empty-handed. I'd sooner not come back at all."

Zweber nods. "Very well. Take it and claim it for the Brotherhood."

As Marko finally separates the globe from its body, the sound of hundreds of footfalls rattles the ground around them.


Marko has done his best. They all have. But now he is the only one left. And even that won't last long.

He knows where they are. They know where he is. And his only escape route is across hundreds of yards of open ground. To attempt it would be suicide even if he weren't cradling an alien spheroid in one arm. But sometimes, suicide is the only option.

He inhales deeply, knowing it will be the last breath he will ever take.

"For Kane!"

When he stumbles around the corner, he finds himself no longer where he was...


The young soldier awakens in a familiar place. The lighting and the atmosphere of the medical wing of Temple Prime are unmistakable.

He is somewhat more surprised to find the Prophet himself leaning over him.

Kane smiles. "Brother Marko Slavik," he says. "Good to have you back among the living. The doctors tell me you had quite a serious case of tiberium poisoning."

Brother Slavik blinks, still woozy. "But, did we...?"

"No need for words, my son," the Prophet says. "We can debrief you later - I'm sure you have much to tell us. The technology that you have brought back with you will prove more valuable than you can possibly imagine."

Indeed - Kane had been surprised and delighted once he realized where it must have come from.

"I...I'm glad to hear of it, Your Eminence. They slaughtered us for this."

Kane nods solemnly and clasps Brother Slavik's shoulder. "You have done well, my son. Your brothers have not died in vain. And rest assured, your service will be rewarded. But for now, you must rest."

"Th...thank you, Your Eminence."

Kane bows his head slightly lower, still smiling. "No, my son. Thank you."
closesecond: (Default)
Kane leaned forward in his chair, watching intently as the prisoner's eyes fluttered open under the harsh light of the operating room. He smiled as she fought against the bonds that secured her to the cold steel table. She was a tall, dark-skinned woman - under other circumstances Kane might even be inclined to say she was attractive. Her head had been shaved, and her body was riddled with intravenous needles. Yet he enjoyed the sight of it as only a predator could.

"Are you certain it was a good idea to awaken the test subject?" asked the Russian scientist seated next to him in the observation deck.

"This is a momentous occasion in human history, Dr. Petrova," Kane replied. "It is only fitting that she know of the part she played in it." Besides, he always worked better in front of a hostile crowd.

The two of them descended the lift to the floor below, and entered the room. Two armored guards flanked the operating table, weapons at the ready. You could never be too careful - Havoc was still at large, after all.

"Major Alessa Kendrick," he said. "A pleasure to finally meet you in person. I must say, you and your command caused us considerable annoyance in Alexandria. You're nearly as troublesome as your colleague Captain Parker. Better looking, too."

The soldier's nostrils flared. "Kane! You son of a bitch, I swear I'll -"

"Save your breath, Major. I haven't brought you here for a fight."

"I'm not telling you a damn thing, you psychotic fuck."

"I haven't brought you here for an interrogation, either. We've already learned all we need to. Particularly concerning the Mammoth tank project. Very interesting. No, we're here to recruit you."

"Recruit me!? Are you joking, you fu-"

An armored fist clamped down around her mouth as one of the guards moved to silence her.

"Thank you, Sergeant Rawne," Kane says. "Gag her. I don't like it when people step on my lines."

Kane cracked his knuckles as the guards taped over the officer's mouth. When the job was finished, he began to pace about the room. "I understand your skepticism, Major. After all, your tenacity and courage are rare among GDI officers. It does you great credit. It's what interested us in you in the first place. But believe me, I know a way of convincing even you of the righteousness of our cause.

"Tell me, Major, have you ever read Schopenhauer?"

"Grmmff fmmk ymsmmmff."

Kane smiled drily, slowly ambling his way behind the operating table. "No, you don't seem the type. Well, he once said that you can do whatever you want, but that you can't want whatever you want. I've found that to be true of every man. But what if there were a different sort of man? Someone with complete mastery of his own desires? What sort of thing would he choose to want?

"Now, if he were a good man, a moral one, he might choose to desire a better world above all other things. For Man to transcend its weaknesses, set aside false divisions, and take its rightful place in the universe. And if he were a wise man, he might see that he would need to convince others to desire the same thing as intensely as he does."

Kane sighed theatrically, ignoring the muffled protestations of the GDI officer. "But the human will is such a stubborn thing. So difficult to change, even when it needs changing. Even when a man wants it to change. Persuasion and even brainwashing can only get you so far. No matter you want a man to believe, there will always be the man himself getting in the way.

"So, it would seem that the only sure way to change a person's mind..." Kane pulled a syringe filled with luminescent liquid from his coat pocket - " to change the rest of him first."

Major Kendrick's suppressed screams grew louder as Kane continued. "This is a liquid tiberium cocktail. Specially designed for its mutagenic effects. It will transform your mind, your body, and - if we've calculated correctly - your soul. We've been working on it for years, but you'll be our first unwilling test subject. You understand why I just...had to be here."

The major struggled in vain against her bonds - made of steel and ultra-durable carbon nanofibers - as Kane leaned in even closer. "Not to worry, Major. When you wake up - if you wake up - you may find you see things a little differently."

He turned his head back toward his chief scientist. "Dr. Petrova - re-administer the sedative."

"It has already begun, sir."

"Good," he said. Once she had safely slipped into unconsciousness, he administered the IV drip and left the serum to do its work.

The automatic door opened, and...


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November 2012

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