And now, to present the major factions of the Command & Conquer: Tiberium Series universe, for those unfamiliar with it. Please note that it follows an alternate timeline to our Earth.GDI - THE GLOBAL DEFENSE INITIATIVE"Sanctioned by the UN, the Global Defense Initiative has one goal - to eliminate multi-national terrorism in an effort to preserve freedom."
- EVA database briefing.
In the aftermath of World War II, the United Nations decided that, in order to prevent anything like this from happening again, a secret peacekeeping organization would be needed to nip threats to peace between the major powers in the bud. And thus, the secret group known as Operations Group Echo: Black Ops 9 was formed, to take out those who would threaten the delicate balance that dominated most of the 20th century. After a while, however, rumors began to circulate about a covert group taking out dictators and terrorists, until in 1989, after a failed assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein, the UN could no longer deny the existence of Black Ops 9, and thus, reformed it into the Global Defense Initiative. The ancient and secret society known as the Brotherhood of Nod, however, saw this as an attempt by the world's powers to stay in power.
In 1995, a meteorite containing a strange alien substance crashed into Earth by the Tiber river in Italy. The substance was given the name "Tiberium", and had many useful properties - namely, in that, by sucking up valuable metals and collecting them into giant crystals, it made mining a hell of a lot easier. Its ability to store and produce energy also made it a very sought-after power source. However, Tiberium also has many nasty properties as well. In sucking up metals, it also drains the soil of nutrients. It also emits poisonous gasses, high-energy radiation, and all sorts of exotic particles, including, but not limited to, top quarks, taus, muons, Higgs bosons, magnetic monopoles, and positrons. These properties made Tiberium a deadly toxin and powerful mutagen. It also spread like kudzu on steroids, continuing to convert base matter into more Tiberium. It was at this time, that the Brotherhood of Nod made itself known, and declared Tiberium to be "the future". As Nod terrorist attacks escalated throughout the world, in 1998 the UN finally decided enough was enough and sent GDI to engage them, sparking the First Tiberium War.
The war would last two years, and would be a sign of things to come. During the war, GDI made a pledge to never use nuclear weapons. This was seen as naive by many, until, in the final stages of the war, GDI revealed its new system of precision WMDs - the Ion Cannon satellite network.
A first-generation Ion Cannon.
With the destruction of Nod's main temple just outside Sarajevo via the Ion Cannon, and the apparent death of Nod's leader, Kane, the First Tiberium War came to an end in the Summer of 2000.
As Tiberium spread across the Earth, governments began to collapse, and the Earth's environment began to degrade. Tiberium heated the atmosphere, allowing for the formation of massive storms. Tornadoes in areas affected by Tiberium could have wind speeds that exceeded 500 miles per hour (800 kilometers per hour), while the hurricane classification chart had to be extended to include Category 6. Incredibly fierce thunderstorms known as ion storms - with bolts of lightning more like those found on gas giants then on Earth - began wracking the landscape, while Tiberium-mutated plants and wildlife became common. Over the 30 years since the end of the First Tiberium War, GDI and (a seemingly unkillable) Nod became the only two groups able to provide stability across the dying planet.
In September of 2030, Kane resurfaced, seemingly unaged, and kicked off the Second Tiberium War. Once more, this ended with Nod's defeat and Kane's apparent death - this time, impaled by Michael McNeil, but showed that both groups had drastically increased their size and strength. Technologies such as mechanized walkers, advanced A.I.s, anti-grav vehicles, cyborgs, artificial gravity, and routine space-flight became commonplace, allowing GDI to build the space station Philadelphia
, which served as the HQ of their top-brass.
As time wore on, the state of the planet degraded further, because of Tiberium. Earth's surface was later redrawn into three different categories of "zones" - Red, Yellow, and Blue.
Red Zones suffered Tiberium contamination so severe that they could no longer support human life. Red Zones make up 30% of the Earth's landmass.
Yellow Zones experienced severe Tiberium contamination, but held most of the world's population. Years of war and civil unrest left them in a Mad Max-esque state. The Brotherhood of Nod operates virtually unchallenged here, although there are areas where they don't have control, and some bits are under GDI control, as they desperately try to eliminate Tiberium, and try to restore Earth's environment. This is done with the use of sonic disruptors, which emit sonic vibrations at Tiberium's resonant frequency, causing it to shatter and dissipate harmlessly. The remaining parts of the Yellow Zones are under the control of various warlords, mega-corporations, or no one at all. Yellow Zones make up 50% of the Earth's landmass.
Blue Zones are almost entirely free of Tiberium contamination, and are virtual paradises on Earth. These areas are controlled and protected by GDI, which was forced to take the stage as a world government due to Tiberium spreading. People living in Blue Zones enjoy spotless cities, pristine forests, near-zero crime or poverty, near-100% employment, routine space-flight, advanced and reliable medical care, freedom of speech, press, and religion, and average life-spans of over a century. All made possible, ironically enough, by Tiberium. Blue Zones make up 20% of the Earths' surface.
A map depicting the Red/Yellow/Blue Zone layout.
In 2047 Kane resurfaced again, and kicked off the Third Tiberium War when he destroyed the Philadelphia
with a nuclear missile. GDI won again, but at great cost. While Nod was reduced to a shadow of its former self, the mysterious aliens known as the Scrin chose this time to invade Earth. The invaders were driven off, but just barely.
GDI relies on overwhelming firepower as its combat doctrine, and as such, has few stealth troops or vehicles. Few does not mean "none", however, and GDI sniper teams are an essential part in any battle. GDI's favored weapons are railguns, sonic disruptors, explosives, and of course, the Ion Cannons.
Pictures of GDI forces:
Mammoth-27 Tank - equipped with twin 150 mm railguns.
Juggernaut Mk. III Mobile Artillery
Orca VTOL Fighter-Bombers. THE BROTHERHOOD OF NOD"One vision. One purpose. Peace through power."
- Nod saying.
An ancient and secret society, the Brotherhood of Nod has been around in one form or another since the Bronze Age. Founded by Kane - who claims to be the Biblical Cain (in fact, he is the being who inspired the myth of Cain & Abel, sorta like how the Goa'uld in Stargate SG-1 inspired the myth of the Egyptian gods, and the Asgard the Norse gods) - the Brotherhood has been manipulating human development from the shadows since the time of Babylon - in the Middle East and parts of Europe, at least. It wasn't until the Renaissance that their influence really spread beyond that region. Nod's faith is Abrahamic, related to, but separate from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and they claim to be the ones who wrote the Scriptures. Their faith also shows a relation to Hinduism and Buddhism, however, as it preaches Ascension and breaking free of the toil of life on Earth. An interesting fact about Kane, is that he is seemingly immortal, remaining unaged for all records of his existence.
Kane in 1953, as an adviser to Josef Stalin.
Kane in 1998.
Kane in 2030.
Kane in 2047.
Kane in 2052, holding the Tacitus.
Of interest is the fact that during the Third Tiberium War, an intercepted Scrin transmission revealed that Kane already existed in the aliens' database, but that his genetic code matched nothing there. In short, the Scrin know WHO Kane is. But they don't know WHAT he is, only adding to the mystique of Nod's leader.
During the First Tiberium War, Nod had strong ties to many global terrorist organizations, and also maintained several "fronts" in various countries. The "United We Stand" party in the United States, the "Albion First" party in England, and the "Fist of Allah" party in Iran were all later revealed to be puppet organizations of the Brotherhood of Nod. The Brotherhood has several traits of a cult, a terrorist group, and a mega-corporation, while not being any one of those. They have vast knowledge of Tiberium, and their elite troops have cybernetic enhancements. This is due to the fact that they embrace Tiberium as the catalyst for the next stage in human evolution, and in their experiments with the alien substance, often forgo ethics, morality, and even sanity in order to get results.
Of special note is the Black Hand - Nod's elite guard and secret police force. Claiming to have existed since the dawn of civilization, the Black Hand is in fact, the same Black Hand who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and kicked off World War I. Granted, it was new recruits who did so, but still. They first became widely known during the First Tiberium War, when their experiments in human enhancement via Tiberium became known. It was this research that was later used as the foundation for Nod's "Divination" project in Tib War II- the attempted forced conversion of all life on Earth into Tiberium-based life.
As opposed to GDI, who made an oath to never use nukes, Nod has access to a very large nuclear arsenal, which was used at the start of the Third Tiberium War to destroy the space station Philadelphia
, and again in the same war to destroy the city of Sydney, Australia. They have also been known to experiment with liquid Tiberium explosives, which produce far higher blast yields than nukes - a "weak" Liquid Tiberium bomb is still predicted to have an explosive force in the gigatons - to say nothing of the monster Kane tricked GDI into using their Ion Cannons to detonate in Tib War III. The resulting blast instantly claimed the lives of millions of both GDI and Nod troops, leveled Eastern Europe, and produced deadly fallout throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. And this was before said explosion caught the attention of the Scrin.
Despite their misdeeds, however, the Brotherhood of Nod DOES do significant humanitarian work in the Yellow Zones - where GDI has little influence. While GDI tries to eradicate much of Earth's Tiberium and make the entire planet livable again, Nod provides food and medicine to the people stuck living in the Yellow Zones. However, outside the Nod-controlled regions of the Yellow Zones (some of which can rival Blue Zones in terms of quality of life), the general populace is left unaided, angry at both GDI and Nod, seeing the two groups as so dedicated to destroying each other that they no longer care about the people they're supposed to help. They see the two groups as lying hypocrites who only care for their own power - rather than the over-worked, very human organizations they are.
It should also be noted, that while GDI won the Third Tiberium War, it was never Kane's objective in that war to defeat them. Rather, it was to set the stage for the Scrin's arrival. His goal was to obtain Scrin technology - and he succeeded in that goal.
Tactics: Nod relies mostly on stealth and subversion, and as such, while sneaky, most of their forces don't hold out in long, protracted battles with GDI. The Brotherhood does have some heavy-hitters, though. Nod's favored weapons are lasers, flamethrowers, Tiberium weapons, and nukes. Nod has also developed cloaking devices for their bases and vehicles, allowing them to catch enemy forces off-guard.
Pictures of Nod forces:
Black Hand Soldier
Venom Assault AircraftTHE SCRIN"No precedent exists for viable indigenous resistance after Ichor-LQ Detonation Event. Overlord will be intrigued."
- Scrin supervisor overseeing Foreman-371 in the Invasion of Earth.
The Scrin are a mysterious alien race, who's existence was told of in the Tacitus - a data matrix of unknown origin found in the Second Tiberium War. They were the ones who seeded Earth with Tiberium in the first place, and thus, are ultimately responsible for this whole mess. What is known of the Scrin, however, paints an alarming picture. Like humanity (and, in this case, the Drow), the Scrin are violent and resource-hungry, though considerably worse than either species in those regards. They were once carbon-based life-forms, like life on Earth, but somehow, ended up becoming Tiberium-based ones. Their modus operandi involves finding an inhabited planet at the right technology level, seeding it with Tiberium, watch the indigenous population self-destruct, then move in, finish off what's left of the native sentient race, and harvest the Tiberium (or Ichor as they call it). The signal for when it's time to invade is a powerful liquid Tiberium explosion, which usually nearly wipes out the native population. So, when the Scrin launched their invasion of Earth in the Third Tiberium War, they were unprepared for the resistance both GDI and Nod provided against them - though that doesn't mean they couldn't handle themselves, as their harvesting force nearly brought both GDI and Nod to their knees. But as the liquid Tiberium detonation was deliberate, their forces had invaded Earth at least a century too early, and they were forced to withdraw.
A Scrin supervisor.
The Scrin themselves appear to be insectoid beings, although this is going off the limited data that GDI has on them. What is known about the forces used on Earth reveals three disturbing things, however. The first is that the Scrin troops sent to planets like Earth aren't the Scrin themselves, but in fact bio-mechanical constructs. The second, is the Scrin's logistical abilities are far beyond that of GDI or Nod. While the human factions use carrier planes, shuttles, naval vessels, or APCs to carry their troops, the Scrin rely on far more advanced technology. Namely, wormholes and teleportation. The third is the Scrin's fondness for telepathic warfare. Certain Scrin troops are known to be able to mind-control enemies, and can wreak havoc in enemy armies. The Scrin have also developed deflector shield technology, which makes their already formidable forces even tougher.
Tactics: The Scrin combat doctrine revolves around air superiority, and they've more than proven themselves in that regard. Willing to use a combination of GDI and Nod tactics - combining superior firepower with dirty tricks - the Scrin are often the last thing an indigenous race sees. The only reason humanity survived their onslaught was a mix of the Scrin being tricked, humanity having the Tacitus, and sheer dumb luck. Their preferred weapons are plasma cannons, charged particle beams, telepathic tricks, and the weaponized wormholes known as "Rifts", which suck enemy troops and building into deep space.
Pictures of Scrin forces:
So, that's it for the playable C&C factions. Next post, the non-playable (but still important) ones. The Forgotten and CABAL's Army.