The Second Tiberium War was a global struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod in late 2030. The galvanization of Nod by Kane's re-emergence posed a multivalent threat to global stability. The Brotherhood sought to accelerate Tiberium's ecological impact as, unknown to the world at large, a precondition for drawing Scrin attention. During the conflict GDI became aware of the Tacitus and its pivotal role in bringing about Kane's vision of a Tiberium world.
GDI, with the aid of the Forgotten, was victorious. The equally favorable resolution of the proceeding Firestorm Crisis, the recovery of the Tacitus, and the fragmentation of Nod with the disappearance of Kane, put GDI in a position to effectively combat Tiberium.
As Tiberium continued to spread unabated, its impact on the environment became more pronounced. It brought about severe climate changes, accelerating desertification and devastating plant life in the planet's temperate, subtropical and tropical zones. Temperate regions were hit particularly hard, as devastating ion storms rolled across the landscape, causing electrical interference and devastating human and natural structures alike. The lightning strikes caused by these storms rendered entire regions too dangerous for human life. Tiberium contamination also spawned carbon-based fauna such as Tiberian Fiends (mutated dogs that attack anyone coming near a Tiberium field) and flora such as veins that will destroy any vehicle or building it comes into contact with.
The spread of Tiberium also triggered massive changes in human society. Humanity largely left Tiberium infested areas, abandoning entire cities in favour of safer areas in colder regions, where Tiberium spreads much slower. A key factor in the decision of whether to stay or go was the presence (or lack thereof) of a military force, either GDI or a splinter faction of Nod, that would protect civilians from Tiberium and mutants. GDI had, in fact, begun a large scale effort to evacuate civilians to Arctic regions. This initiative was hampered in part by Nod's reluctance to withdraw their forces from Europe or return Tiberium-afflicted humans under GDI authority from their medical colonies.
A few years before the war erupted, a majority of the exposed populace began showing signs of genetic and phenotypic mutation and Tiberium-related maladies. Adopting the moniker of Forgotten, these mutated humans retreated underground demanding retribution for their plight. They banded into tribes, engaging in terrorist activities. By 2030, many of the tribes united into a confederation led by Tratos, an old, wise mutant that would play a key role in deciphering the Tacitus.
Brotherhood of Nod
The Brotherhood fractured following Kane's apparent death at the end of the First Tiberium War. This state of fragmentation was carefully cultivated by GDI, particularly its puppet, General Hassan, controlling a majority of the Nod forces in the eastern hemisphere. Radical factions advocating active opposition to GDI were persecuted and suppressed. The entire Brotherhood kept vigils, awaiting the return of their leader.
Described by GDI as a cruel clan, Nod forces at the outset of the Second Tiberium War were characterized by their willingness to attack with unbelievable force, usage of cruel tactics and sophisticated Tiberium-based weaponry. However, their most important asset were their soldiers: willing to die for their leader and cause. Many of them were Third World renegades with nothing to lose. A side effect of their clan nature was that the chain of command was prone to dynamic changes, as treachery and assassination were an accepted method of attaining promotion.
Nod technology was updated to match GDI's newest additions to its arsenal. Staples of Nod armies, such as the light, flame and stealth tanks were upgraded with new functionality and stronger weapons, while Tiberium-based weapons, such as chemical missiles and cyborgs provided the force necessary to counter GDI's stronger weapons. Much of these advancements were hidden from GDI's eyes in vast subterranean installation and tunnels, awaiting Kane's reappearance.
Global Defense Initiative
Following its victory in the First Tiberium War, GDI consolidated its power, emerging as the only supranational organization capable of projecting power worldwide, in no small part thanks to the GDSS Philadelphia. It benefited from technological advancements, economic resources and recruitment practices of conventional armies of its member states. With the consolidation of military power came the consolidation of political power. This process of centralisation reached its final stages in 2047, as GDI became an unified superstate, something Nod predicted in the early 2000s.
At the outset of the Second Tiberium War, GDI marines were described as ambitious, hard-working, co-operative and loyal. Their primary goal was destroying the Brotherhood of Nod and all its traces. They shared all these traits with their opponents from the Brotherhood, including unconditional loyalty to leaders, up to and including General James Solomon of GDI.
In the three decades that followed the conclusion of the First War, GDI introduced new technologies into its arsenal, most notably walkers, harmonic resonators, and railguns. The Orca aircraft was now the primary air force of GDI, replacing 20th century fixed wing assets. GDI's orbital assets were joined by the GDSS Philadelphia station.
Before the reunification of war, large scale relocation of civilian populations to Arctic areas of the globe has been undertaken by GDI to protect them from the spread of Tiberium. The European segment of this operation was carried out under Lt. Gen. David Grenshaw and was protected by a 60,000 strong force of GDI marines, about 2,000 Jump Jet Infantry Marines off the coast of Greece and amphibious assault marines stationed along the coast of France with support from a division comprised mostly of Hover MRLS and Powered Assault Armor, also known as Wolverines.
Nod, even in its fractured state, still posed a significant threat to GDI operations and holdings worldwide. The operation mentioned above has been significantly hampered by Nod forces operating in European cities. General Grenshaw originally participated in negotiations in Sarajevo intended to coerce Nod into withdrawing their forces from Europe and release all Tiberium-afflicted humans in their custody. When Nod broke down talks, Grenshaw deployed forces under his care to the European continent to engage Nod.
The Brotherhood also engaged in guerrilla warfare. One notable attack was directed against civilians heading to a GDI evacuation center. During this attack, an incendiary explosive went off on a truck thought to be carrying essential supplies, starting a blaze in a 12 mile long GDI super tunnel, leaving 50 dead and many more wounded.
Of note was Brotherhood's focus on the Forgotten. Nod has attacked mutants not supporting their cause in Europe, capturing them for further Tiberium experimentation and also to destroy any organization they might form by targeting their leaders. One notable offensive happened near Belgrade, following General Solomon's announcement that GDI would begin military action against the Brotherhood to curb their Tiberium testing on civilians. However, this hostility was not an universal stance - in another case, Nod commandos attacked Munich, sacking armories in the area and arming mutants sympathetic to their cause, bolstering their numbers and harassing GDI units in the area.
GDI responding with force was common. An example can be the situation in Chile, when GDI Orca Bombers supported by Orca Fighter's attacked Nod's bases near Santiago, as part of Operation World Watch, striking six Nod targets. This followed a string of previous airstrikes conducted by GDI in response to rising tensions in the region.
Reunification of Nod
|“||Brotherhood! We are whole again! The sickness has been cut out! In the name of Kane!
- Anton Slavik to the unified Brotherhood.
Not all members of the Brotherhood were loyal to Hassan - many refused to follow his passive course of action and remained faithful to Kane. Among them were the leaders of the Black Hand faction of Nod, led by a Serbian Black Hand prelate named Anton Slavik. His charisma, prominence, and cunning allowed him to gain a large group of followers, and soon became a possible threat to the status quo. As such, his assassination was ordered by GDI High Command on a number of occasions. General Solomon in particular recognized the inherent dangers Slavik represented and specifically requested Hassan to eliminate him, lest the latter disappear along with other useless things.
While he managed to escape death, eventually, he was betrayed by one of his sergeants, who sold him out to Hassan. Anton Slavik was arrested by General Hassan's Elite Guard, a puppet leader of the Global Defense Initiative. He was sentenced for GDI espionage (a latently false charge) to death. The execution was to be carried out in public by lethal injection (with a "100% toxin and no sedative" mixture) and transmitted via television to Nod followers. The execution was proceeding smoothly, until Slavik was liberated by a group of Black Hand loyalists led by Slavik's second-in-command, a woman known as Oxanna Kristos. After being transported to the Montauk, a subterranean Nod command vehicle, Slavik swiftly reassumed command after killing the man who had betrayed him to Hassan.
This point marked the beginning of a campaign to reunite Nod. Acting on CABAL's tactical advice, Slavik's forces retreated to their small base in Libya, routing and destroying the pursuing elite guard units. Covering up their escape, Hassan's television network declared them both dead - Slavik's body was allegedly burned in the furnace of an unnamed factory, while Oxanna was killed in a tunnel collapse near her home. This brought the Black Hand's attention to the Libyan TV station used by Hassan to spread his propaganda. Capturing it would allow them to reach Nod members across the globe and unite them against Hassan's weak, impotent rule.
Then, as Nod forces rallied around him, Slavik decided that it was time to take out Hassan. Before he could strike down the would-be Pharaoh, Slavik freed a rebel commander who was once loyal to Hassan. Aided by his forces, Slavik invaded the Cairo stronghold and after destroying the puppet leader's pyramid captured him once the Harpy he tried to escape in was brought down. During a ceremony celebrating the Brotherhood's reunification on worldwide television, Hassan was to be executed, but as hails to Kane were made, Kane himself reappeared, finally uniting the split Brotherhood for the first time since the end of the First Tiberium War. As one of the few generals to remain truly loyal to the Brotherhood's cause throughout the long period of Kane's absence, Slavik was made Kane's right hand man and Nod's leading general throughout the Second Tiberium War despite his relatively young age.
Kane's first order to Slavik was to seize information from the Sarajavo Temple from the First Tiberium War. It is believed that this information may have included a segment of the Tacitus. Kane wanted that information back, and wanted to forestall any possibility that it might be discovered by GDI.
Kane announced his return directly to his adversaries by hacking a supposedly secure GDI channel and appearing before General Solomon. He warned Solomon about the war to come. Despite efforts to track his position down, GDI was unable to locate the position, instead showing the transmission had originated from a GDI outpost in Phoenix Base.
General Solomon immediately deployed his field commander, Michael McNeil, to Phoenix Base to save it from invading Nod forces, with the aid of veteran jump troopers from the Philadelphia. Despite McNeil's rapid deployment, the bulk of Nod forces quickly destroyed much of the base and killed Tao in the process. Commander McNeil had an easy time cleaning up the remainder of the Brotherhood's forces. However, his mission was considered a partial failure, as he was unable to save commander Tao. Fearing that Nod's presence would have a devastating effect on local Phoenix populace, General Solomon decided to evacuate the civilians and destroy the remainder of Nod's presence.
Meanwhile, after securing the old Temple of Nod, Slavik led the force to secure the fallen Scrin battleship General Vega crash landed in North America. Racing against GDI, he was able to recover the crucial technology before McNeil could arrive. The GDI commander arrived too late to secure it, but ran into a mutant named Umagon in the wreckage. She was a former captive of Nod and played a part in Kane's plan to locate Tratos and the Tacitus his mutants stole from the old Temple. She was exploring the crashed wreckage in search for the Tacitus or clues as how to free her leader, Tratos.
The Conflict Escalates
GDI mounted a special forces operation, spearheaded by Umagon, a Ghostalker commando, and a Mutant Hijacker, in an effort to secure Tratos and evacuate him from a Nod medical colony. The success of this mission was more beneficial to GDI than initially realized; Kane lost one of the only two beings capable of translating the Tacitus.
Commander McNeil then attacked General Vega's command center in Central America, first crippling his power supply provided by hydroelectric dams, which powered down Vega's defense grid. This allowed a fleet of Orca Dropships to deliver a substantial GDI force into the region, allowing McNeil to directly assault and claim Vega's pyramid and infiltrate it to gain information about the location of Kane's Temple. However, Vega overdosed on Eye Candy and was unable to give McNeil any information. Simultaneously, Kane launched an ICBM at the island to punish Vega for his incompetence and kill McNeil. The Commander however managed to escape the weapon's detonation. The only information he managed to gain was that Kane had the Tacitus and the Scrin warship was built by Nod.
While Vega was being dealt with, Kane tasked Slavik to infiltrate GDI's Hammerfest in Norway. Hammerfest, while also being a significant command and control base, housed some significant GDI technologies: the Firestorm defense grid and the prototype sonic Disruptor crystals. The operation succeeded and the Brotherhood managed to gain complete control of the base.
Distressed by the situation, McNeil was sent to Norway to regain complete control of the base. A task force of Hover MLRS vehicles and amphibious APCs succeeded in regaining control of Hammerfest, but not before Slavik could gather the Disruptor crystals and kill Jake McNeil. Both events had a notable effect on Commander McNeil, who devoted himself entirely to the cause and swiftly recovered the Disruptor crystals in subsequent operations. There were also reports that seemed to suggest that Kane was planning on using 3 ICBM launchers to destroy the Philadelphia by placing them in key locations within Hammerfest. GDI was also unable to prevent the destruction of a prototype Mammoth Mk. II at testing grounds in Great Britain. This act delayed the research program considerably and caused disruption in GDI ranks. With the Battle of Hammerfest, the rumours of the ICBMs, and the loss of the Mammoth Mk. II the chaos within GDI gave the Brotherhood chance for their next step in the war.
Nod used the confusion to launch a full-scale chemical attack against Europe, destroying a long standing GDI stronghold and testing their new Chemical Missiles. The destructive potential of these weapons as well as the new dangerous Banshee prototype fighters forced General Solomon to reassign numerous GDI regiments, including McNeil, and order a full scale search-and-destroy mission in an effort to eradicate the missile facility. The operation succeeded and both the missile production facilities and Banshee factories were destroyed. However, this came at a cost, as Umagon was captured during their exfiltration and taken to Kane to restart the Divination process.
Towards the end of the war, Nod's so-called "World Altering Missile" was prepared at the Brotherhood's Cairo launch facility. However, the launching procedure was interrupted by Commander McNeil, who, upon receiving information about Umagon's whereabouts from the Ghostalker commando, attacked the Cairo site in an unauthorized, unilateral operation. This brazen assault saved the Philadelphia from being shot down by three ICBM launch platforms already set up in Cairo and stopped the launch of the chemical missile.
McNeil personally infiltrated the Cairo temple in an attempt to save Umagon, who was being held inside. There, he confronted Kane, who held the mutant at gunpoint. As the pyramid crumbled, a fight ensued between the Nod leader and the GDI commander, from which McNeil emerged victorious, saving Umagon, and retrieving the copy of Tacitus Kane carried with him.
Simultaneously, operations in Kenya were taking place as an important Nod base was raided by elite troops under Battle Commander Ilona Grunwaldt. However, the base was booby-trapped to collapse and Ilona was killed. She received a posthumous Medal of Honor.
The Kenya operation was used to cover up what took place in Cairo, and it was said that genetic material from Kane was found in the base's remains.
The Second Tiberium War was one of the most devastating events in history. Due to multiple GDI and Nod engagements, hundreds of cities were damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people were killed or left homeless and without any shelter, and portions of Europe were forever altered by the launching of Tiberium-based missiles.
Despite initial losses, GDI was able to secure a number of victories in the Second Tiberium War. The war was effectively ended when Commander McNeil raided Nod's massive Cairo facility, shutdown the chemical missile, and mortally wounded Kane in hand-to-hand combat. In the end, GDI sent the now-leaderless Brotherhood of Nod underground. Slavik, however, escaped and maintained some semblance of control over the Nod inner circle.