Arknights: Rekindling

Description: Kal'tsit knows the past is the past, but the Doctor is the living reminder that the past continues to exist in the present, will she learn to finally let go of the past, or will she embrace it? - Kal'tsit x Doctor short story.

Commission by: Palik

Part 0: A Ghost's Past.

Rhodes Island trekked through the inhospitable land of Terra, the autonomous ancient vessel's direction one of the organization's previous visited locations. A so-called paradise that would only exist for a few months longer before a Catastrophe reclaimed the land.


The city-state was preparing to become another one of the many nomadic cities due to the impending volcanic eruption, however the latest Catastrophe messenger predicted such eruption to come by the end of the year, giving the city-state at least a few more precious months to enjoy living in the so-called paradise.

The news of Siesta hosting one last festival to commemorate the parting of their home reached the inbox of Rhodes Island, and even though she hated the idea of giving the operators of Rhodes Island another vacation so soon after the last one, she felt it was deserved.

So, with much reluctance, Kal'tsit stamped the letter on her desk that would tell the city-estate council Rhodes Island was on their way.

The de-facto leader of the paramilitary organization leaned back on her office chair, stretching her right elbow over her head. Her limb caressed the tips of her feline ears, a reminder of her accursed existence and old lineage.

For years - Nay, centuries - she'd walked the land of Terra and seen it change with the passing of centuries and sometimes, guided the Terrans to shape it into what it was today, yet even an existence as old as her hadn't ever seen Terra at peace.

Or at least, as peaceful as their current times were.

There was still a war going on, with enemies and motives unknown, yet compared to the past, the sacrifices were slim to none.

All thanks to him.

The feline doctor sighed; her elbows came to rest on the desk, but her hands came to hold her chin while she filtered through her memories.

From the moment they first met, Kal'tsit knew there was something different about him from everyone else and she did not mean it in a good way, no.

When the kindhearted, and somewhat naïve if Kal'tsit was to be honest, previous leader and resting friend; Theresa, had presented him to the council of Babel as their latest operator and commander, there had been a sense of unrest upon their ranks.

Veritable monsters that had been walking the lands, that could shape the environment with their will alone, felt something they had long forgotten as soon as Theresa introduced him.

A simple researcher, Theresa had said.

A great and very intelligent doctor, Theresa had added.

But the council back then ignored Theresa because he triggered something inside all of those monsters of legends.


Ever since his introduction into the organization of Babel, he'd always wore the same clothes. Heavy, baggy, with a hint of clinical coldness that made the visor covering his visage all the more imposing. It wasn't so much of a stretch to say his clothes may have weighed more than he did, yet such calm appearance still sparked fear among them.

Kal'tsit thoughts of him back then were not hers alone.

What could a living being such as him, so fragile looking, do to her, to them?

All of them were monsters in the truest sense of the word, ones that roamed Terra since the natives called the land by a different name, guided the Terrans in their own way, generation through generation, and even reshaped the land when Terra truly needed it.

Monsters that were spoken through folklore tales whenever a group of Terrans shared horror stories around campfires on the darkest of nights. They had survived so many cataclysmic events, been so close to the poisoned sections of the land, had invented ways to alleviate the crumbling of the world…

Even more so herself, someone who with a few words could make other fearsome so-called gods change their minds once she kindly spoke with them.

How could it be possible for someone such as him to instill fear in her?

She did not like him, not one bit.

But Theresa did, it was almost unheard of to not see the researcher walking two steps behind the warm-hearted leader of Babel despite the numerous instances of security officers and councilmembers trying to separate the two.

Such an occurrence earned him the nickname that would later become his codename in the organization: Ghost.

Word was that, on one instance, someone had seen the visage behind the visor, and seen such a pale and ashen face staring back that had the man not been breathing, they would've believed Ghost to be dead already.

Word was that, due to how he shadowed Theresa's every step, he might as well have been haunting their kind leader just as an evil entity would.

Word was that, only someone who was dead and came back to life could do what he'd done.

Ghost didn't merely trail behind Theresa like a stray puppy would its possible owner, no. He was not by her side for affection or for show, no.

He was a commander of Babel, leading the operators through their missions and never failing to obtain the best possible outcome with the least deaths.

Babel was an organization built to unite the existing nations and put an end to the long-lived war, to give all races a place to live, settle down, and try to find a way to put an end to the Catastrophes that plagued the land for millennia.

Babel employed just about anyone with a cleared background, but Ghost had no such thing besides his doctorate in neurology and his job as lead Oripathy researcher. His past was as unknown to everyone in the organization as their leader's desire to employ him and keep him by her side.

And somehow, someway, once he started commanding military operations, he had never failed.

Sure, there were mishaps during missions, like Operators abandoning their posts to save their fellow men, but extremely few were the times that an Operator was fatally wounded under his command and even less the times where an Operator died.

Begrudgingly, his success after success led to Babel accepting him as one of the brilliant minds helping the cause, and the rumors of Theresa keeping Ghost around for private reasons dwindled when it became clear that he was excelling at his job.

But all of that was worth of mouth shared between the workers of Babel, all those accolades and explanations to why Ghost became his nickname were… wrong.

"He's so unfair! I just wanted a late-night snack but noooo, he just had to pop from behind the refrigerator's door and scare the living daylights out of me! Urgh, if it wasn't for his beating heart, I'd swear he was a Ghost… That's it!"

And then, Theresa had registered his alias as such.

Kal'tsit rubbed her forehead tiredly at her departed friend's memories. The feline researcher, despite having closed her heart off to everyone, had grown a close bond with the kind Sarkaz leading Babel back then, to the point Kal'tsit would partake in sharing gossip with the naïve Sarkaz.

Thanks to those sessions with Theresa, Kal'tsit managed to get past her initial dislike of the man nicknamed as Ghost. She did not speak to him outside of her employment as another Oripathy researcher but at least she wouldn't coldly brush him off if they ever met in the halls.

Then it all went downhill.

Registered Name: Doctor
Registered Codename: Ghost
Unregistered Alias: Evil Spirit of Babel.

- 0 - Part 0 End - 0 -

Author's Note: Short story, ranging in the 10k~ with the possibilities of future expansion for more content.

Part 1 Teaser

Theresa was kind, merciful, somewhat naïve, and an optimist… but she was also a realist. She knew ideals could only be born through hard work and sometimes blood alone, which was the true reason the Doctor never left her side. If she was a benevolent spirit sowing seeds for the future of Terran, then the Doctor was the evil spirit irrigating the land with blood and sacrifices required for Terra to prosper.