Cycle of War

"Deny me, if you must. But do so knowing that you condemn this planet to an endless cycle of war."

Those were his words. One of the last words that Parker heard. Words that Kane still remembered, even after ascension. Words that he found himself often reflecting on, even as time passed in paradise.

"Penny for your thoughts, brother?"

And words that, even as Abel mocked him, he still remembered.

"Credits," the messiah murmured, turning away from his data matrix. "Pennies went the same way as every other currency."

"More signs of GDI's tyranny?"

"Perhaps."

Abel grinned, but Kane didn't. Not out of displeasure, but rather, because he didn't know how to feel. On one hand, he was happy to be able to act normally, to not play the role of a messiah to humankind, getting them to believe that tiberium was the key to their salvation. On the other, he was still awkward about being in the presence of his brother, the one who he had struck down on Earth and got himself stranded there as punishment. Not that Abel had died as so many of the human sheep believed, but even so, the act was still a punishable offense for their kind.

"Come on bro," Abel said suddenly, as if reading Kane's thoughts. "So you murdered me. I'm over it. You're home. You don't need to worry about that pisswater."

Kane remained silent. He didn't want to defend Earth or its hairless apes per se, but…

"What?" Abel asked, ever the mind reader.

Kane gestured to the data matrix. "See for yourself."

Raising an eyebrow, Abel nonetheless did so. Saw what Kane had seen. Earth.

A world consumed by war.

The brothers watched on as bloodshed swept the world. Tiberium had come back. Proper tiberium with proper resource harvesting. Numerous war machines, unrestrained by unit caps. It was exactly what Kane had promised Parker would not happen-a cycle of war.

"Bloody hell," Abel murmured. "What you do down there?"

"Nothing."

It was a lie, they both knew that. Kane had sparked four world wars and had been one of the focal points of a fifth. Manipulating the Soviet Union had gone smoothly, but then GDI had thwarted his plans not once, but twice, the second event stopping him from unleashing tiberium all over the planet in an effort to generate enough energy to get him home. The result was a wound to the chest, four years in a healing tank and the rebuilding of his brotherhood. Somewhere along the line his plans had changed, to get the scrin to come early so he could use their thresholds for ascension instead. Somewhere along the line he factored in provisions so that Earth and its people might be spared the full horror of those aliens. Somewhere along the line, he'd actually started to care. To care to the extent that seeing his home of the last few thousand years be reduced to this was…well, painful.

"What did this though?" Abel asked. "Did Earth's people adopt a free-to-play model of war?"

"Could be," Kane shrugged. "Maybe the rEApers infiltrated them."

"Ah, could be," Kane's brother said. "That would explain why the war's without purpose, campaigns or…well, anything. Would also explain the cash flows. Using arts of an electrical kind to get the advantage over their opposition."

Kane nodded. It made sense. He'd left Earth with a united government and with tiberium as a power source that was available to all. But thanks to the rEApers, all his work had been for nothing. They'd triggered a free for all, free to play war, and all he could do was sit back and watch the carnage.

"Well, don't worry about it," Abel said, turning off the data matrix. "There's nothing more you can do."

Kane nodded, staring at the matrix before turning away. There was nothing he could do indeed.

Nothing but walk away…


A/N

There isn't too much to say here - Generals 2 has been renamed and remoulded into a F2P paradigm, and there's talk of the same treatment being done to the Red Alert and Tiberian settings. Especially concerned about the latter, considering that flaws in Tiberian Twilight aside, it at least brought its storyline to an end IMO. Oh well. Time will tell I guess.