A past event unfolds in the form of a flashback, hinting at Van and Vanessa’s involvement in helping Claudia form Warbeast Battlefront.
On a former nazi-occupied plane, Vanessa is working under pressure to reassemble a mounted heavy machine-gun from within a half-destroyed home. Far in front of her is an abandoned nazi-bannered 5-storey about to be engulfed by a toxic cloud of black gas resembling a pyroclastic flow. Running away from it and making their way through the building is her brother Van carrying an injured Claudia, who Vanessa is preparing to provide cover for after falling behind. Between Vanessa and the building are up to 100 entrenched French soldiers and above her are German mortar teams, all preparing to delay the advancing Xikaeda infantry.
Plasma beams and heat ray are being blind-fired by the Xikaeda through the cloud of gas, missing and impacting various points near Vanessa’s location, burning and reducing unlucky soldiers into a bloody mess upon impact. Mortars bombard the inside of the approaching gas, lighting up the smoke in fiery flashes indicating the destruction of the Xikaeda machines that were shooting in Vanessa’s direction. Shortly after Van makes it out of the abandoned building a swarm of injured and burning Xikaeda infantry emerge from the smoke. Every soldier emerges from the trench to charge the incoming Xikaeda to keep them away from Van and Claudia, assisted by Vanessa who fixes the MG and opens fire on the swarm.
Amid the running & gunning, bayonet charges, exploding bodies and tearing of throats, feral Xikaeda creatures spawn into the battle from what appears to be ball-lighting. Vanessa riddles one of them with her gunfire shortly after it spawns behind Van. After Vanessa saves them, the entire nazi-bannered building explodes into a fiery inferno, incinerating many remaining soldiers close by. Towering over the burning ruins, emerging from the black gas, a three-legged Xikaeda war machine reveals itself before them.
Van makes it closer to Vanessa’s MG nest, who notices a burning allied fighter plane about to crash into the building that she’s in after it lost a dogfight against a Xikaeda fighter. The Xikaeda fighter emits a deafening rumbling noise while flying and Van equips himself and Claudia with a gas mask upon hearing this. Vanessa abandons the overheating MG and dives to cover to avoid the fire and shrapnel of the plane crashing near her, followed by the Xikaeda fighter flying over her while emitting a trail of toxic black gas like a crop duster. Van reaches his sister just in time to to cover her face with another gas mask.
Some time later, on the coast of France, thousands of British, German and French soldiers are boarding ships to be evacuated. Van, Vanessa and Claudia are among them.
Claudia has become well enough to walk on her own again but with her head wrapped in a bandage to hide some sort of head injury. Van and Vanessa appear to be escorting her onboard.
*Cut back to present day*
Van: The United Allied Federation don’t get paid as much but they’re over-equipped with the latest gadgets compared to us. That’s where I come in to balance that out.
Riley: So who are you if you’re not with the feds or formally part of Warbeast?
Van: Me? I’m just the grey thing that’s here to help out by…borrowing the latest hardware from the feds that you’ll need for whatever comes. Speaking of which…
Van shows Riley to the squad’s battle tank.
Riley: *Gazes in awe* Ho-holy shit! *climbs onto the tank* This has gotta be the most ugly but beautiful beast I’ve ever seen!
Riley looks back and sees Claudia looking back at him. He quickly jumps back down and regains his composure.
Riley: Er, sorry ma’am.
Claudia: You may as well fan-boy all over that Python tank while you can, because chances are that she won’t be of much use to us except for training exercises. But with its German ingenuity, American power, Russian reliability and even a built-in tea-maker by the Brits, it’s a fine piece of international engineering.
Riley: I feel like this beast has strong potential. With a mix of countries in it it’s like how the world is now, we’re all working together.
The ‘Black Swan’ meteor incident sparked off the first Global Warfare of 2010, where the birth of the machine gun, the tank and the airplane would set an inhumane benchmark for modern warfare.
Global Warfare 2: The Stage of the Apocalypse.
Mankind turned to science to further develop new devices of warfare, unleashing an unearthly capacity for carnage that mankind could be capable of.
Now, combining all the terrible weapons that mankind once used against each other, the world unites against a new enemy that seemingly threatens to punish mankind for their history of carnage and destruction: The Xikaeda Plague.
Another month earlier, Riley along with countless other young men and women are going through inspection before being considered fit to become a soldier. Among them are two sibling sharks, a young rabbit and an aged, battle-hardened coyote. Two anonymous men from afar are discussing their decision to take in two shark recruits.
Examiner1: Are you sure it’s a good idea to be taking sharks on board?
Examiner2: Are you kidding? They’re typically notorious for their natural-born savagery, they’ll make excellent additions to the UAF. Because it’s times like this that we need every last able-bodied fighter, regardless of species.
Kat: (I swear I might just give them a piece of my mind if they keep talking about us…)
Examiner1: But still, I’m already feeling uneasy enough to be taking in ‘Fangs’ to serve alongside other animals for obvious reasons…
Examiner2: *sighs* Fine then, if it’ll make you feel better then why don’t we organise them into their own squad along with that red panda guy? And we’ll get that coyote and bunny to tag along too.
Examiner1: Are you sure?
Examiner2: Kat & Kyril are siblings, Terry is a war veteran and Chloe and Riley are war orphans. They should get along like a house on fire.
After Riley and the two sharks pass one of the examination stages, they settle onto a bench to await further instructions. Riley looks towards the sharks beside him.
Riley: So um, what are you guys in for?
Kyril: Ask my sister, I’m not even supposed to be here…
Riley: You didn’t volunteer?
Kat: No I did. But my brother, he’s umm, well kinda…How do I put this lightly?
Kat: That’s it.
Kyril: *Mutters* You’re more than welcome to not share my personal information to strangers, you know…
Kat: Oh, grow a pair.
Examiner1: Hm, any particular reason why we’re also adding that bunny to the squad?
Examiner2: Use your eyes and senses, she clearly lied her way into the UAF. And I think it’s safe to assume that any form of refusal will mean nothing to her. So hopefully this squad will at least keep her out of trouble but if anything happens to her, it’ll be under her own responsibility for joining in the first place. Besides, it’s slightly late for her to be attending the academy anyway…
Riley: Name’s Riley by the way.
Kat: Call me Kat. And this grumpy guts is my brother Kyril.
Riley: Oh my bad, I thought he was your boyfriend.
Kat: *Gags* Seriously?
Riley: I kinda suck at reading others, sorry.
Meanwhile Chloe is not too far away and getting approval for being fit to become a soldier. Her body language is relaxed but her eyes are darting left and right while she remains very tight-lipped. Terry is also about to get the same approval after having various body scars observed. Chloe looks towards Terry’s tired face. He briefly makes eye-contact with her but quickly ignores her. Other similar animals to Chloe (rabbits, mice etc) are getting anxious and nervous to be near a coyote but Chloe is showing little signs of fear towards him. Terry catches Riley looking at him.
Terry:…Is there something wrong with my face, red-tail?
Riley: Er, n-nope! Your face looks beautiful, it’s not as scarred as the rest of your body…(That didn’t come out right!)
Kat face-palms while Kyril chuckles a bit at his remark. Terry grudgingly dismisses Riley but not before being yelled at by a guard who has been monitoring him all this time. The guard aggressively instructs Terry to follow him and join up with Riley and the sharks as if he was a stubborn wild animal, yet Terry acts as if it’s normal treatment for him. And meanwhile Chloe is simply asked to join them without mistreatment.
Guard: Sorry to pair this hard-arse with you lot but if this coyote misbehaves in any shape or form, you inform me immediately, okay?
Riley: Um yeah, I’m sure he’ll be fine.
Guard: And don’t you dare do anything that would make us want to throw you straight into the dungeons. Do you comprehend?
The guard smacks him across the head and forces him to make eye contact.
Guard: DO YOU COMPREHEND?
Riley: What the-! Hey, that’s uncalled for!!
Riley stands to confront the guard, getting Kat’s attention.
Guard: Don’t worry sir, I’m ensuring your safety from any threats that a fang might pose.
Terry growls. Chloe is watching as if she’s about to say something in protest but she says nothing. Meanwhile Kyril is doing his best to remain as uninvolved as possible.
Riley: I’m beginning to think you’re an issue to our safety, beating down someone who hasn’t done shit to you.
Guard: I know it isn’t pretty but ensuring them who’s boss is the best way to guarantee that they’ll remain trustworthy and unfortunately the baton is the only thing that fangs understand better than anything else. Isn’t that right, coyote?
Guard:…I hope you realise how privileged you are for a fang in this day and age. Three decades ago you’d get a bullet for committing even the pettiest of crimes. Not a noose, not even a warning of death, a bullet.
Terry: I wish I still did. And I hope you remember that three centuries ago city faggots in uniforms like you would be the ones kissing my hairy ass and getting a slug for trespassing against us!
The guard frowns at his response and raises his baton to beat him.
Kat: Back off!!! *Kat takes a stand accompanied with a death glare towards the guard*
Kyril: Keep out of it, sis…
Kat: If you like hitting someone then why don’t you try hitting me?! *Kat says this with the most intimidating scowl she can muster.
Chloe is getting extremely anxious and feels as if she should do something.
Guard: Hm, another disobedient fang to add to the ever-growing list…
Kyril: For god’s sake Kat, just leave it!
The guard is suddenly distracted by a slap across the face from a bunny’s paw. Chloe stands against the guard glaring him in the eyes. Riley is caught unexpectedly by surprise by her actions.
Guard: *Shocked look in his face* Miss…what was that-?
In that moment Riley swiftly kicks the baton out of his hand, which he catches and throws aside to avoid further escalation. Chloe stands in front of Terry, refusing to let the guard anywhere near him while Riley and Kat continue standing against him.
Guard:…*throwns* Is this the thanks I’m getting for keeping fangs at bay? Have it your way, but if he rips your throat out in the end then to hell with you…
The guard leaves the scene and Riley’s squad settles down.
Riley: Good job, kid. *Pats Chloe on the head* I gotta admit I almost had a heart attack!
Kat: That was an idiotic thing to do. *sits back down with her brother*
Chloe responds with a content smile on her face and goes over to Terry to observe the bruise on his face.
Kyril: Kat, you’re not going to be rewarded for playing hero, you’re going to get punished! Don’t do that again!
Kat is too busy gazing towards Riley in admiration to listen to her brother.
Riley: You okay there, big guy?
Terry: As I’ll ever be, I guess. *Chloe attends to the bruise on Terry* Heh, you’re either an incredibly brave or an incredibly dumb one, aren’t you?
Present day, Riley’s squad is spectating a typical UAF military parade to show off their newest soldiers and weapons. Riley is no longer present among them.
From empires, unions and fascist nations to a united, imperialistic, fascist-turned planet.
Hundreds of thousands of animal soldiers, formerly peaceful in nature, continue their daily militaristic ritual of war-marching; an impressive display of force that is certain to appeal to vulnerable individuals and weak-minded lost souls seeking a sense of belonging, duty and power.
Like an infectious disease, radical political ideologies and propaganda infect thousands of vulnerable minds, reducing them to a mentally enslaved zombie army.
The few remaining strong-minded individuals will bear greater resistance to this brainwashing system, granted that they are not noticed and exposed by their superiors in response.
Kyril returns to the rest of the squad after buying some ice cream.
Kyril: Here Kat, I got you an ice cream.
Kat: *Looks away* No thanks.
Kyril: C’mon, I thought you love it?
Kat: No I’m pretty sure that’s you…*Kat is clearly more worried about Riley*
Kyril: *Sighs* Alright. Hey Terry, you want one? Or maybe the bunny snipping your cigar…
Terry: Nah I’m good, thanks…?! *Notices his snipped cigar* Wha??! CHLOE!!!
Chloe escapes Terry’s wrath, dodging a lighter that Terry threw and landed just beneath the ice cream scoop of Kyril’s ice cream. Kyril fails to catch the falling ice cream and drops to his knees at the loss of his ‘friend’. Chloe retreats behind Kat.
Terry: Next time, it’ll be between the eyes!
Kat: Hey, leave her alone before I make you deal with me first. *Her moment is ruined by Kyril’s grovelling*…For god’s sake Kyril, grow up.
Terry: *Inhales* Oh come on, you know I was just playing-fighting with her! I love the little brat, really. Now c’mere, you little pest! (Before I break your fucking neck!)
Terry noogies her with a a fake smile while Chloe enjoys the fake affection, looking up at him with a smug look in her face knowing that Terry cannot hurt her even if he tried.
Kat observes the impressively organised parade: Masses of soldiers marching in perfect synchronisation followed by a mass of teens taking part in the academy to follow in their footsteps in the future.
Kat: Look at them, they’re all being raised to believe that blindly following orders will ensure their survival but they’re potentially just marching to an early death. This parade might as well be a graveyard…It’s too bad we’re not educated enough to pave a path to a safer career.
Kyril: I heard most of them are real nerds in the classroom anyway, yet they still pick the military over college. So I guess if they’re going to waltz to their deaths then that’s what they get for being stupid.
Terry: If you think violence isn’t the answer then I’d like to hear more about how not putting up a fight against the Plague is going to solve it.
Kyril: What are you talking about? Of course I wanna fight but not against the Xikaeda cause there’s no winning against them. I mean fighting for survival, by…I don’t know, retreating to the deepest safe spaces underground to build a new life! So with that in mind, you have to be pretty stupid to reject a cushy life in favour of death. You know what I’m saying?
Terry: Sure I do…Run away from your problems like a pussy. Kind of like how you’ve lived your whole life, I bet.
Kat observes but says nothing, knowing that it’s true.
Kyril:…Excuse you! Bombard my point of view, why don’t you?
Terry: Well do something about it then. Defend your opinion in the same way we have to defend Britain from the Xikaeda Plague. And while you’re at it, enlighten me and your sis to why cowardice is the answer.
Kat: Why don’t you both shut the hell up? Everyone’s staring at us!
Onlookers are listening in on Terry and Kyril. The majority of which seem to be siding with Terry and scoffing at Kyril. Kyril grudgingly drops the argument and retreats back to his sister.
Terry: I guess you’re going to walk away from this problem too, huh?
Kat: You’ve made your point Terry, now let it go. *Close to giving him a black eye*
Terry: *Backing off* There’s a solution to every problem Kyril, you should try solving them for once!
Chloe meanwhile picks up the ice cream cone to throw it away, but not before removing the lighter and throwing out into the path of marching soldiers. A soldier almost slips on the lighter, accidentally firing his rifle and shooting off the headgear of the marching soldier in front of him. Yet remarkably they both instantly regain their composure and continue marching.