|“||A registered pharmaceutical company that recruits talent from across the world, regardless of their background.||”|
|—Loading screen tip|
Rhodes Island Pharmaceuticals Inc., commonly known as Rhodes Island (R.I.), is the main protagonistic faction of Arknights and the player character's faction. It is officially a pharmaceutical company. However, due to the wide variety of Operators in its employ with combat skills, Rhodes Island de facto acts as a private military company. It is made up almost exclusively of the Infected who provides care and treatment towards them as well as fighting for their betterment.
- Rhodes Island Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a registered drug R&D company working on medical solutions for countries, organizations, and individuals infected with Oripathy. To achieve their goal, Rhodes Island recruits talent from all around the world, regardless of background, experience, or condition. Furthermore, Rhodes Island is committed to providing the best medical and living conditions for its employees, attracting movers and shakers – Infected or not – to try to change the world.
|“||Silent we shall be, should conflict be avoidable— but fight tooth and nail, should it be necessary.||”|
|—Rhodes Island's creed, as recited by Amiya|
Based on the eponymous, approximately 800 meter-long landship – a much smaller version of nomadic cities – complete with helipads and farms, Rhodes Island dedicates themselves to develop treatments and a possible cure to Oripathy which has plagued Terra since the advent of Catastrophes. R.I. is also expert in dealing in matters and problems associated with Oripathy, notably the rampant social discriminations against the Infected, which is why R.I. possesses a paramilitary force to provide security for their personnel and patients, though R.I. can (and will) offer their service as a pseudo-PMC should the need arise. Such authority and abundant resources to deal with social issues worldwide are in fact a direct inheritance from its predecessor Babel, a military organization of Kazdel that was meant to restore the nation's peace and the Sarkaz's livelihood. As a matter of fact, it is hard to say that whether R.I. is actually an NGO in disguise that has real political interests, and many nations have been doubting R.I.'s supposed political neutrality.
Arknights is primarily focused on military conflicts involving Rhodes Island, with the medical aspect fairly secondary to the story, although nevertheless frequently acknowledged in many Operators' Archive files. Kal'tsit, head of the Medical department, also claims it to be its most important element, and, true to form, Kal'tsit appears to be the de facto leader of Rhodes Island, as she seems to be doing most of the management and organizational work that should befall the official leader, Amiya.
It is implied that R.I.'s main source of funding is their participation in the Contingency Contract program. The rest likely comes from the patients themselves as donors, judging by the wealthy background of some of the personnel, such as Melantha, Perfumer, and Mousse as well as their business partners like the Silverash family. R.I. is neither a charity nor a non-profit. If patients are not able to financially afford R.I.'s treatment, they typically enter R.I.'s employ or provide volunteer work under the tutelage of higher-ranking personnel. R.I. accepts all Infected patients and employees regardless of their age, combat experience, and background with open arms, and most non-combatants provide logistical support. R.I. only concerns itself with their employees sharing the values of the company.
All Rhodes Island personnel are required to wear an Infection monitor bracelet, whether they are Infected or not, in order to monitor their body signals and track their Oripathy's progress.
Rhodes Island's paramilitary force utilizes standard Terran military equipment, mostly produced by Raythean, although their Elite Operators such as Blaze are authorized to use their own, custom weaponry. Other operators with their own weapon must undergo a "weapon reliability certification" wherein which two of Rhodes Island's five authorized craftsmen must examine the weapon and clear it for field use. R.I. also possesses several land vehicles and at least two aircrafts, one of which is a VTOL transport named "Bad Guy." However, the paramilitary force is very small compared to R.I. as a whole, and its membership is voluntary. By the admission of R.I.'s own leadership, it is not apt to fight a war with a "real" country's military, and mainly excels at guerilla tactics and agility, something which a larger army cannot do. The Rhodes Island landship also features a training ground which includes at least one shooting range for R.I.'s paramilitary force.
Since a terminally Infected person will crystallize into highly volatile and highly infectious Originium dust upon death, which is the main — and only known — cause of person-to-person transmitted Oripathy, the Rhodes Island landship has several incineration, or more likely; cremation chambers to safely dispose of their bodies. The Infected personnel who are terminally ill will all eventually be taken to these chambers.
When the Rhodes Island landship is docked, R.I. personnel can freely travel around the local area so long as their activities do not interfere with R.I.'s interests. R.I. also has connections to many supply points around Terra, which periodically provide supplies for the organization essential to keeping Rhodes Island running.
The Rhodes Island landship is so ancient that it even predates the organization itself and appears to have been discovered or created by the Rim Billiton Mining Company, as it bears its ensign. It was initially operated as a mining barge, and, if the RIIC's ability to "produce" solid gold is any indication, is still usable for that purpose. The ship was eventually purchased or found by Babel for use as their mobile headquarters.
During the most recent Kazdelian civil war, which took place three years before the events of the Main Theme, a group of Sarkaz mercenaries consisting of Hoederer, Ines, and W were contracted by Babel to escort the Rhodes Island landship through hostile territory. During the mission, Ines discovered a massive skeleton in the landship before being ambushed by Sarkaz warriors loyal to Theresis, but Theresa and Kal'tsit managed to save the mercenaries. W also learned about the origin of Rhodes Island from Theresa; its name was taken from a document she found deep within the landship.
After Theresa was killed in a "decapitation strike" in which the Doctor is implied to have played a part, most of the surviving Babel members including Kal'tsit commandeered the Rhodes Island and escaped from Kazdel. It also appears, according to a line left untranslated from Darknights Memoir that Kal'tsit "painted the walls of Babel red with the blood of traitors," implying Kal'tsit had purged Babel/Rhodes Island of those responsible for the tragedy that took Theresa's life. This would also explain the existence of S.W.E.E.P., an internal counterintelligence task force formed to root out traitors. The survivors of Babel then reorganized themselves into a pharmaceutical company named after the landship with a young Cautus named Amiya, implied to be Theresa's successor, as their leader.
During the three-year gap between their foundation and the start of Main Theme, R.I. managed to make a name for themselves as the leading experts in Oripathy treatment, as well as pro-Infected activism, saving many of the Infected and solving various crises related to tensions surrounding Oripathy while maintaining their neutrality, despite being surrounded by suspicion and mistrust. They are at odds with the Reunion Movement, which threatens to undo what R.I. has accomplished.
Rhodes Island, led by Amiya, performed a rescue operation to retrieve the Doctor from the Chernobog Sarcophagus, which coincided with an uprising staged by Reunion, a civil rights movement/terrorist group with which R.I. came into conflict as they attempted to exfiltrate Chernobog and return to Rhodes Island. Despite suffering heavy casualties, including Elite Operators Ace and Scout, R.I. managed to escape from Chernobog.
Weeks after the Chernobog operation, Rhodes Island offered their service to the Yenese city of Lungmen in order to protect the nomadic city from a potential Reunion threat. Lungmen was, at the time, assailed by refugees from the Catastrophe that occurred in Chernobog, now fallen under total Reunion control. Their service brought them into cooperation with the Lungmen Guard Department and open conflict with the Reunion Assault Squad under Skullshatterer's command, both of which were seeking a refugee from Chernobog named Misha. Reunion managed to retrieve Misha, prompting R.I. and the L.G.D. to give chase across the Ursus-Lungmen border. The combined forces managed to eliminate the Assault Squad, however, also unknowingly killed Misha, who had taken up arms on the side of the Assault Squad; she was none other than Skullshatterer's sister, and her brother's death cemented her allegiance to Reunion, taking up his mantle.
Later, Rhodes Island sent a reconnaissance team to a sub-sector of Chernobog, now used as a staging ground by Reunion to launch further attacks, only for the team to find itself encircled. They were eventually rescued by a relief force under Amiya's command with support from the L.G.D., though, as a result, the rescue team also found itself come into conflict with FrostNova and her Yeti Squadron. After a battle with her, the Doctor and FrostNova found themselves stuck under collapsed rubble, during which they conversed and befriended each other. Rhodes Island's forces and the Yeti Squadron agreed to a temporary truce to extricate their leaders from the rubble, after which both parties parted ways peacefully. However, the attack on Rhodes Island's recon team and the rescue operation was merely a distraction which allowed Reunion to launch an attack on Lungmen. R.I. managed to arrive as the L.G.D. was launching a counter-attack on the now occupied L.G.D. headquarters and together, succeeded in repelling Reunion.
Rhodes Island assisted the L.G.D. as they carried out a search-and-destroy operation against the remnants of Reunion in Lungmen and witnessed Faust's last stand. R.I. did not take part in the L.G.D.'s battle against the newly arriving Yeti Squadron which ended in their total annihilation, but confronted FrostNova among the supporting structures that uphold Lungmen. The confrontation resulted in FrostNova's death, defecting to Rhodes Island as she drew her last breath. In the tragic aftermath, R.I. also discovered that Lungmen was carrying out unspeakable exactions against the Lungmenite Infected through the Shadow Guards and was offended that their Operators had been toyed with by Wei Yenwu's stratagems. With that said, Amiya personally terminated the agreement with Lungmen. But before she was about to cement her decision, Kal'tsit interrupted with news that Talulah had set the core city of Chernobog on a collision course with Lungmen.
Rhodes Island rescinded the decision, and chose to aid Lungmen in stopping the collision in order to prevent a potential war between Ursus and Yen, which would have greater consequences for the Infected than Wei's foul play. Led by Kal'tsit, Amiya, and the Doctor, R.I. successfully infiltrated the core city of Chernobog again, and discovered that the famed Guerrillas were defending the city, entering conflict with them not long after. During the battle, the Guerillas' leader Patriot intervened and engaged R.I. out of idealism. After long and grueling strife, Patriot accepted defeat and gave Amiya the key to Chernobog's control systems to stop the nomadic city; only to realize that she was possibly the legendary Lord of Fiends, object of a doomsday prophecy. Patriot attempted to kill her, but stayed his hand as he succumbed to his injuries.
Joined by the Guerrillas and Faust's Phantom Crossbowmen, R.I. launched a two-pronged attack where Kal'tsit and the Doctor pushed to the Sarcophagus, acting as Chernobog's power source, while Amiya charged to Chernobog's control tower. Despite the complications, including Mephisto, now transformed into an avian monster lurking around the Sarcophagus, and the Third Army of Ursus infiltrated among Reunion troops to ensure the war would happen, R.I. managed to prevail and set the stage for one final confrontation where Amiya, aided by Ch'en, defeated the puppeteer Kashchey and stopped Chernobog in the nick of time. In the aftermath, R.I. also took Talulah into their custody as a bargaining chip to prevent Ursus and Yen from turning them into a scapegoat for the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis.
In the aftermath, Rhodes Island embarked on their journey to the Victorian Empire as part of their agreement to help Glasgow resolve the crisis of its vacant throne. At the same time, R.I. took the opportunity to deal with Regent Theresis, an old issue back in Babel that must be resolved once and for all.
Almost a year later after the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis and a month after the Kazimierz Major incident, R.I. was ready for the war of succession for the Victorian crown. But first, they found themselves dragged into a bloody conflict in County Hillock started by Dublinn, the pro-Draco revolutionary faction. By manipulating the Taras' hatred of the Victorian government, Dublinn was able to rally the locals and launch a rebellion against the local soldiers. Meanwhile, in order to end this age-old problem once and for all, the merciless colonel Hamilton ordered a "dirty bomb" airstrike onto Hillock through the illegal Originium product he "seized" from the local warehouse. The worsening situation forced the local R.I. branch led by Outcast to conduct an immediate evacuation as well and a humanitarian aid. The evacuation was a successful one, but it came with the cost of Outcast's sacrifice while dealing with the elite leaders of Dublinn. The tragedy also forced R.I. to enter the capital of Londinium as soon as possible.
However, months later, the Rhodes Island landship was infiltrated by remnants of Reunion led by Nine. Their mission was to conduct a jailbreak of Talulah so that she would be held responsible for her fellow comrades. Because most of the Elite Operators were absent and then Kal'tsit was busy dealing with a surgery, the jailbreak was a success.
Most Intermezzi, Side Stories, and Vignettes rarely mention or do not involve R.I. The following stories are the most notable instances of R.I.'s occurrences:
- The daily lives of R.I.'s Operators are shown in Stories of Afternoon where it focuses on their interactions among them.
- R.I plays a story role in the B-movie written by Nian. In the movie, R.I. worked together with the L.G.D. to stop the Nian monster from destroying Lungmen during the Lunar New Year Eve.
- Flashbacks of several R.I. Operators are shown in the Vignette stories of Operational Intelligence, Rewinding Breeze, Beyond Here, and Preluding Lights.
- Vigilo focuses on how the daily events in R.I. help recall the Doctor's memory.
The Kazimierz Major Arc, specifically Near Light, is by far the only known side story arc where R.I. was partially involved. During the 24th season of the Kazimierz Major, R.I. was invited by the Grand Knight of the Adeptus Sprawiedliwi to provide humanitarian aid to the Infected community at Platform Zero. However, their presence hurt the interests of several mega-corporations. Also, R.I. has connection with Margaret Nearl the Radiant Knight, who was on her way to victory in the Major. With that said, the General Chamber of Commerce dispatched the Armorless Union to assassinate the Doctor, but the plan was foiled not only because the Doctor was well protected by the Adeptus, but also R.I. had actually established business relationship with some members of the K.G.C.C. and Speaker Markowitz. R.I. eventually departed the Grand Knight Territory in safety by the end of the Major season while taking in some local Infected knights and Pinus Sylvestris.
Op Reserve A1
Op Reserve A4
Op Reserve A6
Rhodes Island has several branches that only play a minor role in the storyline and are not formally included as their sub-factions:
- Medical Department: Led by Kal'tsit, the Medical Department is responsible for much of R.I.'s medical activities, including studies and treatment.
- Engineering Department: Led by Closure, the Engineering Department is responsible for maintaining Rhodes Island as well as acting as R.I.'s research and development (R&D) section.
- Convalescence Garden: A greenhouse managed by Lena with assistance from Podenco. The Garden also doubles as a psychiatric treatment center for some R.I. personnel with psychological disorders and mental illnesses, notably Nightmare. It appears that the Convalescence Garden works in tandem with the Medical Department. Sometimes also called the Convalescent Garden due to localization inconsistencies.
- Logistics: As the name suggests, Logistics are responsible for R.I.'s logistical management in all shapes and kinds and employs Messengers to act as their mailmen. Presumably, Logistics also encompasses management of Rhodes Island's farms, meaning certain combat Operators such as Bagpipe also contribute to Logistics.
- Rhodes Island Kitchen: As the name suggests, the R.I. Kitchen runs the Rhodes Island cafeteria/mess hall. Among R.I. Operators working for the Kitchen includes Gummy and Matterhorn. R.I. Kitchen also has a conceptual outfit brand themed around Terra's culinary diversity.
- Human Resource Department: Also known as H.R. Department, it acts as the source for R.I.'s new opeartors through recruitment.
- PRTS (tactical AI)
- Atro†: An R.I. doctor who treated the Infected at the Leithanien nomadic city of Wolumonde and was a close friend of Folinic. She was killed in a fire deliberately caused by Wolumonde's Catastrophe Messenger Biederman and Thorwald, the son of Severin Hawthorn. Atro's death triggered an uprising instigated by Wolumonde's Infected populace and the attack by the ex-Reunion Mudrock, a friend of hers.
- Dylan: The pilot of an R.I. aircraft which was shot down over Sargon during Gavial's homecoming to Acahualla.
- Occphen: The watchman of Watchtower 33 in Long Spring, Sargon, who was dragged into the local sibling rivalry.
Among the NPCs above:
- FrostNova defected from Reunion before her death near the end of Episode 06 and is posthumously recognized as a member of R.I. by the end of Episode 08.
- Guard was a former member of R.I. before his defection to Reunion in Episode 07.