|Country of Origin||Antarctic Fortress|
|Trained at||House of Geoffrey|
|Key Features|| » "Third Eye" Psychic Focusing Device|
» Psychic Implants
» Armoured Uniform (Sinister)
» Quilted Mask
» Handwritten Reminder to Hail to the Great Geoffrey
|Concept Art of the Initiate uniform drawn by a uniform designer|
|Other Faction(s)||Dominion of Epsilon|
|Production Building||House of Geoffrey|
|Secondary Ability||Focused Blast|
|Heroic Upgrade||Mass Incineration (Deals AoE damage)|
"I don't need matches!"
- - Initiate about to set someone on fire
- Geoffrey is master: The Initiate is a particularly powerful and dangerous basic infantry unit, attacking with powerful pyrokinetic bursts that quickly set men ablaze and can even threaten lighter vehicles in a way that assault rifles never would be able to, and their durability is superior to that of most other basic infantry. Cover is less effective against the attacks of Initiates than against most other weapons, as the Initiate's pyrokinesis attacks propagate at the target, also making them dangerous to entrenched foes.
- Cleansing flame: To hide in a structure is no defense against the Initiate, for they can dig into their willpower and charge up a mighty pyrokinetic blast that will clear out everyone in a building like a thermobaric bomb, or use it to deal additional damage to selected enemies for an ambush.
- I am but a student: With that said, the Initiate is not without weaknesses. They are among the shortest ranged non-melee basic infantry and will be massacred if caught in the open by the likes of anti-infantry vehicles or suppression infantry. Similarly if they can be prevented from closing the distance, their powers will come for naught and aircraft are their bane.
- Enlighten me: As their powers grow and progress, initiates learn to amplify the effects of their pyrokinetic weaponry; harming multiple opponents at a time and allowing them to butcher large groups of enemies at once as their pyrokinetic blasts affect a considerable area. Their focused blasts also have a wider area of effect, letting them cleanse a great many unbelievers at once.
Geoffrey was always deeply interested in the power of the human brain, and pursued its secrets to degrees unmatched by lesser minds. His initiates were formed out of those who had started following his teachings, and they followed the word of their sinister master to the ends of the Earth. He taught them one of the simpler psychic techniques, the ability to conjure heat energy through one's psychic abilities, and this became the first step in essentially all of Epsilon's psychic training programs. From the start of his operations in the Alliance, the "Great Master" formed what amounted to a cult around him, and with a handful of exceptions, all who rose to prominence in his Epsilon unit started their careers as initiates. The ease with which he conceived of all the technology and even the appearance of the initiate amazed his new followers, and even in Epsilon's days as a research division, countless Initiates served at Geoffrey's commands.
Within the Alliance, these Initiates formed a secretive group that was almost impenetrable to Alliance internal security. However Mosley and others repeatedly told the rest of the Alliance to not worry, Geoffrey was a loyal and valuable member of the Alliance whose research was indispensable to its prosperity. Most generals and officials who met Geoffrey in person found themselves agreeing with this assessment, and the Initiate program continued to expand. Geoffrey however, always made sure to hide some of his best research or put in special failsafes to ensure that they would favor him. Any of the clones he created for the Alliance were given secret psychic programming to turn to his service when the day came to take the Alliance over for his own purposes, while he himself amassed a great many vat-grown initiates in secret. He made absolutely sure that the initiate program's research was kept within Epsilon, and that all were loyal to him and his inner circle first.
In the second world war, the first initiates mostly engaged in secret operations or in support roles to try and preserve the element of surprise. He had them intentionally downplay their abilities to the point of even using guns instead of pyrokinesis; using their psychic abilities more for subtle purposes. The elaborate ruse worked, as no one who participated in that conflict suspected the truth that Geoffrey had created a cancer within the Alliance waiting to devour it from within. His initiates even formed secret cells deep within Communist territory, cells that would wait for his orders to launch their attacks in the next war after correctly predicting that the Alliance would not be victorious in this war. As ever, the initiates of Epsilon were the foot soldiers in this sinister scheming and dealing, often being seen speaking to strange figures bearing the symbols of black hands and scorpions and fighting other strange men in medieval armor and wielding primitive seeming weapons.
Under Thornley, the Initiates would continue to maintain their ruse. Many people across the world were even trained as sleeper initiates, their status as Epsilon's psychic warriors kept hidden from all, even themselves as their programming was buried into their consciousness. The Alliance, the Comintern, the Axis; everyone thought that there were maybe a hundred thousand or so initiates in existence. Such a calculus could not be more wrong, as in truth Epsilon had grown its armies to include millions upon millions of soldiers waiting to stab their erstwhile masters in the back. Day and night they were trained, day and night their psychic abilities and devices were honed and perfected, and day and night they engaged in secret drills and genetic programs to prepare their bodies to bring humanity to its next stage of evolution. Fanatical in their devotion to Epsilon's vision of a psychic humanity under the leadership of the Great Master and his inner circle, the initiates were prepared to launch a most devastating war that would end all other systems of society and bring about the new age.
World War III
Before Epsilon played its hand properly in the third world war, it engaged in a number of operations; both to maintain the image of helping the Alliance and both to set up everything for Epsilon's planned betrayal of the Alliance. Carried out in a veil of secrecy, the initiates began to display their powers more openly in missions that were kept hidden from the eyes of Geoffrey's supposed masters. Unexplained attacks were carried out against both Communist and Capitalist forces, legion security teams would wind up dead and their technology would vanish into the ether. Alliance bases would find themselves sabotaged, efforts to contain WLA or Circle cells would be stymied, unexplained movements would be seen near Totania, and rather audaciously, a number of prisoners were taken from Alliance Cuba by unknown assailants, with the guards left charred and burned without a trace of incendiary chemicals to be seen anywhere. The Initiate was ever at the forefront of these audacious maneuvers, and Geoffrey was most pleased, and said as such when the time came for Epsilon to take over the Earth and demonstrate to Thornley and his cadre of fools just how useless they were without the genius of Geoffrey and the Inner Circle.
The betrayal of Epsilon would fall upon Paris where Alliance leaders were meeting to discuss the war effort; complicated by the attack of the Axis and celebrate recent victories with a parade. But with a signal, all of their cloned soldiers turned their guns on their former comrades and the sleepers awoke as enormous numbers of initiates poured out of driller APCs and Epsilon's stealthy machines rumbled into position. At once, a moment of celebration became a time of horror as Paris was turned into a charnel house by Epsilon. Most of the Alliance's heads of state and government were slaughtered on live television with the French President being burned alive by Initiates before his people, sending the Alliance into a panic as Thornley, Elizabeth, and Bingham managed to evacuate themselves only due to the heroic efforts of Manning and Lisette. The image of Initiates burning the flags of the Alliance and France and raising the purple banner of Epsilon was seen across the world alongside Geoffrey's proclamation of a new world order.
In communist and axis territory, hidden cells of sleepers, underground soldiers, and warriors hidden by Epsilon's psychic illusion devices launched attacks from hiding; bent on demonstrating that the democratic will of the people and divine destiny were the sole domain of Epsilon. Nobody had expected the sheer scale of the army that Epsilon had acquired, and initiates would become a symbol of fear the world over. Those affected by Epsilon's psychic indoctrination, legitimately came to believe Epsilon's teachings, or were grown out of Epsilon's ghoulish bioproduction facilities and cloning vats would swarm across the earth like a plague of locusts. Nowhere seemed to be safe as no one was quite sure where Epsilon had underground bases, sleeper cells, or bases hidden by Psychic Illusions and Phase devices and the threat of Epsilon attacking from beneath the Earth frayed at everyone's nerves. Even worse was the ruthlessness that the initiates prosecuted their war effort; believing the rest of the world to be heathens to be punished for their sins against humanity's destiny and the promise of paradise on earth as well as heaven, the initiates never blinked at the innumerable horrific means that Epsilon prosecuted its wars.
The Axis proved to be an unexpected foe, Geoffrey had not paid them too much heed in his calculus, but the Initaites would turn their attentions towards laying waste to their people for the crime of believing in false gods and false prophets soon enough. The fanaticism of the Imperial Warrior was pitted against the zealotry of the Initiate just as it was pitted against the idealism of the General Defender and the determination of the peacekeeper. The peoples of Japan, Africa, the flying cities, and the other pawns of the false god Yoshiro were made to fear Geoffrey as the boots of initiates walked on the soil of their territories. And in some of the more horrific acts of Epsilon, initiates would earn the name "child snatcher" as they were the first to storm into homes and schools to abduct the children of their enemies to be subjected to Epsilon's brain washing. Many of these children were forcibly aged into adults by Epsilon genetics and themselves were made into initiates, often attacking their own parents; while others were to be raised in Epsilon's new model of the family to one day willingly become initiates themselves. Such methods made the very word "initiate" take on a dirty connotation, much like the term "Ultimate" did due to its association with Mosley's brutality.
But the shock and dismay at Epsilon's terror tactics and its disregard for the lives of "unbelievers" turned into outrage and a burning desire for vengeance. Epsilon's enemies were surprisingly quick to adapt to the horror show that Epsilon inflicted upon them, and they learned the key weaknesses of the initiate such as their short range. Tactics were modified and new weapons were rolled out to counter the psychic and genetically engineered legions of Geoffrey and Epsilon found itself often having to play the part of defender against its enemies who were resolutely determined to save the world from a fate of being Geoffrey's slaves. The network of Psychic Dominators, Beacons, and Amplifiers that were meant to put the world under Geoffrey's control were destroyed one by one and Geoffrey's allies began to falter more and more often. Eventually the enemies of Epsilon conspired to attack Epsilon in its own house and strike at the Antarctic Fortress where previous attacks failed. The Communists moved to destroy Epsilon's Mental Omega device; its great machine to dominate the wills of all life on Earth at once. The Alliance dared to attack Geoffrey's very citadel to punish him for his treachery. The Axis launched an assault on one of Epsilon's great bio-facilities meant to deliver the world into their hands by holding its food supplies hostage, placing the Damocles sword of an army of unspeakable monsters over the heads of the world, and twisting those who resisted into creatures of Epsilon.
Millions upon millions of initiates swarmed forth to defend the great citadel continent of Epsilon from the unbelievers, but even with their numbers they were being driven back and cut down by those determined to see Epsilon's madness come to an end. Virtually no initiates were taken prisoner, whether because they killed themselves before allowing themselves to be captured or because few soldiers were in the mood to take prisoners after remembering what Epsilon did with its own prisoners and to their homes. Epsilon tried to retain some hope when word came of the fall of Geoffrey's citadel and the disappearance of their master, but then word came of the destruction of the biologus manufactorum, and finally the loss of the Mental Omega device ending Epsilon's hopes to take over the world in one fell swoop. Despair crept into the initiates, now for the first time unsure of what to do as the Inner Circle squabbled and panicked with the loss of the Great Master and his ultimate weapons, but they managed to dig a line in the ice and ground the enemy's attempts to destroy Epsilon in antarctica to a halt as millions of Initiates threw themselves into the fray to win their masters respite, and millions of them would die in the cold snows.
With the peace of Warsaw, the Initiates had cemented their reputation in the world, but without Geoffrey a sort of malaise crept up on these devotees. They had lost what was supposed to be the great conflict that would bring paradise to the Earth, and countless initiates had been sent to the paradise above; freed from the cycle of reincarnation for martyring themselves in the name of evolution and ascension. They were numerous still, an army such as Epsilon's could never not be numerous, and their blood had earned Epsilon the right to be considered a superpower. But they were at a loss for what to do now. It would take the ascension of one of their number, a Jewish girl who had risen from the humble rank of initiate to Geoffrey's favoured proselyte; to give the initiates a new sense of purpose. Gluckel Horowitz ascended to the ranks of the inner circle, and helped bring an end to the deadlock in its ranks, and much of the "missionaries" of Epsilon rallied behind her, celebrating her as a new messiah who would bring them light in this time of darkness.
Horowitz for her part would reform the Initiates. She lessened the cruelty and brutality of Epsilon's forces considerably. The promise of ascension could not be accepted if it was associated with terror. While many of the more objectionable tactics of Epsilon would remain, the initiates would be given a more friendly aspect to them even as Epsilon still conspired for world domination. Many would be sent forth on missions of charity and humanitarianism, being dispatched to help with repairing the damage dealt to the world in its largest war ever. This did a fair deal to alleviate the hatred felt towards Epsilon, but many could never truly trust them again. But many Initiates would be still expected to fight, especially against new enemies such as the Atomic Chinese who wanted vengeance against the psychic legions for what horrors they unleashed in China before its fall; or mysterious machines who dared to probe the defenses of the sacred seventh continent; and increasing contact with many strange and even alien visitors to the world or newcomers to its politics such as the Atlanteans. To aid in this, Horowitz made some further modifications, and increased the armouring of the initiate uniform; inserting more hard plates that allowed them to better withstand enemy fire.