May I enjoy my life and practice my art,
Respected by all men and in all times.
In the 11th century, a hospital was founded in Jerusalem to care for sick and poor pilgrims. After the First Crusade, the superior of the hospital founded many hostels in Provence and Italy. On 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II began creating the organization that would later become a powerful military force in the Holy Land, tasked with defending the Crusader states as well as taking care of the sick and wounded. In 1310 they headquartered on the island of Rhodes, and remained there for over two centuries.
This religious military organization would come to be known as the Knights Hospitaller, or, during their time stationed on the island of Rhodes, the Knights of Rhodes.
On Terra, there exists a similar organization, travelling aboard a landship with footsteps all over the world. They come from different countries with distinct backgrounds, holding different beliefs and varying goals, but they all work towards one common ideal—to bridge the gap between the infected and uninfected.
They are Rhodes Island.
They are the Knights of the Ark.
The History of Rhodes Island
Rhodes Island’s public information did not indicate that they were a company involved in arms, but there is a certain professionalism to a portion of the personnel and its security measures. Considering that there have only been a few years since Rhodes Island’s registration until now, many questions were lingering in my head. From public information, I believed that they (referring to Blacksteel International) are in a competitive relationship. Now that I see it… perhaps they have another kind of connection.
The Rhodes Island Pharmaceutical Company was founded roughly three years ago, with Amiya acting as the CEO. It primarily focuses on the treatment of the infected, and on a broader scale, to bridge the divide between the infected and uninfected. It has quickly built quite a reputation for itself as both a treatment centre as well as an expert in dealing with issues regarding the infected. It actively seeks out new recruits, providing them with generous working and living conditions as well as cutting-edge equipment. This allowed them to attract many talents and Oripathy patients from all over Terra, although admittedly some do decide to leave after finding out Rhodes Island’s true purpose.
Of course, trust is an everlasting issue. Not many are willing to trust an organization led by the infected; not authorities, and not even the infected themselves, and this in turn created countless obstacles. Many come to understand Rhodes Island over time, but unfortunately, some never do.
But Rhodes Island isn't just the pharmaceutical company. And the history of the Rhodes Island landship dates back much, much further.
Many years ago, during the Kazdel Civil War, a group of Sarkaz mercenaries led by Ines and Hedley was commissioned to escort a convoy through Kazdel. This convoy, as they later discovered, contained an ancient landship that was dug up in Rim Billiton, which was named "Rhodes Island" after this name was found in the documents deep inside the ship. When the civil war ended, the landship left Kazdel, and the Rhodes Island Pharmaceutical Company was later formed.
The landship came with a slew of ancient technology that not even Closure, the self-proclaimed genius, knew how they work. Thus, obviously, when something breaks the easiest solution is to just replace it with something that's workable.
The current Rhodes Island landship is larger, with enough room to house all the departments, helipads for VTOL aircraft, and even has a farm complete with animals and tractors. Some of its systems were replaced by Closure, and the ship itself can’t operate without her. It is speculated to be over 800 meters in length from the concept arts, more than twice the size of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, the largest warships currently built.
Rhodes Island’s motto, “May I enjoy my life and practice my art/Respected by all men and in all times”, comes from the last line of the Hippocratic Oath:
“If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
Many of Rhodes Island’s senior staff are the remnants of its predecessor, Babel, with most of them having a deep reverence towards the Doctor for his contributions during the Kazdel Civil War. On the other hand, there are new faces after the pharmaceutical company was created, who made their way up the chain of command. Some came to Rhodes Island for treatment, research, or a variety of reasons, and ended up becoming a part of it.
That being said, those who chose to become a combat operator only comprise a small portion out of everyone who joins Rhodes Island, with civilians mostly ending up in logistics. Combat positions are based on a volunteer basis, and operators who come from a civilian background are allowed to return to logistics duty without consequences within a year.
The following is a list of known personnel involved with Rhodes Island. Playable operators not belonging to a specific team (e.g. the reserve teams or S.W.E.E.P.) are omitted, and so are the operators from Fungimist (note that as of the Originium Dust event, Pith, Touch, and Stormeye have appeared in the story or operator profiles).
|Medical department head||Kal'tsit|
|Tactical commander||The Doctor|
|Blood bank overseer||Warfarin|
|Mechanist and weapon engineer||Mechanist|
|Elite operators||Logos, Mechanist, Outcast (possibly deceased), Mantra, Raidian, Misery, Blaze, Rosmontis, Whitesmith (possibly deceased), Ace (deceased), Scout (deceased)|
|Senior S.W.E.E.P. member||Ascalon|
|S.W.E.E.P. members||Projekt Red, Scavenger|
|Operations team E3||Ace (captain, deceased), Guard, Greythroat|
|Operations team E4||Nearl (captain)|
|Scout's recon team (all deceased)||Scout (captain), Slink, Pter, Scorpion, Leafa, Milim, Tipsy, Slanna, Mimi, Mary, Thumbtack, Mudflower, Macron|
|Special ops team 3||Mantra (captain), Elysium|
|Reserve ops team A1||Fang(captain), Kroos, Beagle, Lava, Hibiscus|
|Reserve ops team A4||Melantha(captain), Ansel, Steward, Adnachiel, Cardigan|
|Reserve ops team A6||Orchid(captain), Catapult, Spot, Midnight, Popukar|
|Ops team A4||Yato(captain), Noir Corne, Durin, Rangers|
|Instructors||Dobermann, Grace, Tess, Fallon, Viktor, Leah|
|Other mentioned characters||Morgan, Dagda, Simone, Heavyrain, Muelsyse (presumed to be on Rhodes Island), Leto, Owl, Hypatia, Neon, Dora, Elena, Harmony, Aosta, Anton (deceased), Whiteflame, Compass, Silon, Dylon, the High Priest|
Treatment of the Infected
As a company known for its medicine and treatment, it should come as no surprise that Rhodes Island does, well, medicine and treatment. Many infected have come to Rhodes Island seeking the help they wouldn’t otherwise receive. These include those who have status and wealth, such as Mousse and Melantha, and also those who came from the bottom rung of the societal ladder like Rope and Haze. As long as they are willing to contribute, and are willing to accept Rhodes Island’s environment and cause, they will be treated just like any other patient, no matter their background. To date, Rhodes Island has accepted blacksmiths, assassins, child soldiers, high school girls, geologists, criminals, and even ex-Reunion members.
For those who cannot afford treatment, as long as they can provide services for Rhodes Island (such as washing dishes, among other menial things), Rhodes Island will take them in. Even children Rhodes Island picks up will be taught by other operators, and do what they can to contribute.
Those affiliated with Rhodes Island will often wear an infection monitor bracelet, no matter if they are infected or not. The bracelet can track the infection progress and monitor body signals. Those wearing a visible monitor are as follows:
As a company that tries its best to maintain its neutral status as it slithers its way between political forces, Rhodes Island’s armaments cannot be compared to that of a country or even a city. Elite operators such as Blaze and Rosmontis have their own custom weapons designed to complement their Arts or fighting styles, while normal operators wield standard swords and staves if they do not have their own. Rhodes Island itself possesses numerous land vehicles and at least three aircraft, and several training rooms are available on-board for training.
When an infected individual dies, their body can crystallize and turn to dust, causing secondary infections. Rhodes Island is equipped with a biological processing room containing several incinerator chambers to dispose of the corpses. All of Rhodes Island’s infected personnel will eventually end up in this place.
PRTS, which stands for Primitive Rhodes Island Terminal Service, was the AI that connected the Doctor's nervous network to Rhodes Island during the tutorial. It acts as an assistant around the landship, and sometimes makes unfunny jokes that are uncalled for.
"I feel like the situation here has gone cold. Should I raise the temperature in the control room?"
When Rhodes Island is docked, the onboard operators can freely move around in the local area, provided that they do not harm Rhodes Island’s interests. Rhodes Island also has its own supply channels with outposts in various locations, and operators will be sent out occasionally to resupply the landship. One place these supplies end up is the kitchen, staffed by logistics operators and sometimes Matterhorn and Gummy. Apart from cooking, another part of their job is keeping Ceobe out of the kitchen.
Of course, not all those on the landship are operators or patients. Weedy, for example, worked under Closure for a while as an engineer before she decided to step onto the battlefield. Many more are like her, simply doing what they wanted to or needed to, only with the setting being a landship.
Relations with Other Organizations
Blacksteel International is a personal security company located in Columbia. As Oripathy gradually became more widespread, Blacksteel collaborated with Rhodes Island to treat its infected employees, and sent some of its interns (including Vanilla) over to Rhodes Island. Rhodes Island has also sought Blacksteel’s help during the mission to rescue Misha.
Saria, Silence, and Ptilopsis are no longer affiliated with Rhine Lab after their arrival at Rhodes Island with Ifrit. Rhine Lab and Rhodes Island signed a collaboration contract that brought over Magallan. Mayer, a researcher from Rhine Lab, is currently collaborating with Rhodes Island as well and is aiding in construction and development.
Lungmen Guard Department
The L.G.D. worked with Rhodes Island during the Misha rescue mission per their contract, and they fought together in the Lungmen invasion. After the events of Partial Necrosis, the collaboration between the L.G.D. and Rhodes Island has officially ended.
Raythean is a manufacturing company active in Rim Billiton and Columbia, and manufactures electronics, mining equipment, and military gear. It has made Savage’s hammer, Vulcan’s riot shield, Glaucus’ Raythean Franker, Specter’s saw, and Ch’en’s Chixiao. Additionally, Lancet-2, Castle-3, and THRM-EX were all operation platforms developed by Raythean and modified by Closure, while Scene’s robots were custom-made. Glaucus is a weapons tester at Raythean, while Bibeak is the daughter of a Raythean designer.
Penguin Logistics’ agreement with Rhodes Island has allowed Sora to stay on the landship, on the condition that they protect Sora’s safety and increase her popularity. Rhodes Island has also sought Penguin Logistics’ help during the mission to rescue Misha.
Two of Glasgow’s members, Siege and Indra, are currently on Rhodes Island. The rest of the members are likely to be on the landship as well.
Karlan Commercial’s chairman, Enciodes Silverash, is in a collaborative relationship with Rhodes Island. His younger sister Ensia is being treated at Rhodes Island, and his other younger sister Anya, Karlan's Saintess, has snuck aboard.
Nearl, Shining, and Nightingale are all currently serving Rhodes Island.
Ursus Student Self-Government Group
Zima and the group she led joined Rhodes Island after they were found by rescue teams in Chernobog.
Rhodes Island accepts the missions given by Contingency Contract in exchange for supplies. They were one of Rhodes Island’s important collaborators. Contact with Contingency Contract had been temporarily cut due to Reunion, but it has since been re-established by messengers.
Lee’s Detective Agency
Waai Fu is employed by Rhodes Island during the Lungmen-Rhodes secret commercial-communication contract. Hung and Aak are recommended by the owner of the detective agency and are subsequently employed.
After their pet “Phil” was killed in an infected riot with Reunion involved, King’s Wand collaborated with Rhodes Island, partially on their desire to take revenge against Reunion.
Azazel’s leader, Hellagur, is currently collaborating with Rhodes Island after the clinic was destroyed in the Chernobog invasion.
Doctor, from now on, it's up to you to decide if you will shoulder the burden of responsibility for Rhodes Island...
..."Whether or not to be one worthy of the trust of a Rhodes Island operator."
With my companions, I am never alone.
After all, we are…
Many thanks to the AKO lore room who helped me with the creation of this article.