Event synopsis: Operation Originium Dust

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Operation Originium Dust

Acting as a collaboration/crossover with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Operation Originium Dust tells the story of four Team Rainbow members: Eliza "Ash" Cohen, Alexsandr "Tachanka" Senaviev, Elias "Blitz" Kötz, and Tina "Frost" Lin Tsang as they were inadverdently taken to Terra after an operation that went wrong and their efforts to adapt with the alien yet familiar world, including an unlikely alliance with a team of Rhodes Island operatives.

Operation Lamarck

At an unspecified period around the same time as the events of Arknights and Rainbow Six Siege take place in Terra and Earth, respectively, a Team Rainbow strikeforce made up of Ash, Tachanka, Blitz, and Frost with support from Elżbieta "Ela" Bosak and Nienke "Iana" Meijer launches an assault on the Magnethill-2 underground bunker complex in the Ural Mountains. The goal of their operation, codenamed Operation Lamarck, is to capture Levi Klitschko, a Russian scientist working together with local militia for unknown goals. The operation goes smoothly as the team discovers the existence of Originium in the lab and confront Levi. In an act of defiance, Levi activates a device that transports the bunker, himself, Ash, Tachanka, Blitz, and Frost to Terra, leaving Ela and Iana puzzled in the aftermath.

Brave New World

Team Rainbow upon arriving in Terra

Upon arriving on Terra, the four Team Rainbow members find themselves stranded in a desert and surrounded by metallic arthropods. After gunning the creatures down and with no sign of Levi or the bunker, they realize that they're no longer on Earth and they set off to search for a place where they can take shelter and rest. Luckily for them, the languages on Terra are more or less identical to Earth languages, allowing them to communicate without too much difficulty.

After wandering across the deserts of Sargon for about six months and encountering animalistic humanoids and magic-like powers along the way, Team Rainbow reaches the town of Long Spring where they meet the local doctor Miarow who gives them shelter in his clinic on Long Spring's Infected quarter. During their stay, Team Rainbow learns that the Terrans live under the constant threat of Oripathy, a disease caused by exposure to Originium. They try their best to not meddle with the Terrans' affairs, but who knows for how long Team Rainbow can maintain such stance.

Strange Bedfellows

A Rhodes Island team made up of Franka, Liskarm, Rangers, and Schwarz are traveling across the deserts to return to the Rhodes Island landship after finishing a mission. On the way, they encounter mutated sand beasts and kill them before receiving a distress call from an Rhodes Island outpost in Long Spring, nicknamed "Watchtower 33". The team departs hastily towards the outpost. Once they arrive, they learn that the mutant creatures, dubbed "Originiutants", were born from experiments done by Levi involving radioactive mutagens, under the commission of Drudge Tulla, a Sargonian noble with ill intentions.

Team Rainbow checking out the Originium-powered Terran weaponry in Watchtower 33

Meanwhile, Team Rainbow is forced to intervene when a squad of disguised mercenaries (on Drudge's payroll) attempt to kidnap a group of Infected to be used in Levi's experiments. Amidst the ensuing skirmish, Originiutants show up to help the mercenaries and attack the city, including Watchtower 33, explaining the distress call sent to the R.I. team. Team Rainbow helps the local Rhodes Island staff, Occphen, protecting the tower from the Originiutants and mercenaries. While in the tower, they have the opportunity to inspect a Rhodes Island weapons cache, unfortunately learning that the weapons are completely useless to them due to their Originium-based firepower. Once our Rhodes Island team arrives at Watchtower 33, the two teams join forces to help each other through the crisis.

Same Shit, Different World

As both Team Rainbow and the R.I. team stay in Watchtower 33, they develop a strong rapport with each other as the latter gives the former more insight about Terra, including Arts in which Liskarm modified Blitz's G52 tactical shield to be Originium-powered. The peace, however, breaks when Watchtower 33 is besieged by the Long Spring guards under the command of Lady Picale, the Lady of Long Spring, believing that R.I. were responsible for the attacks earlier. Negotiations with Lady Picale fail, but before Rhodes Island is able to leave, the lady and her guards are ambushed by Drudge.

Yet another Infected falls to Oripathy

Drudge reveals himself as Lady Picale's brother to the captives in the manor. Since Lady Picale had succeeded their father as town ruler, Drudge planned to execute his sister and take over Long Spring with the assistance of his Columbian supporters. Before Drudge can have Picale executed, Schwarz infiltrates the manor and kills the mercenaries, the rest of the team storming in behind her. During the battle Miarow sacrifices himself to destroy Drudge's ultrasonic emitter, disorienting the Originiutants and allowing the joint forces to vanquish Drudge's men, though Drudge himself manages to escape. Team Rainbow watches in horror as the fallen Miarow's body disintegrates into a pile of Originium dust (contained by Rhodes Island), as all Infected do upon death.

"I've seen enough shit over the years, Cohen. You know what I mean. This world sucks. But there's still something we can do about it."

During Miarow's funeral in the aftermath, Ash expresses her regret for not being able to save Miarow and starts to doubt whether Team Rainbow's standards also apply to Terra. Tachanka, who had been through similar situations in the past back on Earth, reassures her that while Terra is not as civilized as Earth, they need to keep doing what needs to be done, as Team Rainbow had back on Earth.

Lady Picale joins the two later and apologizes for her brash decisions that put Long Spring into danger and promises that Miarow's sacrifice won't be forgotten. She marks his grave with a gold seal to honor his sacrifice before explaining the situation surrounding the Tulla clan, noted by Tachanka to be eerily similar to the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq back on Earth. Franka then gives Ash a box containing Miarow's keepsake, which she keeps as a memento of him.

Mission... Accomplished

After his defeat, Drudge has a fallout with Levi which ends up in the Reproba along with some of his mercenaries being locked up by the Earthling scientist. Anticipating another attack by the Originiutants, the joint Rainbow-R.I. force splits up into two teams: Ash, Blitz, and Schwarz strikes at the abandoned mine outside Long Spring where the Originiutants came from, while the rest, Rangers, Tachanka, Frost, Liskarm, and Franka, aid Lady Picale in defending Long Spring from the Originiutants.

Levi's "essence of evolution," now freed and threatens all life in Terra

Upon reaching the mine, Ash's team is surprised to see that the Magnethill-2 bunker complex has been teleported into Terra as well, realizing that Levi is behind everything. The team encounters Drudge shortly after entering. As payback for what happened to Miarow, Ash beats him down and they leave him behind to push deeper - heading towards the laboratory where Team Rainbow had cornered Levi before. When they arrive, Levi gloats about his success in harnessing Originium and unleashes an Originiutant called the "Essence of Evolution", sacrificing his own life in the process. Knowing that the Essence is an unholy abomination that must not be allowed to exist, Ash's team manage to weaken it after a tough fight and destroy the Magnethill-2 bunker, burying the Essence in its ruins.

Meanwhile, the team in Long Spring manage to hold off the Originiutants from the manor while their ammo supply dwindles. Just when they've run out of ammunition and the Originiutants are starting to overtake the manor, unexpected help arrives from Rhodes Island. Reinforcements led by R.I. elite guard Stormeye clear the manor of the Originiutants before the team is overrun.

Team Rainbow, heading out into the alien yet familiar lands in Terra

Afterwards, Lady Picale thanks Team Rainbow and Rhodes Island for saving Long Spring before they depart. Having established a good repertoire, the members of Team Rainbow head to the Rhodes Island landship to register themselves as their associates before embarking on their own journey across Terra. Trapped on Terra for now, they set off to see more of this new world with their eyes and, hopefully, to find a way to return to Earth.