The Commander-in-Chief's In Extremis Force, also known as the CIEF, is a United States military organisation which primarily represents the Freemasons.
Before Seven Ancient WondersEdit
At some time prior to 1990, the Freemasons within the Caldwell Group (a front organisation for the Kingdom of Sea) agreed to found a new military force for the United States government to undertake special operations. While ostensibly intended to operate on the direct orders of the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief's In Extremis Force in fact answered to the King of Sea (Garrett Caldwell, or else one of his familial predecessors)
Eventually, the American Colonels Jack "Wolf" West Sr and Marshall Judah were among those appointed to lead the CIEF (it is unclear if they were aware that they were serving the Kingdom of Sea, or else simply believed that the Caldwell Group was a Freemasons society). Operatives for the CIEF were often seconded to them from other military units such as Delta Force or the U.S. Marines; while some performed many operations for the CIEF, others were selected for one-off missions due to their possession of skills or knowledge they had.
By 1990, the CIEF began doing annual special forces exercises at Coronado, helping to train soldiers from other nations' special units such as the Australian SAS. Jack West Jr was among the students Judah taught.
In 1991, Judah and the CIEF led the first soldiers on the ground during Desert Storm. During a mission at Basra, in which Jack was tasked with destroying mobile missile launchers, Judah and the CIEF abandoned him and left him for dead due to the large number of enemy forces.
Because of the CIEF's reach into other American forces and intelligence agencies, they learned about the mysterious Fifth Vertex located beneath Diego Garcia. The Vertex was once of six corners of a Machine created by super-ancient beings, which when restored with the six Pillars would save the planet from the Dark Star. Over the next several years, the CIEF would be provided with resources and information related to the Machine that the U.S. had gathered over the years in order to prepare to restore the Machine when the time came.
During the mid 1990's, upon learning that the Catholic Church was using its agents to undergo a mission led by Father Francisco del Piero to restore the Golden Capstone to prevent the Tartarus sunspot from causing global flooding, the CIEF was ordered by the President (under the influence of the Caldwell Group) to prepare a rival expedition, since there could be a reward for the nation that completed the trial; 1,000 years of absolute power.
Judah was assigned to lead the mission, and believed he would be reporting directly to the President (apparently unaware of who the true masterminds of the mission were). The CIEF began preparing by training to disable the types of traps they would encounter with modern countermeasures. As the CIEF employed scientists to determine the final resting places of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that the Capstone pieves had been hidden with, Judah brought the former Nazi archaeologist Hans Koenig into the fold for his own experience and knowledge. Because Jack had been secretly implanted with a tracking chip during his training with the CIEF, Judah was able to deduce that Jack was a part of a small team formed by a coalition of small nations which intended to find the Capstone Pieces itself, and so he decided that the CIEF's efforts would be made easier by following his team's progress in order to get the Pieces for themselves.
Once it became apparent that Jack's team were heading to the location of the first Capstone piece, Judah led the CIEF force to the Sudan, where Cal Kallis led a sub-team to surround the Coalition team once they emerged from the mine with the Colossus of Rhodes piece. By threatening Zoe Kissane, Kallis was able to force them to hand over the piece, which he then passed on to a CIEF chopper before Judah ordered him to execute most of Jack's team. However, a chopper from the Old European Union destroyed Kallis's support chopper and took off after the one carrying the Capstone piece, affording Jack's team to begin making their escape.
With the first Piece in hand, the CIEF waited until the tracer in Jack's skull indicated that the Coalition team were going after the next two Capstone pieces at Hamilcar's Refuge, where Koenig had been once before his capture. Thanks to the former Nazi's knowledge regarding the concealed Refuge, Judah arranged for a tunnel boring vehicle to dig a path through a former excavation tunnel while also sending Kallis and his men to pursue the Coalition team through the primary entrance to the inlet.
Judah and his CIEF team arrived within the hidden inlet just as Jack and his team were making their way along the opposite side, starting a race to the Refuge. With their preparations, the CIEF was able to overcome all of the traps to the Refuge with ease, and while Jack, Zoe and Lily were able to reach the Refuge first, Judah's team followed them in and retrieved the Lighthouse of Alexandria and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Capstone pieces. Kallis and his men continued firing at the Coalition to keep them at bay while the CIEF's boring vehicle took the Pieces away. Jack was able to catch up to the vehicle and kill the CIEF men inside in order to photograph the inscriptions on the Pieces' sides, but reluctantly left the CIEF to possess them since he had no way to carry the large Pieces away.
As there had been little chance of the CIEF being able to find the Refuge without the scroll his team alone possessed, Jack began suspecting that one of his team was feeding information to the CIEF, unaware of the truth.
Judah and the CIEF allowed the Coalition team to roam free over the next few days to continue seeking out the Capstone pieces, and instead made their way to their base at Victoria Station in Kenya. Making their presence known to Doris Epper after overhearing her conversation to Jack that his team had obtained the Zeus piece, the CIEF took her hostage and prepared an ambush.
Once the Halicarnassus arrived at the hanger, the CIEF began closing in, and Judah sent out Doris to make it appear that things were normal with a threat not to give them any warning. However Doris gave Lily a subtle message only she would only understand, and when she and Big Ears began running back to the Halicarnassus the CIEF team opened fire. As Judah executed Doris, the CIEF managed to pin Lily and Big Ears behind the plane's generator, leaving the Irish commando no options but to sacrifice himself to get Lily to safety. Though the Halicarnassus managed to power up and flee, the CIEF were able to claim the Zeus piece Big Ears had been carrying from his body.
Though they had been employing many methods to locate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, such as having other military units in Iraq checking the waterfalls around the suspected location of the Gardens, Jack once again unknowingly led the CIEF to their location. Taking command of the American military forces nearby, Judah sent a team enter the Gardens without any warnings to test the trap system. The resistance a small force of Israeli soldiers put up eventually made Judah impatient and so he and the CIEF opted to force their way into the hidden cavern with explosives.
Having little care for the historical site, the CIEF forces opened fire on the gigantic stalactite to try and cut down Jack and Pooh Bear, while Judah found Lily and Stretch caught in a quicksand trap and took them hostage. Once Kallis's team executed Avenger and his men to take the Piece they had obtained, Judah ordered one of the chopper pilots to bring the stalactite down on top of Jack and Pooh Bear in an attempt to end them. Soon after the stalactite was brought down, the CIEF discovered Jack's tracer had gone dead, indicating he had died.
Needing the Temple of Artemis piece the Europeans had, Judah began making arrangements with the CIEF's liaison to the President to send a decoy plane to the Luxor airport to draw out Father del Piero and his forces. Once the American soldiers the CIEF used as bait were brought down, the CIEF emerged from their positions around the airport to cut down the European soldiers, executing those who surrendered. Once the real air convoy carrying the Pieces and Judah arrived, the CIEF took possession of the Artemis Capstone piece, as well as del Piero and the Coalition team members he had captured.
Needing only to obtain the remaining piece from the tomb of Alexander the Great, the CIEF had Koenig assist them in finding the tomb's entrance, and soon Judah took the uppermost piece of the Capstone from Alexander's dusty remains.
Having arranged for a platform to be erected on the Great Pyramid to allow them to re-erect the Capstone and perform the ceremony of power, the CIEF made their way to Giza and began putting the Capstone together back on the Pyramid's summit. After Judah forced Alexander into the recess to be used as a sacrifice so that the ritual of power could be performed, the CIEF waited for noon, but some of their spotters saw the Halicarnassus making its way towards them. The CIEF began firing at the plane, but were caught off-guard by the plane's use of VTOL technology, and several CIEF soldiers were taking out by Pooh Bear and Sky Monster, aided by Zoe, Stretch and Fuzzy from one of the CIEF choppers they had been held in.
Jack, meanwhile, confronted the CIEF troops around Judah, easily bringing most of them down before coming to blows with Kallis. The CIEF's fighting against the Coalition gave Judah enough time to perform the ritual of power, only to discover that Alexander had escaped the recess in the chaos. Jack soon killed Kallis by throwing him into the rotors of a crashed Super Stallion and confronted Judah, using Horus to rip out the CIEF leader's eye. After Mustapha Zaeed unwittingly performed the ritual of power for Australia, Judah attempted to shoot Jack, only to realise that he had failed as his gun fell apart in his hand. Once Jack killed Judah, the remaining CIEF forces retreated from the Great Pyramid.
Between Seven Ancient Wonders and The Six Sacred StonesEdit
Due to the CIEF's failure to restore the Capstone, the American Administration decided to sever ties with the Caldwell Group that had founded it, and as a result the CIEF was officially disbanded. However, many of its leading members continued to operate, as the Caldwell Group utilised their many connections with the other American military forces to keep the CIEF running in secret. Because of this, the CIEF no longer formally represented America, whose government remained under the impression that the organisation was no more.
Wolf, now the CIEF's highest-ranking commander, was aware of the impending return of the Dark Sun, and because of their desire to obtain the rewards granted to the holder of the Pillars once they were laid (particularly the Second Pillar's reward of Heat, which was believed to be the secret to perpetual motion), Wolf and the CIEF began making plans to restore the Machine. They soon began collaborating with Felix Bonaventura, who had been America's leading expert on the Machine for several years.
Over the next year-and-a-half, Wolf negotiated a deal for the CIEF to work with China with the stipulation that they would share the Second Pillar's reward with each other, and later the CIEF-China alliance arranged a bargain with the Saudi intelligence operative, Vulture, who sought the reward of the first Pillar, knowledge, and so the CIEF agreed to let the the Saudis have the First Pillar and its reward. At some point the Royal Houses of Europe also joined the alliance, however the CIEF was wary enough to know that the Royals would have their own agenda.
In Auguest 2007, after learning that Australia had lost its invulnerability because of a counter-ceremony performed by the Japanese Blood Brotherhood, Wolf decided it was more critical than even to continue the restoration of the Machine.
Upon learning that the American government was preparing to take up its own mission to restore the Machine and ally itself with the Coalition of Minnows, Wolf arranged for an ally in the CIA who was taking point in the mission, Paul Robertson, to keep the CIEF informed of their progress.
Eventually, Vulture was able to learn where Jack and the Firestone were located, and so the CIEF began making preparations for the People's Liberation Army to lead the invasion of Jack's farm in order to obtain the Firestone.
It is unclear as to the status of the CIEF following the end of the mission to restore the Machine, though with Wolf's failure it is most likely that the Caldwell Group ceased attempts to keep the organisation running.
- Cal Kallis - (seconded from Delta Force)
- Grant "Rapier" West - (seconded from Delta Force)
- Akira "Switchblade" Isaki - (seconded from the U.S. Marines)
- Broadsword - (seconded from Delta Force)
- Sean "Astro" Miller - (seconded from the U.S. Marines)
- Paul Robertson (operating within the CIA)
The CIEF is an elite military organisation which enlists soldiers from other members from the American Armed Forces (such as the Marines, Delta Force, etc), so that success in its operations it highly likely. Though they officially operate for the U.S. military, the Caldwell Group has primary control of it. Prior to the Capstone mission, the CIEF largely worked on top secret and specialised operations.
When first introduced, the CIEF aimed to locate all seven of the Pieces of the Golden Capstone, so that the Capstone could be rebuilt and used in a ceremony that would grant American 1,000 years of unrivaled power. During this mission they were relentless, doing anything necessary to obtain the Pieces such as killing civilians like Dorris Epper or even going so far as to destroying historical sites like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
When it came to the mission to restore the Machine (by which time the CIEF was supposed to have been disbanded) they made their own plans to locate the Pillars and Vertices and retrieve the rewards in spite of the American government's desire to ally with the Coalition of Minnows for the sake of the greater good. Under Wolf's leadership, the CIEF remained a brutal force that used its enemies and allies alike to achieve their overall goal.
- AH-64 Apache helicopters
- C-130 Hercules cargo plane
- UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters
- Lear jet
- F-15 Eagle jets
- CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters
- PA-27 Airborne Assault pods
- Colt Commando assault rifles
- Rocket-Propoelled Grenade launchers
- Glock pistols
- M-4 assault rifles
- The proper pronunciation for the CIEF is noted within Seven Ancient Wonders, which notes it is intended to be pronounced "seef".
- During The Six Sacred Stones, Wolf mentions that the Caldwell Group was privately funding the organisation. Taking into considering that the later novel, The Four Legendary Kingdoms, named the King of Sea as Garrett Caldwell, it is most likely that Caldwell is the head of the Caldwell Group, and was using the CIEF to undertake the Capstone and Machine Restoration missions on his Kingdom's behalf.