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ArmA 3's First Contact campaign has assume control of Aiden Rudwell, a NATO drone specialist deployed to the Eastern European country of Livonia. It was added with the release of the Contact DLC.

U.S.-led forces and their counterparts from the Livonian Defense Force are in the midst of conducting joint military exercises. However, what was supposed a routine exercise will soon turn into a major crisis...

Summary

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SPIN-OFF: The following information stems from a spin-off expansion or third party Creator DLC and is considered to be non-canon in the main Armaverse timeline.

June 17th, 2039. Exercise Electron-39 commences in full swing with U.S. troops "fighting" to repel a full-scale Livonian assault. Specialist Aiden Rudwell's squad, callsign Howlite, is ordered to divert to the nearby SIŁA Factory to assist another fireteam trying to disable Livonian UGVs.

After being briefed by his friend, Corporal Jack Stype, he enters the nearby building containing a terminal with access to the LDF's drone network. Before he can successfully shut down their systems however, he's "shot" in the back by a Livonian soldier and the exercise terminates with a Livonian victory.

Rudwell's presence is later requested by Major Don Homewood, the interim NATO commander overseeing the exercises. Rudwell is told to meet up with Stype again to run through an electronic warfare demo and practice with the spectrum device before he is sent to aid Lieutenant John Kingsly, verifying coordinates for a live fire GPS-guided bomb strike.

Upon arrival, Kingsly shows him a designator with malfunctioning GPS guidance. Rudwell examines the device and confirms that the GPS coordinates are indeed glitching, which he manages to fix with a simple slap to the designator. Rudwell confirms the coordinates for the live fire target, allowing Kingsly to order the strike, delivered by drone.

Rudwell is first to reach the site, finding nothing but dead and dying soldiers.

However, the duo notice that the drone is flying way off its target. Before they can call off the airstrike, the bomb is dropped and begins falling right towards the heart of the factory. They frantically try to alert everyone in the compound but it's already too late: the bomb hits its "mark" and blows up a repair station.

Rudwell rushes onto the scene but only stumbles onto the corpses of numerous deceased Livonians and mortally wounded U.S. soldiers. After retrieving medical supplies for the injured, Stype hails him over the radio when a sinkhole forms under his APC.

The "root" object at the base of the sinkhole.

He quickly finds the trapped Corporal desperately trying to get away from an organic-like "root" object that had seemingly sprouted in front of his vehicle. The "root" even moves, shocking both Rudwell and Stype. A squad of Livonians soon arrive to secure the area, and the duo are rushed off for a debriefing while the entire factory is sealed off.

Two weeks later, Exercise Electron-39 is officially cancelled by the Livonian government and all foreign NATO troops are to depart from the country within 48 hours - much to the dismay of U.S. commanders. In addition, toxic vapours are detected leaking out of a landfill buried under the SIŁA Factory, necessitating the evacuation of the nearby town of Nadbór and the distribution of protective equipment. Now relocated to Camp Konrad, a U.S. outpost south of the factory, Rudwell is called up once more to meet with Maj. Homewood at the command tent.

« He's on task... carting our literal shit over to the burn pit. And sorry to say, I want you to tag along. Stop him from getting on the business end of an MP's nightstick.
Homewood assigns SPC. Rudwell with babysitting duties
»

He tells Rudwell to find Stype and to "assist" (in other words, monitor) the Corporal on a waste disposal run to the nearby dump. With tensions already running high between Livonian and U.S. troops, the last thing they needed was a loose cannon like Stype deliberately provoking LDF soldiers.

Tracking down the wayward Corporal, Stype requests that Rudwell help him with something else first. Suspicious of Stype's intent but compliant nonetheless, Rudwell retrieves the spectrum device from the armoury and gets back to the truck. Before driving any further, they stopover at an overlook with a view of the entire valley, where Stype discloses to Rudwell his suspicions regarding the chemical leak story at the factory, and that he discovered it was not built on a landfill, but a sawmill.

Stype tells Rudwell to scan the nearby surroundings for LDF radio transmissions, stating that he had managed to scrounge up an encryption key to bypass their security (much to Rudwell's dismay). They hear transmissions declaring that LDF soldiers guarding the roadblocks had shoot-to-kill authority for any trespassers, but nothing else was out of the ordinary. They board the truck again and continue towards the dump.

Arriving at the dump, Stype attempts to convince Rudwell to sneak past the LDF and to get to the (now-sealed) factory compound while he would distract the soldiers. Rudwell is less than enthusiastic at the prospect of potentially getting shot for trespassing, but agrees to carry out Stype's plan anyway.

The half-finished dome being built over the "root".

Sneaking past numerous LDF patrols, Rudwell finally arrives at a point overlooking the factory and to his shock, finds a massive dome structure erected over the sinkhole. Using the spectrum device, he also overhears a radio conversation between two scientists.

Now convinced that something was clearly not right with the LDF's activities, Rudwell continued to sneak north past the factory to find more information.

Along the way, alarm klaxons suddenly blare throughout the area. The duo initially thought they had been detected, but it was clear that the alarm had nothing to do with their presence. Just then, Rudwell stumbles onto another digsite just on the outskirts of the factory; another one of the "roots" - exactly like the one at the factory - had sprouted here as well.

The second excavated "root".

Using the spectrum device's ability to record and mimic radio conversations, Rudwell manages to lure the LDF team guarding the site to move away.

He begins examining the "root" but refuses to touch it out of fear of contamination. However, he finds a nearby terminal and begins to download the device's data onto his portable drive. But before he can finish, an LDF helicopter flies overhead and shines a spotlight over him. The crew orders him to surrender and to await for a team of Livonians to escort him away from the site.

The unknown "spaceship" unleashes its powerful electromagnetic pulse across the entire region.

Suddenly, an invisible pulse blasts across the region and sends the helicopter crashing into the ground. He attempts to board the nearby truck to getaway, but also finds it non-functional with the electronic systems fried completely. Stype tells Rudwell to link up with him further north, and that he would fire a flare to mark his position (to Rudwell's bewilderment).

After arriving at the (now burning) shack, Rudwell begins to berate Stype for his idiotic behaviour. But at that exact same moment, a massive "spaceship" flies overhead and unleashes yet another invisible shockwave, before coming to rest above the factory.

In light of the chaos caused by the flying object's sudden appearance, NATO/LDF soldiers rally together to devise a plan.

Moving to Camp Kresnik, the withdrawal is postponed as NATO forces attempt to come up with a plan to deal with the ship's sudden appearance. Rudwell and Stype attend the briefing being held by Maj. Homewood, who now serves as commander of all NATO forces in light of Colonel Richter's death.

He introduces Scottish physicist Dr. Ian Kesson and astrobiologist Šimon Čapek who begin briefing the Americans on their new mission: investigate what was suspected to be the arrival of extraterrestrial lifeforms.

Furthermore, they reveal that the unknown "root" in the sinkhole was most likely the culprit behind the friendly fire incident. Its signals possibly disrupted the drone's guidance systems and that lastly, it was merely a "rootcap" of a much larger underground structure that could possibly be millions of years old, and is presumably still growing.

The team begins its trek through the dark fog...

Lt. Kingsly's team would be personally heading towards one of the nearby glowing orb-like objects on foot while Rudwell would be operating an specimen collection drone - nicknamed "Eddie", much to Dr. Kesson's dismay.

But with a thick cloud of fog settling over the entire region, the trek towards the site was made increasingly difficult and eerily ominous...

Not long after, Kingsly's team soon walks into a sight that completely defies the laws of physics; vehicles, trees and rocks were floating almost completely still in mid-air as if they were unaffected by gravity.

Rudwell collects a sample from the glowing orb-like object.

Unwilling to risk any potential danger from the objects, Homewood orders Kingsly's team to hold their position as Rudwell commands Eddie to drive forward alone. The orb-like object is found nearby and he begins harvesting a sample from it with the drone's probe. But before they can continue examining the surrounding area, Rudwell's terminal begins to malfunction and is cut off from the drone's live feed.

Back at Kresnik, Rudwell is told to grab another working terminal from Point Hopi. By now the fog had grown soon thick that visibility was down to just a few metres. While stumbling his way through the forest, guided only by chemlights on posts, a small craft suddenly launches from the "spaceship" (now referred to as the Alien Flying Object, or AFO) and flies directly towards Point Hopi. Homewood orders Rudwell to divert towards the object, assisting the NATO/LDF teams at Hopi trying to communicate with the Alien Entity (AE), which was causing similar gravity anomalies like the one seen by Kingsly's team earlier, as well as regular "pulses" that could be physically felt.

NATO forces attempt to communicate with the AFO.

The soldiers at point Hopi attempt communication by turning on spotlights and blaring classical music; the former eliciting the AE to respond by "lifting" the lights telekinetically to alternate their on/off states with a tent lantern, the latter being met with ignorance by the AE, leading Dr. Kesson to believe that it cannot hear. To investigate further, Kesson asks Rudwell to retrieve another spectrum device and try monitoring the AE with it.

With the spectrum device in hand, Rudwell picks up a ping signal in the direction of the AE, but Homewood informs him that the ping is only an LDF tracking signal emitting from a Livonian squad behind the AE. Rudwell then tries monitoring the AE again, this time using an experimental jerry-rigged antenna mounted to his spectrum device, to find a highly unusual signal that was most certainly of alien origin. Approaching the AE to within the "pulse" zone, he found another signal, which, upon broadcasting on the same frequency for some time, caused the AE to stop "pulsing" and respond with loud noise.

Under the order of Maj. Homewood, Rudwell slowly makes his way closer to the AE. Right as he steps within "range" of the AE, a barrage of mental images begin to visualise in his mind, and the Specialist is knocked out for a short while after suffering from what appeared to be a seizure.

The strange visions being relayed to SPC. Rudwell's mind.

Thinking that the AE was hostile, both U.S. and LDF troops opened fire. Homewood ordered the Americans to stand down but the Livonians ignored the order and continued to attack the AE.

In retaliation, the AE launches several objects at both teams, annihilating everyone except for Rudwell. As the sole survivor, he tries to hail Homewood for assistance.

But to further complicate matters, one of his squad members relays information that Stype had seized all of the explosive charges from their EOD bots and was threatening to blow up Camp Kresnik if the LDF didn't disarm. Rudwell began to return to Kresnik at the behest of his squad member.

Just then, gunfire erupts as Livonian and U.S. soldiers turn on one another, followed by an explosion. Rudwell barely manages to get past the LDF troops and reaches the centre of the camp.

Demanding answers from Stype, the Corporal reveals that the LDF were going to call an artillery strike on the AE, and that "someone had to do something" in order to prevent "intergalactic war". To Rudwell's dismay, he also revealed that he had "accidentally" killed Maj. Homewood when the latter tried to stop him.

Appalled by Stype's lack of judgement, Rudwell had no choice but to go along with the situation as they were now labelled as rogues by the LDF. Hot on their heels, the surviving NATO soldiers - including both Dr. Kesson and Čapek, quickly regrouped at a nearby abandoned radio tower.

The survivors regroup to plan their next course of action.

With Lt. Kingsly's team searching for a way to reestablish communications with NATO high command, Stype puts Dr. Kesson in charge of running the camp while Rudwell moves to scout reported AE activity to the north-west. He continually runs into increasing signs of alien activity while sneaking past LDF patrols and criminals hoping to loot military hardware in the chaos.

Rudwell eventually reaches another excavation site under heavy LDF guard. He had no way of examining the "root" however, but Stype informed him that one of the vehicles accompanying Dr. Kesson's team carried a full load of Eddies that they could "borrow". He quickly made his way to the compound where the van was kept, but it was also heavily guarded by the LDF.

Bypassing the patrols, Rudwell managed to find the van and salvaged one of the functioning Eddies. He returned to the excavation site but found it strangely empty. The military science team and their escorts were lying dead all around the site, and their vehicles wrecked as well. Thinking the "root" might have something to do with it, Rudwell carefully navigated Eddie towards it and tried to scan it.

Eddie begins to scan the oddly decayed-looking "root".

But unlike the previous "roots" they had discovered, this one appeared to have decayed significantly and was no longer operational. It also seemed that it was "ripped" from the ground in such a way that Rudwell concluded was not done by a human. However, that still did not explain why the science team had been killed off. Rudwell inspected the team's laptop device and found no answers either.

Left with more questions than answers, Rudwell continued to trek through the region. Stype later informs him about the presence of yet another AE. However, this one was continually relocating itself to seemingly random locations. In addition, Stype also tasked Rudwell to disable an LDF automated turret located in a nearby village, to ensure the safety of other NATO survivors.

Using his spectrum device to jam its telemetry while he approached, Rudwell successfully disabled the auto turret. After informing Stype, he is then tasked with investigating a nearby helicopter crash site while he was in the area. The site was being patrolled by LDF soldiers with a UGV, which prompted Stype to suggest using a spectrum device signal originally prepared for the exercises to trick the UGV into attacking the Livonian soldiers.

After clearing the crash site of hostiles, Rudwell approached the helicopter wreck, where he found it was devoid of any markings, making it a literal "black helicopter". From the model of the helicopter, he deduced that it must be either a Russian or CSAT incursion. Scouring the site for information, he stumbled upon a strange, small device with a Russian label, which he took before moving to investigate the AE that Stype had informed him of.

The AFO relays another barrage of images into the Specialist's mind.

After tracking down its position, Rudwell managed to "communicate" with the AE by sending signals through the spectrum device. It comes to a sudden halt and once again, Rudwell attempts to approach it closer. It sends yet more visions into his mind with mental images of what appeared to be an Earth-like planet.

Soon after, the AE "rips" another "root" out from under a derelict bunker using its gravity manipulation technology, then departs from the area and flies off into the distance. Rudwell relays information about these images back to Stype but they're still left with more questions than answers. At Dr. Čapek's advice, Rudwell also takes a sample of the exposed "root tip" with Eddie.

Rudwell makes his way back to the camp but begins to notice something off. Stype failed to respond to Rudwell over the radio, and an unidentified military radio signal was emitting from the camp. Once in view of the camp, Rudwell spotted a mysterious man standing right outside the shed next to the radio tower, with the others nowhere to be seen. Upon spotting Rudwell, the man rushed into the shed and closed the door behind him.

Rudwell opened the door and discovered the others tied up and restrained on the floor, and that the other man escaped through a back door. He quickly tried to free them but the doors were shut and locked behind him. He could hear the man and another speaking together in Russian and tried to translate what they were saying.

The men soon left but again Rudwell and the others were left with more questions than answers, even after Rudwell discussed his findings with Kesson and Čapek. Soon after, they were freed when Stype returned and managed to unlock the doors. He reveals that the men were clearly Russian spec ops but didn't quite understand why they had spared him and the others.

Regardless, it was obvious that they were no longer safe at the radio tower - if the Russians could find them, then so could the Livonians. Fortunately, Stype had managed to scavenge a van that they could use to avoid suspicion.

Kesson tasks Rudwell with tracking down the "roots".

Now on the move, they could avoid detection so as long as they stayed away from LDF roadblocks. Rather than escape however, Kesson was adamant that they continue investigating the "roots" by to collecting samples from the remaining sites. Using the device retrieved from the Russian helicopter, which took advantage of the unusual neutrino-reflecting properties of the "roots", Rudwell was able to track them down to sample their "tips".

Rudwell regroups with Kingsly's team.

Satisfied that they had obtained enough samples, Kesson told Rudwell to rendezvous with them on the outskirts of a communications tower where Lt. Kingsly and the others had set up a temporary outpost. The Livonians had restored the power grid, and the group could use the tower to request for reinforcements from NATO high command.

The images depict what appears to be multiple networks sprawling across large sections of the Earth.

Upon powering up the tower and transmitting the message, one of the AEs appear right above the tower, facing directly at Rudwell as he exits the building. Using the spectrum device, he attempts to communicate once more and is bombarded with even more visions.

He sees images of what appeared to be Earth with numerous root networks sprawling across the planet. He loses consciousness just as the AE departs for good. Shortly afterwards, he wakes up to the sight of Kingsly and the others coming to wake him; the Russians were here and requested his presence.

The Spetsnaz team leader; the same man Rudwell had seen at the radio tower earlier that night; identified himself as Captain Ivan Severov of the 223rd Special Purpose Detachment. For years, they have been tracking down the "roots" in the hopes of preventing another disaster from happening, ever since the covered-up 2020 incident in Olom, Siberia, where a dead, inactive "root" was discovered and ruptured, causing a 30 megaton explosion.

If the Livonians made the same mistake as they did, they would end up causing destruction that would be on the same scale - if not far worse, than Olom. Kaliningrad, Belarus, Lithuania and even Poland would be caught in the blast zone. Needless to say, Livonia itself would cease to exist.

The AFO mothership under attack.

As if on cue, the LDF began a full-scale offensive on the AFO in the distance. Jets struck the ship with missiles while ground forces bombarded it with anti-tank weapons. But with every bit of damage on the ship, its integrity was failing rapidly. In addition, the LDF was also attacking the core of the "root" structure, which had been uprooted by the AFO.

Left with no alternative and time running out, Rudwell and the others agreed to join forces with Severov's team to stop the Livonians at all costs. Kingsly's team split off to block the main roads being used by the LDF while a team of Spetsnaz, under the leadership of Severov's Sergeant Krupin, moved to clear the soldiers at the base of the core. As for Rudwell, he would be using the spectrum device to track down the missile sites. The teams moved in, and the AFO activated its engines and left the atmosphere, retreating from the LDF assault. Now with one less target, the LDF redirected their fire to the core.

The Russo-American team succeeds in stopping the LDF assault...for now.

Against all odds, the Americans and Russians succeeded in putting a stop to the first wave of Livonians. The core was stable enough and disaster would be averted - until news had arrived that the Livonians were dispatching more reinforcements.

Kingsly's team were overrun and had to pull back while Krupin's men were pinned down by heavy fire, leaving Rudwell alone at the base of the core.

The Russian military arrives in the nick of time.

Luckily, they were no longer alone in their struggle. The backup Severov had requested for had finally materialised. Russian fighters intercepted Livonian helicopters as paratroopers inserted and flanked their units from behind. Heavy gunships rained down a hail of cannon fire, tearing through LDF vehicles and drones.

The Livonians finally accepted defeat and retreated, allowing Rudwell and the others to extract safely from the factory. Severov arranged for a transport to pick up the Americans, while his team would remain behind to help the incoming forces secure the badly damaged core.

Six weeks later, the incident in Livonia leaves the country at odds with Russia, while the rest of the world continues to struggle coming to grips with humanity's first contact with extraterrestrial life. Dubbed "The Visitors", they will continue to remain a subject of intense speculation regarding their intentions on Earth. Numerous space expeditions using micro-robots travelling at speeds of one quarter of the speed of light, as well as a project to locate and contact The Visitors via a neutrino medium, have already been proposed and will be journeying into the depths of space in the coming years.

Timeline

False Negative (19th June, 2039)

« NATO forces suffer a major disaster in Livonia. »

Going Dark (3rd July, 2039)

« Specialist Rudwell is coerced into finding answers. »

Close Encounters (3rd July, 2039)

« Following the arrival of extraterrestrials, a small team tries to establish contact. »

Anomalous Phenomena (4th July, 2039)

« Efforts are made to regain control of a desperate situation. »

Carpe Noctem (4th July, 2039)

« As events slowly come to light, a new threat presents itself. »

Elimination Coda (4th July, 2039)

« NATO and Russian forces stage a last ditch attack to prevent the LDF from destroying the alien network. »

Another Earth (1st August, 2039)

« The world reflects on First Contact. »

See also

Campaigns
Cold War Assault Resistance (1982)Cold War Crisis (1985)
Armed Assault Armed Assault (2006)Rahmadi Conflict (2006)Royal Flush (2007)
ArmA 2 Harvest Red (2009) [ Eagle Wing ] • Silver Lion (2010-2012)Operation Arrowhead (2012)Operation Crimson Lance (2012)Operation Black Gauntlet (2013)
Tactics Operation TempestOperation No Deal
ArmA 3 Beyond Hope (2026)Prologue (2034)The East Wind (2035) [ Survive, Stepping Stone, Adapt, Win, Steel Pegasus, Altis Requiem ] • Remnants of War (2034/2035)Apex Protocol (2035)Old Man (2038)First Contact (2039)
Mobile Ops Liberator of Lignos
Entries are listed in canonical order from left-to-right.
[Brackets] denote campaigns taking place concurrently within the same time period.
Italics denote spin-off or non-canon campaigns.
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