The Coalition of Minnows is a team of people from various "small" countries, who work together to save the world by means of uncovering ancient conspiracies, artefacts and sites.
Before Seven Ancient WondersEdit
Prior to the 1990's, while Max Epper was primarily researching an ancient Machine linked to the Dark Star, he also looked into history around the Golden Capstone of the Great Pyramid. In this line of research, Epper discovered instances of global flooding caused by the Tartarus Sunspot on several occasions in the past. Epper also learned that the only occasion when flooding didn't occur was a short time after the Great Pyramid was completed. Theorising that the Golden Capstone, which had since been disassembled and hidden, had somehow absorbed the intense heat of the sunspot during its previous rotation, Epper then considered the implications of the sunspot causing another flooding in its next rotation.
Between 1994 and 1996, Epper and his protégé, Jack West Jr, located several hidden scrolls that were saved from the Alexandria Library fire, and discovered, among other things, the Callimachus text, which would lead them to the locations of the Ancient Wonders and the Capstone Pieces with them. However, because the texts were written in the Word of Thoth, they needed to find the latest of the Oracles of Siwa.
Though wary to believe in the idea that a single nation could obtain 1,000 years of unrivaled power, Epper was concerned when he learned that both the Catholic Church and the Americans were preparing their own expeditions to obtain the Capstone to take the power for themselves. Because of this, Epper made contact with several friends in foreign governments, including Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove of the Australian Army, to request their presence at a later meeting of nations to discuss his findings and prepare a rival mission.
Seven months after Epper and Jack recovered the newborn daughter of the Siwa Oracle, a meeting of nations was finally brought together (Australia had agreed to participate and allowed Jack to attend the meeting by himself on their behalf). Epper explained to the gathering the impending crisis involving the Tartarus sunspot and the threat posed by the Old European Union and the rival American expedition, requesting that all of the gathered nations form a team to protect the Oracle girl, whom Jack had named Lily, as she grew up and could learn to translate the Callimachus text.
The gathered nations quickly agreed to allow a single representative to join their mission; while Canada had already chosen Epper, Enrique Velacruz was to represent Spain, V.J. Weatherly for Jamaica, Sky Monster was picked for New Zealand, Sheik Abbas chosen his second son Zahir for the United Arab Emirates, and Ireland assigned the siblings Zoe and Liam Kissane.
Once the meeting was over, the chosen team members took different routes to Victoria Station in Kenya, where they were to spend the next several years raising Lily together (and with Epper's wife Doris). Over the next several years, each of the team members participated towards Lily's development, and because of the need to isolate her from the world, Lily was home schooled by Epper and Doris, who also taught her many ancient languages and hieroglyphs. Becoming close to every member of the team, Lily eventually gave them new nicknames.
In the years they spent at Victoria Station, the team trained to deal with the trap systems they would encounter during the mission, and also came up with several contingency plans and secret forms of communication they could use in the event that something went wrong and they needed a new base or rendezvous point. They also briefly harboured the rogue U.S. submarine captain JJ Wickham as a favour to Jack, and associated with some of the local Kenyan farmers, notably Solomon Kol.
Seven years after the assignment started, the team was visited at the farm by the Mossad agent Benjamin Cohen, whom Jack was familiar with. The Mossad, knowing the team's mission, wanted Cohen added to the Coalition's team or else they would expose the Coalition to their rivals. Jack agreed on the condition that Cohen would not report at any time to the Mossad, which the Israeli reluctantly agreed to. While it was hard for the team at first, eventually they came to accept Cohen as a member of the team (though Pooh Bear still had reservations).
Eventually, one week before the sunspot was due to face Earth, the ten-year-old Lily found herself able to understand the first part of the Callimachus text. As a result, the team quickly mobilised and used the Halicarnassus to head to a mine in the Sudan.
The team made their way into the ancient mine through its second entrance, but with Francisco del Piero and his Old European Union already present and Marshall Judah's Commander-in-Chief's In Extremis Force forces inbound, Jack led the team hurriedly through the traps, though Pooh Bear was apparently taken out by a sliding stone. After arriving at the Grand Cavern, most of the team secured their position on the Scar while Epper's Warblers held off the Europeans' gunfire, Jack led Lily up to the Innermost Cave, where she picked out the Capstone piece from the Colossus of Rhodes' neck. The team proceeded to flee back the way they came, being joined by the still-alive Pooh Bear as the Europeans attempted to pursue them.
However after reaching the entrance, the waiting Noddy was killed by Cal Kallis and his men, who surrounded the Coalition team as they reached their Swamprunners. After Jack's attempt to reason with Kallis failed, they were forced to hand over the Piece when the psychopathic CIEF trooper put a gun to Zoe's head. After Kallis announced his orders to execute the team, save for Jack since Judah wanted to speak with him, the team managed to flee their captors as a European chopper inadvertently provided them with a distraction, and were pursued on their Swamprunners until Sky Monster brought in the Halicarnassus to pick them up.
Though they were preparing to head back to Victoria Station, the team's plans changed when Lily suddenly found herself understanding the next clue in the Callimachus text. Jack and Epper excitedly realised that they actually had a chance in their mission since the text itself didn't reveal the Piece's location, but rather one of the scrolls they had obtained years earlier. Soon the team prepared their next move to recover the Alexandria Lighthouse Piece from Hamilcar's Refuge in Tunisia, and while Big Ears' injuries from the mine were minor enough that he could continue, Fuzzy was forced to stay aboard the Halicarnassus with Sky Monster.
Shortly after locating the entrance to the concealed inlet containing Hamilcar's Refuge, the team was alerted to the arrival of an American team. After racing Kallis and Judah's teams through the inlet's trap systems, Jack, Zoe and Lily alone made it to the Refuge, while the others were forced to find another way in. Jack's group found the Lighthouse's Piece with the Mausoleum Piece, however, with Judah's team right behind them, they were forced to hide and leave the Pieces for the CIEF. Zoe escorted Lily to the rest of the team while Jack took a notebook from a long-dead Nazi archaeologist and pursued Judah's drilling vehicle carrying the heavy Capstone Pieces, photographing the inscriptions for Lily to translate later. Because he was unable to reach the rest of his team, Jack was forced to commandeer an old U-Boat and was picked up a day later.
Jack demanded a private talk with Epper, sharing his suspicion that someone on their team was letting the Americans' know of their progress, but neither could determine who the mole might be since they were both certain of their teammates' loyalty to Lily, if nothing else. Epper noted that their problems were compounded with the issues brought up by Lily's translations of the clues for the Statue of Zeus and Temple of Artemis Pieces. During a team meeting, Epper revealed the Artemis Piece was undoubtedly with the Europeans, since the Artemis Piece was at St. Peter's Basilica, but the Zeus Piece was lost. To this end, Jack reluctantly decided they needed to liberate Mustapha Zaeed, an expert on the Capstone, from Guantanamo Bay to help them.
Stretch, though outraged about using Zaeed, provided details on the terrorists cell, and so while Jack and Zoe donned Gull Wings in order to infiltrate the detention camp, the rest of the team provided a distraction by having Sky Monster land the Halicarnassus on the golf course and the others firing rubber bullets at the defending Marines, making them believe it was an exercise and therefore becoming less lethal. Once Jack and Zoe had grabbed Zaeed, who had agreed to help once he learned they were trying to rebuild the Capstone, they returned to the Halicarnassus and made their escape to Jamaica.
Once Zaeed revealed the Zeus Piece was kept unknowingly in the Louvre with the Winged Victory of Samothrace statue, the Coalition team began making their way to Paris, with the intention of also noting the measurements of an obelisk that would help to locate the tomb of Alexander the Great, where the final Capstone Piece lay.
Jack led most of the team to retrieve the Zeus Piece, with him and Big Ears disguising themselves in workers overalls before they and Lily moved to the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Once Jack broke the Capstone Piece out of the statue's pedestal, they began making their escape through the streets of Paris in a double-decker bus procured by Stretch, getting the obelisk measurements along the way, and finally managed to get away with the Piece.
Meanwhile, Epper led Zoe and Fuzzy into St Peter's, not so they could take the Piece, but so that Epper could memorise the inscription. Disguising himself as a Priest, Epper approached the alter holding the Piece, managing to memorise the inscription before a guard firmly requested he move along. The trio began making their way to the airport, contacting Dorris to inform her of their success, but soon afterwards they were captured by del Piero's men.
Unaware of their teammates' capture, Jack's team returned to Victoria Station, intending to hold on to their Capstone Piece to prevent their rivals from being able to perform the ritual of power. However, as Lily eagerly ran to Dorris with Big Ears to share the news, Dorris called out to Lily that their return was just like Gimli's return to the mines of Moria. Lily knew that this was a warning and that something was wrong. Indeed, once she and Big Ears began running back to the Halicarnassus, the CIEF breached the hanger and opened fire. Sky Monster got the Halicarnassus ready to take off once again, and after Big Ears sacrificed himself to get Lily to the air-stairs, Pooh Bear and Stretch brought her aboard, allowing the team to get away.
As they flew away, Judah contacted Jack's group to gloat about retrieving the Zeus Piece from Big Ears' body, Dorris' death, and revealed that Epper's team had been captured by the Europeans. With Lily upset but determined to make Big Ears pround, and even as Stretch, Pooh Bear and Zaeed started bickering, Jack decided that, rather than give up, they had to locate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and retrieve its Piece.
They soon managed to determine the Gardens' location, however shortly after they got past the first trap they were confronted by a group of Sayaret Matkal led by Avenger, revealing that Stretch had (unknowingly) given their location away, and were planning to use the Piece to bargain with the Americans. After being forced to escort the Israeli's through the Garden's traps, Jack and pooh Bear retrieved the Piece for Avenger, but the pair were left hanging from the ceiling.
After Lily became trapped in the quicksand of the second Well of the Winged Lion, Stretch hesitated to abandon her and instead decided to save her from the rising quicksand. As the Americans arrived and captured them, Jack managed to get him and Pooh Bear to safety by swinging them onto the giant stalactite using an American chopper, but were forced to make their escape through the Priests' entrance as the Americans destroyed the Gardens. While the Americans took the Capstone Piece from Avenger's team, Jack and Pooh Bear were taunted by a fleeing Zaeed that to ensure the ceremony that weakened the Tartarus sunspot worked, Lily's life would need to be sacrificed.
Jack and Pooh Bear returned to the Halicarnassus, where Jack realised the truth about the mole in their team; he found a tracking chip in his skull, implanted since an accident while training with the CIEF years before the mission had begun. After disabling it, Jack, Pooh Bear and Sky Monster made plans to stop the Americans from succeeding on the Great Pyramid.
Meanwhile, del Piero had Epper, Zoe and Fuzzy brought to him one day before the Rotation event, taking a moment to gloat about the Church's imminent victory and introducing Alexander to them. After del Piero informed the group of what he had learned from intercepts regarding a confrontation between Jack's group and the CIEF at the Hanging Gardens, he went on to tell them he would be taking them to Giza to witness his victory.
After del Piero's attempt to ambush the Americans backfired, Epper, Zoe and Fuzzy were soon reunited with Lily and Stretch. Epper was taken to Luxor by Judah to witness him claim the final Capstone Piece, and then he and Lily were brought to the platform on the Pyramid, with Stretch, Zoe, Fuzzy kept as hostages in a Black Hawk at the base of the Great Pyramid, whom Judah would order killed if Lily didn't comply to his commands.
Soon after Judah began the ritual of power, the Halicarnassus approached the Pyramid and, after entering its hover mode, Pooh Bear and Sky Monster attacked the Americans while Jack used his Gull Wings to land on the Pyramid's platform, quickly taking out many CIEF operatives before resorting to hand-to-hand combat with Kallis. In the confusion, Zoe, Fuzzy and Stretch escaped from their bonds and took control of the Black Hawk, from which they helped to bring down CIEF choppers while Stretch sniped at the CIEF forces on the Pyramid's platform.
Judah's completion of the ceremony failed due to Alexander escaping the Capstone, but while Judah held Jack at gunpoint, the stowaway Zaeed used Lily to perform the ceremony, apparently giving 1000 years of power to Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, Jack revealed that he had swapped Zaeed's sand with his own homeland's, giving the power to Australia, and proceeded to kill Zaeed. After finishing Judah, Jack went to the Capstone and cried over Lily's apparent death during the ceremony, only for her to awaken, still alive.
As the team collected the Capstone and Alexander, they reunited in the Halicarnassus as they began flying away. The team rejoiced, with Lily and Pooh Bear forgiving Stretch for his actions before Lily explained to Jack that she survived by the ritual by going into the chamber willingly, as a scroll she had read years earlier had explained. Lily then comforted Zoe and Epper for the loss of their loved ones.
After the mission was over, the representatives of the countries in the Coalition met again to discuss the events on the Great Pyramid, this time joined by representatives from Israel. Wizard brought Lily with him, and proceeded to inform them of what had happened, but chose to lie about the fact that Australia now had 1,000 years of power, claiming that the ritual of peace had been performed instead.
Between Seven Ancient Wonders and The Six Sacred StonesEdit
Some time after the mission was completed, Israel discovered Stretch's actions to abandon his country and save Lily, and so they seceded from the Coaliton. Some of the other nations of the Coalition provided Stretch asylum since his own country deemed him a Category 5 Enemy of the State.
Each member of the team returned to their home nation to resume their regular duties, while occasionally being asked to go over some details of the Capstone mission. During their time off, they would regularly visit Jack and Lily at Jack's remote farm in Australia, though the absence of most of her former guardians was hard on Lily at first, and she in turn occasionally visit the individual team members at their own homes. The team was able to reunite in full during the New Year celebration atop the Burj al Arab in Dubai.
Epper would more regularly visit Jack and Lily, having the former help him in doing research, and sometimes bought his associate Yobu "Tank" Tanaka with him. Lily began to notice the romantic tension between Jack and Zoe, and so she began to hope that they might marry so they could be a proper family.
When Jack's farm was attacked by hostile Chinese forces moments after Jack received information from Epper about a new crisis, he, Lily, Sky Monster, Zoe and Alby Calvin managed to escape and headed for the Burj al Arab, with Jack requesting the nations in the coalition to send their representative to prepare for a new mission.
Over the next few days, Stretch and Pooh Bear reunited, however they learned that Spain was refusing to send a delegate to participate, Fuzzy was surprisingly late and that Epper and Tank had been captured by Chinese forces. In addition, they were joined by Pooh Bear's older brother Scimitar, who brought with him the Saudi Arabian spy known as Vulture. They were also joined by the American CIA attache Paul Robertson and the Marine Sean "Astro" Miller, as America wished to join the coalition in their new mission, offering to provide the team with intel regarding Epper's internment.
With that, Jack revealed what he had learned from Epper's notes. A zero-point field referred to as the dark star was due to enter the solar system, and unless it was repelled, then its deadly energy would destroy all life on Earth. To this end, they needed to gather six oblong diamonds called Pillars and set them at various locations around the world to rebuild an ancient machine which would repel the dark star. In order to find the Pillars and Vertices, determine when each Pillar had to be set and cleanse them, they would need to find the Six Sacred Stones. While Vulture's family possessed one Pillar and the Americans had one Sacred Stone, the team realised they needed Epper for his greater knowledge, and so began making plans to get him back.
After Alby revealed he knew some details of some of Epper's notes, Jack sent him with Zoe and Lily with the Firestone to meet with Epper's former students, twins Julius and Lachlan, to unlock the secrets of the Alatar Stone of Stonehenge. Meanwhile, Jack led the rest of the team, including their new allies, to China so that they could free Epper and Tank from Xintan prison.
Hijacking the prison's transfer train, Jack and Stretch retrieved Epper and Tank before crashing the train and escaping. The rest of the team hid in the nearby snow banks until the prison's Hind gunship landed nearby, taking their chopper from them and using it to make their way to Witch Mountain. After their arrival, Pooh Bear remained on the Hind to see to Tank's injuries while the rest of the team made their way through Laozi's trap system to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone, quickly catching up to Mao Gongli and his men, who had been having difficulty with the traps. After disabling them (with Jack pistol-whipping Mao on the nose for his treatment of Epper), they encountered the final trap guarding the Philosopher's Stone. Jack then raced against the speed-trap to retrieve the sacred stone, and successfully brought it back before he could fall into the mercury lake.
Upon their rendezvous with the Adamson twins, Zoe and the kids made their way to Stonehenge, disabled the guards and began restoring the ancient site as best they could. They finished moments before the Titanic Rising began, and their cameras recorded the event as the weakened light of the Dark Star caused the lichen on the trilithons to reveal the relative locations of each of the six vertices.
Reuniting at Mortimer Island, the team was introduced to Iolanthe Compton-Jones of the House of Windsor, who had the Fourth Pillar to go with Vulture's First Pillar. After they had identified the location of the First Vertex at Abu Simbel thanks to the Stonehenge data, the American-possessed Killing Stone of the Maya was united with the Firestone to confirm the Pillar-laying dates, and then with the Philospher's Stone to cleanse the two Pillars they had. With the first components they needed in hand, Jack led the team, accompanied by Iolanthe, to Abu Simbel to lay the First Pillar.
Along the way, the team entered a debate regarding the Royal European Houses, which Iolanthe took no obvious offence to. Later, Iolanthe spoke privately with Jack, noting the Coalition team's loyalty to him, and revealing that the Second Pillar was with the elusive cannibalistic Neetha tribe. Upon reaching Abu Simbel, Jack and the team managed to locate the Vertex's entrance beneath the lake, allowing Jack, Epper and Zoe to enter. Once they located the upside-pyramid in which the Pillar had to be laid, Jack placed the Pillar, and noted that for once things had gone well for them.
Ironically, it was at that moment that Iolanthe's team of Royal Marines jammed their communications and took the team members on the surface hostage. Their commander, Colin Ashmont, forced Jack to hand over the Pillar, Lily and Epper before closing the Vertex entrance on him and Zoe. Iolanthe left the rest of the team on the zodiacs to sink into the lake with the crocodiles, though luckily Jack and Zoe were able to save the rest of the team. They attempted to contact Scimitar and Vulture for assistance, but had no response from the pair, leading them to contact Sky Monster and Stretch on the Halicarnassus instead.
Epper then radioed to report that Iolanthe's group had been blindsided by suicide bombers, and was now fleeing with Lily and the Pillar. Unfortunately, Sky Monster reported that a convoy of Egyptian military vehicles were approaching, and so the team rushed to catch up with Epper in a Land Rover Sky Monster dropped to them. During the chase, one of the Halicarnassus's engines was hit, resulting in the plane being surrounded by enemy troops. Jack used Astro's maghook to reach the plane, and Sky Monster informed him that they only had a short time to get everyone on board. At the end of the chase, Pooh Bear jumped from their bus to take down some of their assailants, allowing Zoe and Alby were able to get onboard. Out of time, Jack implored those on the Hali to find the Neetha and place the second Pillar. As they reluctantly took off, Jack, Stretch and Astro were surrounded by the enemy, and Jack was knocked unconscious.
Between The Five Greatest Warriors and The Four Legendary KingdomsEdit
During the course of the next eight years, the members of the Coalition team continued largely as they had before, returning to their home nation while making the odd visit to one another. Even as she and Jack enjoyed living a normal life, Zoe found herself more restless and in want for more adventures than her husband, taking to visiting their friends more often.
In 2016, while Sky Monster, Lily and Alby were visiting Jack and Zoe at the farm, Lachlan and Julius informed Jack of their discovery of an archway in the Mariana Trench, covered in Thoth symbols. Jack declined their offer to go and see for himself, but the more restless Zoe decided to go along.
Two days later, Jack recieved a call from General Eric Abrahamson, requesting his presence at Pine Gap for his expertise in relation to something they had discovered through the Square Kilometer Array. Accompanied by Sky Monster, Lily and Alby, Jack's group made their way to the facility on the Sky Warrior, intending for Pooh Bear and Stretch to meet them there.
Current Team MembersEdit
- Captain Jack "Huntsman" West Jr (Australia)
- Lily "Eowyn" West (Australia / Egypt - non-representing)
- Sergeant Zoe "Bloody Mary / Princess" Kissane (Ireland)
- Captain Zahir "Saladin / Pooh Bear" al Anzar al Abbas (United Arab Emirates)
- Lieutenant Benjamin "Archer / Stretch" Cohen (Israel - formerly representing)
- Sky Monster (New Zealand)
- Alby Calvin (Australia - non-representing)
- Julius "Gunslinger" Adamson (Scotland - non-representing)
- Lachlan "Quickdraw" Adamson (Scotland - non-representing)
Former Team MembersEdit
- Professor Max "Merlin / Wizard" Epper (Canada)
- Corporal Liam "Gunman / Big Ears" Kissane (Ireland)
- Sergeant V.J. "Witch Doctor / Fuzzy" Weatherly (Jamaica)
- Lieutenant Enrique "Matador / Noddy" Velacruz (Spain)
- Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove
- Sheik Anzar al Abbas
- General Colin O'Hara
- Doris Epper
- Lieutenant Sean "Astro" Miller
- JJ "Sea Ranger" Wickham
- Solomon Kol
- General Eric Abrahamson
- Mabel Merriweather
- Captain Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield
- Gunnery Sergeant Gena "Mother" Newman
- Lieutenant Tim "Tomahawk" Bowles
- Mustapha Zaeed
- Captain Rashid "Scimitar" Abbas
- Abdul Rahman "Vulture" al Saud
- Special Attache Paul Robertson
- Professor Yobu "Tank" Tanaka
- Diane Cassidy
- Cieran Kincaid
- General Conor "Redbeard" Beard
The Coalition of small nations was formed in response to the impending threat posed by the Tartarus Sunspot, and the necessary restoring of the Golden Capstone to prevent any single country from taking the thousand-year power offered as a reward. The team would attempt to collect all of the Pieces of the Capstone so that they could perform the ceremony of salvation, or else attempt to collect a single Piece so that hostile nations would not be able to perform the ceremony of power (though the latter was a more undesirable option since it would result in global flooding).
When the Coalition was reunited, it was because of the even greater threat of the Dark Sun. One this occasion the team needed to locate the Pillars and Vertices which would activate the Machine created by super-ancient beings in order to repel the Dark Sun.
- Modified Boeing 747 - Halicarnassus
- Tupolev Tu-144 - Sky Warrior
- Swamprunner Boats
- Light Strike Vehicles
- Land Rover Freelander
- Zodiac Inflatable Boats
- Black Bee
- MP-7s sub-machine guns
- Steyr-AUGs assault rifles
- M-225 handheld grenade launchers
- Barrett M82A1A sniper rifle
- H&K MP-5 sub-machine pistols
- Desert Eagle pistols