The Second Cold War was a political-military conflict that takes place during the events of Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Rise of Cordis Die
Nearly three decades after the invasion of Panama, Raul Menendez emerged as the leader of Cordis Die, a massive populist group with over a billion followers. In order to create tension, he stages a cyberattack in 2018 that cripples the Chinese Stock Market.
Sino-American Tensions Rise
In response to the cyberattack, the People's Republic of China bans the export of rare earth elements, fermenting the start of a new Cold War between the United States and NATO, against the Chinese-led Strategic Defense Coalition. Taking advantage of this standoff, Menendez attempts to bring the two countries to a full-scale war by inciting conflicts between the two, secretly aiding SDC Chairman Tian Zhao. Using the intelligence provided by Woods, David Mason, now a Navy SEAL codenamed "Section," leads JSOC forces in the renewed search for Menendez.
April 19, 2025
In the year 2025, U.S. Special Forces operatives led by David Mason and his partner, Mike Harper, arrive at "the Vault," a top-security location home to an aging Frank Woods, whom they suspect possess vital information on Menendez's whereabouts. Woods concedes that Menendez has recently visited him, showing them a locket that the latter had left behind. Frank then narrates several covert missions undertaken during his military career which span their previous encounters.
April 20, 2025
Obtaining the Celerium
Shortly after gathering intelligence from Woods, Section and JSOC infiltrates Myanmar investigating a spike in activity in the region. In this mission, JSOC agents Section, Harper, Javier Salazar, and Crosby infiltrate a remote temple to try to find info on Celerium. Upon their arrival, Section sparks the attack and the group fights their way through as they advance towards the main temple, which then reveals a hidden hi-tech bunker in the depths of the temple. The group advance inside the bunker and find a Tacitus employee, Erik Breighner, locked in a crate. He helps them through some security doors and gives them access to a Celerium chip and tells of Menendez's plot, but is shot through the neck before he can give a complete explanation. The group then fights their way through the remaining soldiers in the base and, after regrouping with friendlies, Section hands over the Celerium chip to Admiral Briggs, who examines it as the mission ends.
May 21, 2025
Defending FOB Spectre
The mission starts with Briggs and David Mason introducing to the Strike Force team that SDC is pressuring the Russian Federation into joining them, with the intent of creating the largest military superpower in the world, furthering Menendez's plans for all-out war between the global powers.
Mason then goes on to brief the team on their mission: FOB Spectre, a defense facility guarding the northern border of India, has been attacked by SDC forces. Although their forces were able to hold off the attack, most of them were decimated, leaving the facility severely weakened and vulnerable. The JSOC Strike Force team is to be inserted to defend the facility and prevent SDC from invading India.
- If the mission succeeded, India will be safe from SDC control.
- If the mission failed, India will succumb to SDC incursion.
May 29, 2025
Spying on Menendez
Section's team is later deployed to Pakistan, where they hope they can gather information about Raul Menendez. Section and Harper travel through the streets of Lahore, avoiding MQ drones. They sneak around Anthem, Raul Menendez's base in Pakistan, and gather audio-visual intelligence that Menendez intends to form an alliance with SDC to take down the United States. However, they are spotted by Pakistani ISI agents and, alongside fellow JSOC allies, they escape Anthem in a driven chase. They successfully reach the extraction point.
May 30, 2025
Disabling SDC Missiles
At the start of the operation, the SEALS are informed that Iran is under SDC pressure, under the threat of missile attacks from a freighter in Singapore. The SEALS are to be inserted via helicopter, where they will destroy three machines blocking infiltration of the area. They will then call in a missile strike to destroy the freighter housing the missiles.
- If the operation is successfully completed, Iran will resist SDC and ally itself with NATO.
- If the operation failed, Iran will capitulate to SDC.
June 5, 2025
Defending the Afghan President
Section and Briggs inform the Strike Force team is tasked with protecting the President of Afghanistan, who is under threat of assassination by Menendez. In place of ground forces, which Section sees as extremely risky, the SEALS will instead deploy quadrotors and ASDs to protect the convoy.
- If successful, Afghanistan will refuse SDC alignment.
- If failed, Afghanistan will ally itself with SDC.
June 12, 2025
Attack at the Colossus
The mission starts with Section, Harper, and Salazar arriving on the Colossus resort in the Cayman Islands on a VTOL passenger plane. Posing as union inspectors, the trio are briefed by Farid that they will have to shoot their way through security forces to access the Central Records Computer, or CRC, located in the heart of Colossus, and obtain intel on the supposed cyberweapon, Karma.
After being briefed in the elevator on their tasks, Harper exits first and bumps into a woman, comically trying to hit on her before getting cursed at. Mason and Salazar continue taking the elevator to the lower levels, where they bump into some security. Failing to maintain their cover towards the security guards, Mason and Salazar take them out. They then move towards a ventilation shaft, where Mason opens his briefcase and deploys Ziggy, a small but agile robot spider.
After Ziggy crawls through the vents to gain access to the CRC Room, it jumps on a guard and incapacitates him, thereafter crawling up to the guard’s eye to obtain his retina scan. Shortly after obtaining the retina scan, Ziggy is discovered by another guard and crushed under his foot. Mason and Salazar then move towards the entrance to the CRC Room. After gaining access to the room using the retina scan, Mason and Salazar take out all the security guards. They then search for Karma on the CRC. After a quick search on the database, Karma is revealed to be not a cyberweapon, but in fact a woman by the name of Chloe Lynch. After accessing her bio, the computer informs Mason and Salazar that Chloe is at Club Solar.
Mason and Salazar fight their way through security forces waiting for them outside the entrance to the CRC Room, and inform Harper about Chloe, whom he recognizes as the girl he bumped into earlier. Mason informs him to secure Chloe at Club Solar. After Mason and Salazar eliminate all the guards, they split up and go in different elevators to secure Chloe. As Mason walks towards Club Solar, he receives camera feed from Harper trying to convince Chloe to follow him. When Mason finally reaches the dance floor, he tries to extract Chloe as well, but not before DeFalco storms the club and kills the DJ. Grabbing a clubber as hostage, he futilely asks for Chloe before executing the hostage. DeFalco then grabs another hostage and threatens to kill her as well should Karma not show herself. Not wanting to cause another death, Chloe breaks free of Harper’s hold and surrenders herself. DeFalco then orders his men to open fire on the crowd.
Harper and Mason take cover behind the bar counter, and afterwards, engage the enemies in the club over several slow-mo sequences. After killing all the enemies in the club, Mason hurriedly searches for DeFalco and Karma of the security cameras. Finding them heading across the mall to the Evac Bay, Mason and his team set off in hot pursuit, attempting to catch up to DeFalco before he gets away with Chloe.
- If DeFalco is killed prior to reaching the Evac Bay, Section and the team secures Karma and makes their way to extraction.
- If DeFalco manages to escape with Karma, the team returns to the U.S.S. Barack Obama to research her connection to Menendez's plans.
June 14, 2025
Rescuing the Celerium Scientist
Following Chloe Lynch's capture (player-determined), Briggs and Section brief the SEALS on a mission to extract a high-value individual, who is believed to be one of the world's foremost experts in Celerium technology, from a village in Socotra Island, Yemen. The HVI is revealed to be Chloe Lynch.
- If the HVI is successfully extracted, Chloe Lynch will be extracted via VTOL.
- If the operation fails or the HVI is killed, the SEALs will be forced to leave the village.
June 17, 2025
Assassination of Tian Zhao
Intelligence learns that Zhao plans on invading Russia. JSOC is sent in to Peshawar, Pakistan to assassinate him. Using lock-on missile launchers, the team will shoot down Zhao's VTOL and two escorts and push through the streets, where they will reach Zhao's downed VTOL and plant a network intruder to hack the doors open. Upon Zhao's execution, a picture will then be taken and sent to the U.S.S. Barack Obama as confirmation.
- If the operation is successfully completed, Russia will be saved from invasion and the SDC will ally itself with NATO.
- If the operation fails, the invasion will proceed and Russia will reluctantly surrender to SDC.
June 19, 2025
Infiltration of Socotra Island
Deep Cover CIA Operative Farid is working alongside Raul Menendez in an attempt to see what he is planning. In the start of the level, Farid is talking to Harper via internal comlink, saying to not blow his cover. Menendez is then seen next to a fire, thinking there is a traitor among him. He does not give it much warning, as he claims he is one step ahead of him.
Farid and Menendez (and DeFalco, provided he survived in Karma) walk out on an outdoor stage with other militia members shouting, "Cordis Die!" A VTOL then comes out behind the stage, and either DeFalco (if he survived) or a Militia member shoots it down with a FHJ-18 AA launcher. Quadrotors then come in and open fire on the militia. Menendez then tells Farid to meet him at the Citadel, and Farid has to fight his way through enemy soldiers and drones. Later, Menendez appears halfway to the Citadel, in front of a VTOL with Harper in it. He shoots it down and Harper is dragged out. Menendez, suspecting that Harper knows the traitor, asks who it is, but doesn't answer. Menendez hands Farid a Five-seven pistol and orders him to kill Harper. DeFalco (if he survived) will also taunt the player if he hesitates to make a choice.
- If Farid chooses to kill Harper, the latter will be shot in the head, sparing Farid, and an allied VTOL comes up behind them and kills off the nearby Militia.
- If Farid chooses to kill Menendez, Menendez will avoid Farid's attack and kill him, but Harper will be spared.
The player then assumes control of Section and acquires Quadrotors to assist him. After the player reaches the Citadel, an allied VTOL is waiting, with Menendez captured. The level ends with Navy SEALs securing the inside, saying that Menendez will be interrogated.
Attack on the U.S.S. Barack Obama
The mission begins with Menendez being interrogated, while speaking to David Mason. As the interrogation continues, Admiral Briggs reports that enemy drones are attacking the Obama. Menendez is freed by Salazar (unbeknownst to David), who then knocks out David and Salazar and then escapes.
After engaging a number of hostile Mercs, Section makes his way into the security room. Believing that there is only one option left, Admiral Briggs reboots the system, which unfortunately shuts down the security, allowing Menendez to break through. Menendez goes into the server room, alongside DeFalco (provided he survived in Karma), and holds Briggs hostage. As he walks into the control room, threatening the soldiers that he will kill Briggs if his demands are not followed. As Briggs tells the soldiers and Salazar to shoot Menendez, Salazar then betrays them by killing the two soldiers.
- If Chloe was rescued in Karma (and DeFalco killed) and Farid survived in Achilles' Veil, he will take the bullet meant for Chloe. Salazar then proceeds to knock Chloe unconscious.
- If Chloe was rescued in Second Chance and Farid survived Achilles' Veil, DeFalco will knock Chloe unconscious before he is shot by Farid, who then is shot by Salazar.
- If Chloe was rescued in Second Chance, but Farid did not survive Achilles' Veil, DeFalco will slit her throat, killing her.
- If Chloe was rescued in Karma, but Farid did not survive Achilles' Veil, she will surrender to Salazar, only to be shot and killed.
- If Chloe was captured in Karma and not rescued in Second Chance, but Farid survived Achilles' Veil, both he and DeFalco shoot and kill each other. (This also unlocks the Showdown achievement.)
- If neither Chloe or Farid are present, then Salazar will simply shoot the two soldiers and move on.
Menendez is given the chance to either wound Briggs by shooting him in the arm or leg, or executing him via headshot.
- If Menendez chooses to wound Briggs, he will survive and the Obama will be saved (provided that all Strike Force missions were successfully completed).
- If Menendez chooses to kill Briggs, Salazar will remark that his death wasn't necessary. The Obama will be destroyed by Menendez's drones, regardless of the outcome of Strike Force.
- If Menendez does nothing, Salazar will pistol-whip Briggs across the head, knocking him unconscious. The Obama will be saved (provided that all Strike Force missions were successfully completed).
Menendez then hacks the U.S. command network and takes control of the entire U.S. military drone fleet. After Section breaks in through a ventilation shaft, he will tend to the casualties and see what Menendez has done. Mason alerts the ship crew that Salazar is a traitor. After Mason catches up to nearby SEALs, who have detained Salazar in a vehicle bay, he will interrogate Salazar.
- If Harper survived the events of Achilles' Veil, he will personally execute Salazar.
- If Harper was killed in Achilles' Veil, Section orders Salazar's arrest.
As Mason reaches the upper deck of the Obama, he runs into more enemy Mercs. Eventually Section gets into one of their jets, where Crosby is waiting. As they take off, Crosby is shot in the arm by a Merc soldier, who is killed by Section.
- If Dispatch was successfully completed, SDC fighters arrive to assist the crippled Obama.
- If Dispatch was failed, the Obama will be destroyed by Menendez's drones.
David starts out in a MRAP under siege by drones. He sits opposite of a heavily wounded Secret Service agent being attended to. To his right is the U.S. President, concerned about the city's condition. Mason checks his Data Glove Paired, readies his KAP-40, and looks through the window. As they are passing through traffic, citizens are being evacuated by a police helicopter hovering overhead while drones attack Los Angeles. An incoming missile hits the helicopter, causing it to crash onto a military convoy entering the city below. Debris flies towards the truck, causing it along with most of the convoy to crash. David blacks out and when he comes to, he sees either Secret Service Agent Samuels or Harper (if he survived Achilles' Veil) giving orders to the agents, telling them to stay down.
David climbs out of the wreckage as Samuels tells him about a mobile SAM turret that crashed on the other end of the road, which could be used against the drones. David jumps onto the hood of the car and nearly falls off, he regains his footing and mans the turret. He takes down the drones that attempt to circle the President's location. Once they are taken down, a missile hits the SAM, disabling it and breaking the ground beneath. Mason jumps out and watches it fall, he turns back around and sees a drone coming for him, which was then shot down by an FA38 commanded by Captain Anderson, crashing down and narrowly missing him. Anderson arrives and provides close air support.
Mason gets up and regroups with his squad at the end of the highway, where he can choose whether to snipe from the highway or to rappel down as a group. Either way, he picks up a Storm PSR and fires at enemies hiding within a crashed truck, behind a column and approaching enemies. As they reach the second convoy, Mason regroups with the team. He drives the President away as the freeway falls apart, running down any opposition. Anderson takes down any nearby drones and blasts the debris blocking the tunnel. A truck is seen rushing towards the two. The screen blacks out.
The screen fades back to David (and Harper, if alive) recovering from the impact of the truck, and he climbs out of a hatch in the roof and fights his way down the street with Anderson still providing cover fire, destroying CLAWs along the way. At the end of the road, he reaches a plaza in downtown with LAPD officers and his SEAL team, where machine gun nests have them pinned down, so they decide to bypass them through a mall to the right. Quadrotor drones arrive and David uses them to distract the machine gun nests and help clear out the mall. They come out onto the balcony and kill the enemy snipers and gunners in the nest. Anderson gets on the radio and asks for help; her last wingman is dead and the presidential convoy is taking heavy fire from all sides. David then advances down an alley and onto a road with his squad. Anderson says she is hit and has to settle the jet down. They advance towards Anderson, but a large building collapses in their immediate front. Mason blacks out a second time and gets up. Anderson is no longer talking.
They reach her FA38 to see her unconscious body next to it. LAPD arrive and bring her to an ambulance. Harper (if alive) follows inside, while David reluctantly mans the FA38 and follows the ambulance. They head towards the presidential convoy and take down enemy Mercs, drones, armor and emplacements that threaten it. A drone garrison attacks the convoy and David detaches from the convoy to chase them down, locking on and firing. The President reaches the evacuation point and the operation ends.
Final Assault on Menendez
The mission starts with David Mason, along with Harper (if alive) and four other JSOC operatives inside an VTOL, preparing to assault the Haitian facility via wingsuits. Suddenly, the aircraft is hit by a surface-to-air missile, so the team must jump out early. After avoiding several missiles, Mason and the many other operatives reach the ground and engage a large force of Mercs guarding the entrance to the facility.
After the Mercs are cleared, Mason moves into the facility and engages yet more Mercs. He fights his way to the control room. Mason tries to regain control over the American drones, but he is unable to. Menendez releases a live podcast, depicting the entire drone fleet flying over New York, Shanghai, and Washington D.C., prepared to attack. Suddenly, they all self-destruct. Menendez explains that without the drones, the United States armed forces is crippled; he then orders Cordis Die to initiate their attack. A nearby JSOC operative finds a corpse in an elevator, stripped of his uniform, but the body is rigged with explosives and blows up, killing two nearby soldiers. Mason then learns that Menendez is trying to escape disguised as a U.S. soldier.
Mason and Harper (if alive) discover that Menendez is at a military checkpoint, but the floor beneath them is destroyed, causing both of them to fall. Mason takes a KAP-40 from a nearby corpse and shoots two Mercs guarding Menendez (one of the Mercs is DeFalco if he survived the events of Odysseus). Menendez attempts to aim his Tac-45 at Mason and kill him, but David draws a Combat Knife and stabs Menendez in the leg, knocking him to the floor, and them stabs him in the shoulder. He takes Menendez's Tac-45 and points it at his head. Menendez will taunt David, trying to encourage him to shoot him and make him become a martyr.
- If Section chooses to capture Menendez, he will beg for Section to kill him, knowing Cordis Die will only thrive if he becomes a martyr. He will be taken into U.S. custody, warning Section of his return within a year from now. If Harper is alive, he will remark that he would have shot Menendez.
- If Section chooses to execute Menendez, a YouTube video will play upon his death, instructing Cordis Die members that they know how to proceed. If Harper is alive, he will express concern that he thought Section would let Menendez live.
Mason lives, Chloe lives, Menendez lives ("Best" Ending)
Chloe Lynch manages to find a Celerium worm attacking power grids all over the world. She manages to disable it which prevents Menendez from being able to escape prison.
Menendez is taken to prison for the rest of his life. Cordis Die is dispersed and destroyed. From his prison cell, Menendez watches Chloe on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" where she exclaims that "it's a bad fucking day to be Raul Menendez." Angrily, Menendez smashes his head against the TV, breaking it and laughing it off.
David Mason returns to the Vault to speak to Woods. When he arrives, he hears that another Mason has arrived. Not knowing who it was, he tells the guards to secure the building. David opens the door, and finds Woods talking to another old man. Woods introduces Mason to his father, Alex Mason, who survived the incident in Panama. They are reintroduced and reunited. The Second Cold War comes to an end and peace is restored between America and China.
Mason lives, Chloe lives, Menendez dies
Same as above, except that Chloe does not appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and, following Menendez's death, Cordis Die followers spark riots across the United States and the White House is seen in flames.
Mason lives, Chloe dies, Menendez lives
Woods will reunite with Mason just like the first ending, except that David Mason doesn't visit Woods. The CIA Nerd will find the Celerium worm, but is unsuccessful in cracking it. This allows Menendez to escape.
Menendez successfully escapes imprisonment exactly one year after his capture and visit Woods at the Vault. Once there, he briefly converses with Woods about his sister before stabbing Woods in the neck with her pendant (just like he killed Hudson 37 years prior) and lay his body on the bed. Menendez is then seen at his sister's graveyard site, where he will dig up her remains before lighting himself on fire, killing himself.
Mason lives, Chloe dies, Menendez dies
Section will kill Menendez before reuniting with Woods and his father at the retirement home, the Celerium worm will corrupt the U.S. cyber grid, and Menendez's followers will riot.
Mason dies, Chloe lives, Menendez lives
Same as the first ending, except Woods and Section visit Alex Mason's grave. Section then tells Woods that he plans to retire from the military, to which Woods replies that his father would approve of his choice.
Mason dies, Chloe lives, Menendez dies
Chloe disables the Celerium worm. Woods and Section visit Alex Mason's grave. Menendez's followers riot following his death.
Mason dies, Chloe dies, Menendez lives
Same as the third ending, except Woods and Mason do not reunite.
Mason dies, Chloe dies, Menendez dies
The Celerium worm corrupts the U.S. cyber grid. Woods and Section visit Alex Mason's grave. Menendez's followers will riot when they learn of his assassination from a video, ending with a cut of the White House burning.