The Wide-Area Response Brigade, known by most as the Cavalry (騎兵, Kihei?), is a division of the Guardian Corps under the command of Cid Raines in Final Fantasy XIII. Unlike the other divisions of the Guardian Corps, the Cavalry isn't stationed in any one location, instead patrolling the skies of Cocoon on their airship, the Lindblum. Their usual work is disposing of the monsters roaming the uninhabited areas of the outer rim of Cocoon and other disturbances.
- See also: Datalog/Cocoon Society.
The Wide-area Response Brigade is a Guardian Corps unit commanded by Brigadier General Cid Raines. The brigade is more famous for its unofficial name, the "Cavalry". A mobile unit without a designated jurisdiction, the Cavalry patrols the uninhabited expanses between cities, ready to respond to emergency situations at a moment's notice. For this purpose, the brigade commands a cruiser-class airship - the sole exception in the Guardian Corps.
The Cavalry is a rebel group, loyal to the Sanctum only on the surface. The Cavalry's true intention is to overthrow fal'Cie rule by toppling the Sanctum and give Cocoon back to the people. The Cavalry is led by Cid Raines, with Rygdea as his right-hand man. Unknown to the rest of the Cavalry, the Sanctum fal'Cie Barthandelus makes Raines into a l'Cie, with a Focus to keep the recently surfaced group of Pulse l'Cie out of harm's way and following their mission.
Unaware that they are being manipulated by Barthandelus, a fal'Cie who wants to destroy Cocoon, the Cavalry saves Fang from being captured by PSICOM and convince her that they are on the same side: against the Sanctum. Fang agrees to help the Cavalry track down the other Pulse l'Cie, as she wants to be reunited with her partner Vanille, and with her help the Cavalry captures Snow on Lake Bresha. Later, now helped by both Fang and Snow, the Cavalry saves Lightning and Hope at Palumpolum and hide away Hope's father Bartholomew in a safe place. The Cavalry proceeds to further aid Lightning's group by helping them infiltrate the airship Palamecia, to rescue Sazh and Vanille.
Realizing that if he keeps on following Barthandelus's orders the world of Cocoon will be destroyed, Cid Raines abandons his position as the head of the Cavalry and proceeds to follow his own plan: kill the Pulse l'Cie before they have a chance to complete their Focus. His plan fails, and he ends up being appointed as a puppet Primarch in Barthandelus's plan to drive the Cavalry into rage over their former leader's supposed betrayal. The plan works and the Cavalry, now led by Rygdea, make their way to Eden where they murder Raines and make their way to Edenhall, planning to destroy Orphan, an act they believe will free Cocoon from the fal'Cie rule. Having been lured to Orphan's Cradle, Barthandelus proceeds to turn the Cavalry soldiers into l'Cie without a Focus, which immediately transforms them into Cie'th.
After Cocoon has been crystallized, some Cavalry soldiers are seen aiding PSICOM and the Guardian Corps looking after the civilians. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 it is revealed that following the catastrophe, the Guardian Corps took control from the Sanctum, and a provisional government was formed, consisting primarily of military personnel. The Cavalry spearheaded the administration and seeking to rebuild society on the strength of human science and free from dependence on the fal'Cie, they founded an institute called the 'Academy.'