Rock the Casbah Edit
Ask the Global Liberation Army what they stand for, and they'll say they're standing up to the colonialism of the Allies and the Soviets. Ask anyone else and they'll call them terrorists. The GLA was started when the Soviet Union invaded the Middle East, smashing the hodgepodge of European colonies and nominally independent nations. The Soviets enforced strict atheism and distribution of the wealth, angering both fundamentalists and rich oil sheiks. The former took up arms and the latter started buying equipment and weapons. Calling themselves the Global Liberation Army (after much arguing over the name and almost coming to arms over the issue, with the biggest contender being the Global Liberation Front), the GLA had a rough time of it.
Foolishly organising themselves as a conventional force, they sent their old tanks and gun trucks in open battle against the Soviets, who are the undisputed masters of open battles. The GLA was almost completely dismantled over the course of a few months, only saved because the Soviets had more important things to do, like building oil pipe lines. Though they'll claim that their attacks ground down the Soviets, in truth the new Allied Nations came to the aid of the Middle East, most notably Saudi Arabia, though the Soviets still have a presence.
The GLA was incensed by the sudden arrival of the Allied Nations, who brought such Western concepts of secularism, full rights of women, and freedom of expression. Worst of all, the GLA saw that the Soviets never would have invaded in the first place if the Allies didn't fight them; in other words, the enemy wouldn't be the enemy if the good guys hadn't fought them. Many people have been trying to figure this logic out for years, to no avail. In any case, the GLA attacked the Allied Peacekeepers with as much ferocity as they did the Soviets, using Soviet weapons salvaged from the last attack. Learning their lesson, they started a guerrilla war, hitting and running, setting up bombs at the side of roads, and shooting from civilian crowds. However, Peacekeepers were well trained in dealing with such foes, so for a second time, the GLA was thoroughly beaten.
The world is still a rough place, so the GLA had no shortage of volunteers, and were able to rebuild their strength. They also spread their influence, from North Africa, and to the Hindu Kush, specifically, Afghanistan. However, this was home of the Xanadu Sprawl, which the GLA felt need to destroy. Trying a different approach, they recruited the local chieftains to their side to attack the Syndicate when the time was right. However, the Syndicate was skilled in the arts of persuasion and bribery, and soon these same chieftains were turning on their one time allies, and the GLA was pushed out of Afghanistan all together after massive casualties. A senior member of the GLA, a prince of a nomad tribe named Kassad, began to question the GLA's basic competency, an action that resulted with Kassad being branded an infidel and beheaded.
Running out of enemies to fight, the GLA is now licking its wounds. More or less driven from the cities where major powers and governments attack them on sight, the GLA mostly thrives in the deep deserts, occasionally making a swift attack on their enemies. Their newest target is the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The GLA have noted that the defending army, the Order of the Talon, are few in number, and they plan to send waves of poorly armed men (to save money) at individual men and machines. Time will tell how effective this tactic is against the Talon.
Like a Chemical Spill Edit
To the GLA, Dr. Thrax is a mysterious and terrifying presence; even the most hardened rebel is afraid of him. Rumours swirl of a long history of fighting the oppressors with terrible chemical weapons he concocted himself. Few GLA know, of course, because he is paranoid and ever secretive. No one knows his real name, where he is at any time, or the locations of his labs, and the few people who have seen only a man in a veil, assuming they're important enough to see his pre-recorded messages in the first place. Many believe Dr. Thrax will lead the GLA to victory, after he seizes control of the squabbling cells.
However, the ACIN, KGB, and SPIDER have all easily found the truth about him. Dr. Thrax is in fact Abdul Nada, the youngest and most disappointing son of the famous immunologist Dr. Nada. He has yet to move out of his parents' basement, having received his diploma from a mail order college and being unable to find employment. In an effort to make something out of his life, he started trying to create a delouser from DDT, but only succeeded in melting lab mice to their skeletons. However, when a gang of GLA members beat him up on the way to the corner store and took a vial of this solvent along with his wallet, they were intrigued. They said they'd spare him further beatings if they provided them with more so they could use it. His father's wealth and connections meant he was able to get all the chemical supplies he needed to do so.
After a while, though, Abdul tired of just being a servant. Wanting to make something out of his life, he began suggesting, asking, and eventually ordering cells in exchange for his weapons, though to prevent further beating he had to tape himself in his basement, with brown construction paper representing a cave so no one can trace his location. Fortunately, the poor quality of tape in the Middle East ensures no one finds this out, though one cell was utterly confused as to why he left midway to whine at someone interrupting him, and didn't quite believe he was saying "Mooooommm-hmar!" as he claimed. Abdul's father continues to unwittingly protect him, meaning no agency can reach him easily, and it is theorized he won't stop until he gets an actual job.
The Lone Gunman Edit
"Business... is business."
- - Jarmen Kell, explaining his current alliances to his old partner across the battlefield
Tanya, as it turns out, is not the only high-profile mercenary in the world.
For there is another - the equally as deadly and mysterious sharpshooter known only as Jarmen Kell. Capable of taking out a man's life-sustaining brain matter from over a thousand metres, or sniping the very pilot out of an armoured battle tank, Jarmen Kell is a for-hire sniper whose skill and record have caused some to equate him as almost a Commando in his own right. Among some procurers of his service, it is claimed that hiring him is like renting Natasha for a single battle. While no major world power would be willing to take on his services, plenty of minor nations, squabbling amongst themselves, can lay claim to have directed Jarmen Kell even if only as long as his pay came in on time.
However, the soft-spoken mercenary is quiet about his past, and for good reason. The Allies are not overwhelmingly popular in many of the countries and areas he works in, and he would find both his job and his life in danger if he ever let employers know that he was once part of a team. Because once, from 1948 to 1957, Jarmen Kell and Tanya Adams were partners. Mercenaries both, they were younger, more eager to make their mark on the world, and had talents and skills that complemented each other well. Jarmen Kell could take out key targets or anti-infantry vehicles from afar, paving the way for Tanya to rush in without being in danger and quickly dispatch buildings and hordes of guards in seconds. Together, they made a killing in war-torn countries, and were able to make thousands in mere weeks...before World War 2 happened.
Tanya got the contract with the Allies - Jarmen Kell, because of his background and Allied hubris regarding their own snipers, did not. Though she still invited him along to several missions under the radar, and still split her pay with him, it created a rift between the two that never fully healed. Even after the war, they were no longer as close and easy-going as they had been in the early days, and Jarmen Kell retained a dull anger against the Allies for creating such a rift. And in 1957, as the duo were called to eliminate a GLA cell that had taken several Allied-friendly leaders in Saudi Arabia hostage...Jarmen Kell broke the partnership.
Since then, he has wandered throughout the world, still taking on jobs as always, but no longer as eagerly as he had when Tanya was by his side, staying calm and shooting sharp while his partner fired with gleeful abandon. Most noticably, although he has large number of contract hires with GLA friendly nations, he never actively serves alongside the GLA - both because of disgust at their stupidity ("They're all emotional idiots," he was once heard to say), as well as the more recent hope that maybe one day, he can see Tanya - and perhaps attempt to rekindle the partnership they once had on the battlefield.