The Foundation

Mankind in its present state has been around for a quarter of a million years, yet only the last 4,000 have been of any significance.

So, what did we do for nearly 250,000 years? We huddled in caves and around small fires, fearful of the things that we didn't understand. It was more than explaining why the sun came up, it was the mystery of enormous birds with heads of men and rocks that came to life. So we called them 'gods' and 'demons', begged them to spare us, and prayed for salvation.

In time, their numbers dwindled and ours rose. The world began to make more sense when there were fewer things to fear, yet the unexplained can never truly go away, as if the universe demands the absurd and impossible.

Mankind must not go back to hiding in fear. No one else will protect us, and we must stand up for ourselves.

While the rest of mankind dwells in the light, we must stand in the darkness to fight it, contain it, and shield it from the eyes of the public, so that others may live in a sane and normal world.
We secure. We contain. We protect.

— The Administrator

In 1990, the world changed… but not how anyone expected it to. Fearing the impending collapse of the Soviet Union, a group of Communist Party hardliners seized control in Moscow, forcing an end to the promises of glasnost and Perestroika. While the Warsaw Pact had collapsed, a new Iron Curtain descended from the Baltic through the Black Sea, and the Kremlin makes no secret of its desire to reclaim its former possessions. An intelligence war of vast scale is being fought in Eastern Europe, as pro-western and Communist Bloc factions struggle for influence throughout the liberated regions from Berlin to Belarus and beyond.

Meanwhile, an unexpected threat materializes in the Persian Gulf. Iraq has invaded longtime western ally Kuwait, taking control of its rich oil fields in the process. What’s more, Iraqi forces have demonstrated a willingness to deploy all manner of biological, chemical and anomalous warfare agents in the past and threaten to once again if any attempt at intervention is made. But unbeknown to the invading Coalition forces, the Iraqis have recently added a new component to their arsenal, thanks to support from the USSR: a number of nuclear warheads, as well as tactical and theatre delivery platforms. Existing Scud variants and artillery rockets are supplemented by new OTR-21 Tochka (SS-21 Scarab) and OTR-23 Oka (SS-23 Spider) tactical missiles, but most concerning are the advanced RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20 Saber) intermediate-range ballistic missiles—responsible for so much tension in Europe in years past.

The widespread and immediate use of chemical and biological agents against Coalition troops during Desert Shield was expected and prepared for as much as possible (though significant casualties were incurred). What no one could have predicted was the scorched earth campaign that would ensue as the allied counterattack began. The vast oil fields of Kuwait and southern Iraq were poisoned and set ablaze by tactical nuclear strikes as Desert Storm charged towards Baghdad. Missiles armed with nerve agent fall on Haifa and Tel Aviv, killing thousands. Targets as far afield as Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are hit by SS-20 Saber launches, incurring massive civilian casualties.

Coalition retaliation is immediate. Launch sites in Iraq are targeted by nuclear-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles, and deep-penetration raids by F-117 and B-2 stealth aircraft strike against munitions depots and C³ facilities with both conventional and nuclear weapons. Intense battles between NBC-protected armoured units become the norm—the irradiated landscape inhospitable to infantry.

On the anomalous front, GOC and Foundation strike forces frantically attempt to handle unexpected activities by Mukhabarat and ORIA as well as the ever-present menaces of GRU-P and OSI/SAD weaponized anomalies being covertly fielded. Leaked stories of Coalition troops encountering ghuls and interrupting strange rituals are explained away as “combat fatigue” and chemical weapon aftereffects, but rumours are soon circulating in public that darker forces are at play in the Middle East.

  • By 1992, Iraq no longer exists as a functional state. Much of the eastern portion of the country has been annexed by Iran, and in the south and west Coalition forces occupy a toxic wasteland of fallout, chemical agents and burning oil wells. Most of the remainder is controlled by regional warlords and Republican Guard leftovers, with a newly-independent Iraqi Kurdistan holding much of the north along the Turkish and Syrian borders.
  • The Kremlin continues to deny any involvement in helping Iraq obtain nuclear weapons, variously blaming rogue generals, “radical elements in the previous Gorbachev and Yeltsin governments” or flat-out accusing the “western imperialist powers” of fabricating the entire thing.
  • Arab-Israeli relations are in a very strange place, the traditional enemies finding themselves in a tense alliance, thanks to the damage inflicted on both by the war.

On the other side of the world, the US finds itself embroiled in power struggles in its own backyard. With the Soviet Union still a major geopolitical power, fears of communist influence in South America still run rampant. The US-led School of the Americas continues to train anti-communist forces in greater and greater, though the definition of communism became blurred. In response, rebel groups begin turning to anomalous means to fight back.

For the Colombian FARC, these new weapons were nothing short of a godsend, enabling a total victory in the summer of 1995, to the shock of the world. In the US, the humiliation of losing another country in its own sphere of influence was too much for many Americans to handle. Hawkish elements within the US government demanded retaliation, citing the return to democracy of many other South American nations such as Chile, Argentina, and Brazil as examples of the long-held notion of the domino effect. In response, support of rebel groups working against FARC is ramped up, turning the nation into a war zone, with violence spilling over into neighboring countries.

Venezuela, rocked by the violence occurring next door and sympathetic to the FARC’s goals, offers assistance to the beleaguered revolutionary government. This new tie further worries the US, heightening fears of losing its hold on the continent. While no direct action is taken immediately, dissatisfaction continues to grow behind the scenes.

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