by Max Barry

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The New Imperial Order of
Libertarian Police State

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Grand General Wray

Atlas Wray


Grand General Atlas Wray


Title:

  • Grand General of the Imperial Army


Life:

  • 680 AA - present

Tenure:

  • 720 AA - present

Age:

  • 45

Biography

Grand General Atlas Wray is the present Grand General of the New Imperial Order of Iciarosarmy. An intelligent and resourceful commander, he was appointed to the position of Grand General in 720 AA and has served in this position since.

Life

Childhood

Atlas Wray was born in the Iciarosian city of The Divide to a fairly wealthy family. His early childhood was one of comfort and luxury, and he grew up well-studied but somewhat spoilt. Annoyed at this, his parents forced him to enrol in one of his local school’s uniformed groups. This formed the bulk of his later childhood, which helped him unlearn many of his bad habits and led to his eventual choice to join the military after his graduation - a decision, ironically, that his parents later revealed they were also annoyed at, since by doing so he ultimately forfeited his role as the eventual heir to his family’s businesses.

Early Military Career and Marriage

Atlas joined the military at the age of 18, and was then assigned to the Imperial Army. At first taking on a maintenance role, he was soon trusted with the responsibilities of an Operator. This was, in wartime, a direct combat role, responsible for remotely operating a squad of ‘husks’, or drones, that formed the vast majority of the Iciarosian light infantry. In peacetime, these squads were employed as guards and to fill other miscellaneous roles and duties. Atlas’ squad was stationed in Iciaros’ primary orbital habitat and interplanetary trade hub in the Territory of Azaelya, where he functioned as security and manual labour.

In 700 AA, Atlas participated in a minor role in the Iciarosian operation to smuggle pre-eminent scientist and defector Rowan North, along with their family, out of the then-independent nation of Orial. Atlas, among other operators, safeguarded the defectors and kept their presence a secret from local Orialian embassies until they could be transported down to the planet’s surface and into the jurisdiction of Iciaros’ core territories. In this process, Atlas met his future wife, Liliana North. They began dating soon after she, and the rest of her family, obtained Iciarosian citizenship. The two of them were married in 704 AA, and had their first and only child, Calypso Wray, later that year.

In the same year, the Valkyrian Crisis began. Atlas’ husk squad was mobilised in response to rapidly increasing diplomatic tensions between Iciaros and the other independent nations in the system, including Orial. Atlas’ squad was among those eventually deployed on Orial, where Iciarosian forces came the closest to combat at any point during the Crisis. Ultimately, however, Orial capitulated without fighting and became a protectorate of Iciaros, and Atlas’ squad was returned to its station in Azaelya in 706 AA.

Between Crises

Atlas’ performance during the Valkyrian Crisis was deemed exceptional, which led to his superiors keeping a closer eye on him in the years afterward. Over the next fourteen years, he underwent a series of promotions (as well as education in the LTDP), ultimately culminating in ascension to the position of Grand General of the Imperial Army after the resignation of his predecessor in 720 AA.

His personal life, in the meantime, was exceptional in its unexceptionality. His reputation as a family man and loving husband and father earned him respect; it was seen as impossible to simultaneously be both a parent and the sort of hyper-competent and impartial leader Iciaros demanded, and being such a prominent exception to the rule attracted much attention from the media, both towards him and his family. This, in addition to the media attention his extended family received as Orialian defectors, led to a number of restraining orders and further gossip.

This idyllic and only mildly annoying lifestyle was broken in 721 AA, with the prelude to the next big crisis. He and his family-in-law became the targets of a string of assassination attempts, which collectively resulted in the death of most of them, including his wife and the principal Orialian defector Rowan. His daughter Calypso was grievously wounded in the process, and though she survived, her entire body was paralysed and she suffered Linktotal locked-in syndrome.

Atlas despaired greatly at these developments, and did not have time to recover before the next crisis began in earnest and he was called to his duty. Despite his distress, he assumed command as Grand General, and remained in principal command for the entirety of the crisis.

The Soul Crisis

Related Article: The Soul Crisis

During the initial stages of the Soul Crisis, Atlas had few true responsibilities, and his biggest action was to coordinate the small force sent to remove then-Orialian leader Bishop-Protector Orius from his position. However, once Orius acquired powerful soul magic and began to massacre his people for more power, Atlas’ responsibilities multiplied tenfold. He had to perform the impossible task of stopping an ever-growing army and rescuing their would-be victims with a paltry detachment, at least until reinforcements arrived. He worked together with his then-sovereign, Empress-Valkyria Azalea, to optimise deployments and coordinate the emergency evacuation of millions of Orialian citizens in the path of Orius’ rampage. Reports suggest that several hundred evacuations were successfully carried out thanks, in part, to the diversionary tactics and mind games Atlas played against Orius, turning his rampage towards locations of little value and slowing them down unnecessarily.

When reinforcements arrived, Atlas was able to better hold a battle line against Orius’ encroaching hordes. Soon afterwards, a meeting of Iciaros’ military High Command concocted the final plan of the war, luring Orius to his doom in a decisive battle that Atlas oversaw. The death of Orius marked the end of the Soul Crisis, a warming of relationships between Iciaros and Orial, and the onset of a lasting peace.

Post-Crisis

After the end of the Crisis, Atlas took a long leave from his position to watch over his daughter, who had not and has not recovered as of the present day. Though he has since returned to his duties, those who know him personally describe him as a changed man, noticeably more sombre and melancholic. He now spends most of his free time in the hospital with his daughter.

Public Perception

Once a charismatic, cheerful, and encouraging man, tragedy has changed Atlas for the worse. Though still kind, and as apt a military commander as he has always been, he nowadays is much more prone to bouts of sadness and regret. Often he loses himself in quiet, sombre thought, sometimes in the midst of an act. Though he can and does suppress these behaviours when on active and important duty, his style of command is also noticeably more cautious, doubtful, and paranoid than it was in his youth. His staff describe him as playing the careful half to his fellow commander Rosaria Aldaine’s more risk-friendly approach.

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