Thursday, April 17, 2008

Personnel Dossier #1: Colonel Union

[this is the first of many character bios I've written for the game; later, I'll return and add character sheets and illustrations to each of them as time permits. -j]

Codename: n/a
Colonel Thomas Union
director of A.E.G.I.S.

Appearance: Tall, thin, and distinguished, with the grace and poise of a politician and the tough, wiry frame of an old soldier. Blue eyes with wire-rimmed spectacles. Hair is iron-gray and receding. Favors business suits in public; among comrades, tends to wear dress ungreens devoid of insignia.

Biography: The scion of an old and powerful Washington family, Thomas Union counted federal judges, diplomats, and Congressmen among his family and friends. He was born on the fast-track and stayed there, attending elite private schools and finally West Point, a decision that rankled some members of his family, who had expected him to take up the richer (and safer) career of a lawyer or lobbyist. Entering the Army as an officer during the so-called "War on Terror," Union learned Arabic and volunteered repeatedly for front-line duty rather than let his family pull strings to secure him a safe assignment. Like many, he was dissatisfied with the lack of leadership and accountability among the Army brass during the protracted struggles in the Middle East, and vowed to find a better way. After many of his innovative ideas and tactics were shot down by his higher-ups, Union resigned his commission in disgust, returning to private life and marrying Caroline Dowd, daugher of a prominent Senator. However, unable and unwilling to simply drop his crusade, Union joined a prominent Washington foreign-policy think tank, venting his frustration by writing impassioned papers about the changing nature of 21st-century combat. When a new presidential administration took office, with the goal of rebuilding America's strained foreign relations and cooperating to establish an international anti-terrorism task force, Union was tapped to join the planning commission. His recommendations sparked controversy among the Washington establishment but won him the admiration of the President, who prevailed upon him to take a job as head of the new organization, now known as Allied Extra-Governmental Incursion Security, or AEGIS.

Skills and interests: Col. Union is a skilled military tactician and strategist, but with a politician's eye for the big picture that is often lacking in his peers. Despite his rarified upbringing he has a gift for commanding respect among people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs, as evidenced by the growing retinue of close personal friends that follow him from assignment to assignment. His upbringing has, however, left him with a taste for the finer things in life - opera, good food, art, and literature - and he tries to impress a similar love of the good life into his men.

Psych Profile: Thomas Union is by nature passionate, with strongly-held ideals, and has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to follow those ideals wherever they lead, even when it results in conflict with his family or superiors. That passion is presumably what inspires his associates and followers, since Union is otherwise a private man in many respects, and appears to open up only to very close friends or to his wife. He has a documented knack for understanding other people's motivations, a skill that has proved useful in the counterterrorism business, but does not have the "common touch" per se - behavior analysis shows that he is much more likely to be found listening to Bizet in his office than watching the football game in the mess. Despite his upbringing and military background, Union appears to have little use for formality, which he considers a useless illusion, and encourages individual expression and unconventional thinking among his officers. He also takes risks with personnel, often going outside normal channels to find people with the talents he needs. These qualities appear to have served him and AEGIS well so far, but have also earned him enemies in high places, and may make him vulnerable if AEGIS's performance is ever called into question.

No comments: