Character Bio: Major Michael Sterling

Name: Major Michael Thomas Sterling (“Mikey”).
HT: 6’2” WT: 215 lbs
Eyes: Green Hair: Dark Brown
Age: 38
Build: Athletic
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Former Rank: Major (Army)
Marital Status: Married

Michael T. Sterling was born in Annapolis, MD. His father was a Naval Officer serving as an instructor for engineering systems at the Naval Academy. Being a Navy brat, he lived traveled a lot, and by the age of 12 had been to more places than most have in a lifetime.

As he grew older, he found he favored the military lifestyle. After a life spent travelling, he had few attachments to a specific location, and a strong desire to see more of what the world had to offer. While his desire to join the Army as a bit unsettling to his father, the family was proud he had chosen a life of service. Michael went to college at Texas A&M as a ROTC candidate. He excelled at both school and ROTC, becoming the ROTC Battalion Cadet Commander and graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a reward for his achievements, he was given his first choice assignment: Rangers.

During his eight years as an Army Ranger, he participated in both the invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He spent 15 months in Iraq, and saw heavy action in Najaf, Karbala, Ramadi and Fallujah. When he returned home, he was promoted to Major (O-4) and offered Graduate school as a way to unwind and start the next phase of his career. He attended North Caroline State University as an ROTC instructor and student. While attending NCSU, he met Margaret, and by the end of his tour, he proposed. She accepted, and they were married shortly afterwards.

Faced with starting a tour behind a desk at the Pentagon, the first step in the Army’s “future General” ladder track, Michael looked desperately for an alternative. Denied a return to the 101st, he and Margaret braced themselves for two years of desk driving inside the beltway when he received an intriguing email from DARPA. He accepted their invitation and became the first candidate in the Advanced Soldier Program. He and Margaret moved to Baltimore to be close to Johns Hopkins, where the first round of treatments began.

Due to his unique genetic makeup, the ASP Program Managers decided to take advantage of the situation and install multiple upgrade packages into MAJ Sterling. Whereas the other candidates received a single upgrade package, Michael was provided the Orion, Antilochus, Odysseus, and Hercules packages — what the ASP referred to as the “Achilles” upgrade, designed to provide him with superhuman strength, speed, endurance, intelligence, and senses. “Achilles” proved a success, and Michael was given the tactical lead for Team ZERO when there were deployed to Afghanistan for field trials in August 2007. During field testing, MAJ Sterling was subjected to a situation that created a tragic conflict in his upgrade packages, severely injuring him mentally and physically.

Before the incident in Afghanistan, MAJ Sterling, had an easy, commanding presence. Confident, intelligent, good sense of humor. Lovingly devoted to his wife. Passionate about his troops and his country. He served out of a profound need to defend his loved ones and his country. He was clean shaven with close cropped hair (very close on sides and back, longer on top, parted) and always dressed in the military style (golf shirt, slacks, belt).

As Mikey he barely resembles his former self. His hair is long, he is frequently unshaven, and he no longer stands proudly. His stance and mannerisms closely resemble people with autism – head looking down and to the side, hands near the center of his chest (usually wringing), rocks back and forth when sitting. He is usually extremely docile and rarely demonstrates any awareness of his surroundings.

The incident in Afghanistan that burned out his higher brain functions, appears to have been the result of a software failure in the Friend-Foe Identifier subroutine that was a component of the cerebral augments he received. When Mikey feels threatened to the point where his augments activate, he takes on an extremely aggressive stance and is able to move like black death itself: fluid, graceful, powerful, and efficient. His face is fierce, almost angry, and he is utterly without remorse. In this mode, he is a master combatant with superhuman acumen.

Despite the damage to his brain, it appears that somewhere, deep inside, the remains of Michael Sterling ensure that his wife is always identified as “Friend” in his internal threat matrix. The designers of the software do not understand how this is possible. But, they still don’t understand the reason for the original malfunction of the software, either.

As part of the agreement reached between Steve Callan and the Department of Defense, Michael Sterling was released to the custody of his wife, Margaret. Prior to this plan, no medical staff personnel felt safe in his presence. Due to his augments, there was no way to restrain him with gas, tranquilizers, or shock if his augments were to activate. It had been decided to euthanize MAJ Sterling in order to prevent possible catastrophe. Mr. Callan’s plan was met with great resistance.

Once it was demonstrated that Margaret Sterling could “control” her husband, the situation changed dramatically. The intent to weaponize him was reintroduced in the higher echelons of the Pentagon. Mr. Callan’s legal team, on behalf of Mrs. Sterling, successfully argued that this was a gross violation of human rights and a breach of the terms of his appointment as an officer in the U.S. Military. As the DOD was unable to provide safe medical care for Michael, Mrs. Sterling volunteered to provide home care.

Mikey is currently under the care of his wife in their home in Simi Valley, CA. He is extremely fond of the BBC Series “Earth”, Cheetos, apple sauce, and chocolate Ovaltine. While mostly inactive, he has shown an extraordinary capability for survival. He remains under close surveillance by the US intelligence services.

About Rob McClellan

Rob is the founder of ThirdScribe, a unique author services platform and social network. As a naval officer and diver, he spent a majority of his career doing a lot more than you would think with a lot less than you can imagine -- a skill that has proven extremely valuable in the start-up world. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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