General Tom Stapelton
Role in the Story: Second in command of Orion before Jane takes over.
General Tom Stapelton descended from a long line of prideful Marines. Nearly every male family member he knew had served his country. His own father, Eugene, crossed paths in his Marine Corps days with Howser, the President and Commander of Orion; saving his life. Which then led to a friendship, and Tom’s early entrance into the Orion program.
Tom’s mid-western, salt-of-the earth parents instilled in him a deep love not only for his country, but also for God and family. Deeply religious, Tom often struggles with an inner conflict between his duties as a Marine, compassion for humanity, and the watchful and judging eye of God. He is certain that God will eventually forgive him, as he prays often and resorts to rooting out scripture to justify the brutality of war and killing. He desperately clings to this hope. He had a large image of christ tattooed onto his chest as a reminder.
Tom sets the gold standard for leadership in Orion. He is balanced, intelligent, resourceful, funny, kind, logical, and extremely skilled and knowledgeable. Known as the quiet observer, as he assesses the situation as if it were a game of chess; calculating several moves out. He is passionately devoted to members of his team, and places extreme importance on their lives; more so on Jane’s. There is nothing he would not do for Jane. He absolutely proves time and again that he would die for her; and this relationship is mutual.
Through his father Eugene, Tom was sent to the Orion Military training school at 8-years-old, where he met Jane two years later. He began mentoring her, and quickly they became best friends, inseparable training partners; and Howser’s special projects. Howser treated them differently and special, Howser loved Tom like his own son, which, for Tom made leaving his own family somewhat easier.
Along with the great struggles Tom faces as he tries to hold hands with God while being a Marine elite Killer; Tom has the dual responsibility of simply developing as a very young man in an intensely mature position of leadership, and the burden of keeping his team (his brothers and Jane) alive.
“A training tip from me would be to get your mind strong and your faith strong. I am pretty religious, I have to be. I really believe that God loves me no matter what, and that he has his eye on me. I have to respect myself and other people. But I have to get my mind strong. A strong mind can love yourself, your country, your wife, your sister, your daughter, your father, sons, God, and everything around you becomes easy. I wouldn’t be able to do my job without the courage I get from having a good strong core. So train yourself to respect yourself. Knock off the drugs and the alcohol and the crud that is going into your body. Put something good inside, and something great will resonate.”
Favorite food: “I am a fried chicken sort of guy, but I love it with sweet corn on the cob and a big glass of ice cold milk. I don’t really like chocolate or desert food, but I think watermelon on a hot July day is perfect.”
Favorite weapon: “Seriously? Jane is my favorite weapon! Just kidding. For like everyday stuff, probably my S&W 1911 .45 just because my dad gave it to me. It has good balance, nice sites, and a comfortable grip…and my dad gave it to me, that says all you need to know.
Favorite movies: “Anything with Jason Statham in it, he can seriously fight.”
Relaxation: “I read a lot. Doesn’t matter really what it is, even if its a tech manual. Reading is distracting. I like to swim laps, and run whenever I can because thats pretty solo and quiet as well.”
Favorite music: “It’s weird, but I like country music, but it has to be the old school George Strait stuff. I don’t know what has happened to country music since Garth brooks started shooting off fireworks on stage, but it’s not good.”
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