Admiral John Howard, AKA “HOWSER”
Role in Story: Commanding Officer of Orion. Jane’s Father
Occupation: Military Admiral and Commanding Officer of Orion with acting authority over all branches of military through the agencies of the US government and the United Nations.
Admiral John Howard, AKA Howser was raised in the cigar chomping, war-hero General Patton era. The WWII era war propaganda spun tougher-than-leather Generals out in the muddy fields taking artillery rounds with infantry men while digging out tanks by hand with shovels for the viewing eyes at home. Howser learned from that gritty propaganda what it would take to become “America’s Sweetheart” military leader. According to Jane, Howser, as she calls him, is no more than a glorified snake oil salesman, manipulating the public for his own personal gain, making false allies with questionable countries to gain Intel , and above all else, interested only in self preservation. She does not trust his authority, yet feels a blind obligation to obedience not only because he is her father, but she feels a deeper commitment to Orion.
Howser was not always a crass and manipulative war monger. His detachment and cruel tactics developed out of his own traumatic experiences, and years of witnessing death and loss. Beginning with the tragic death of his CIA partner and wife, Hemmingway Chamberlin. After the death of Howser’s wife, Howser became committed to perfecting a mortal combat training tactic which he called The Killing Circle, in hopes that his own daughter would never be subject to the intense torture that Hemingway had suffered due to her own lack of training. Howser’s demons constantly haunt him. Rather than show themselves as love and compassion for Jane’s well being, they manifest in brutal and intense ways. Howser is the first character we see attempting to deal with what previously called “shell-shock,” as he admits he “would rather shoot himself privately, then admit to others publicly that he couldn’t handle something.” Howser and Hemingway openly talk to each other about the strange feelings and dreams they have after missions, but they don’t understand them. They simply agree to push them deep inside and never speak about them. Howser attempts to train the members of Orion this tactic of repression, although times are modernizing and the term PTSD is beginning to be used. Howser enlists the aid of an experimental psychiatrist named Gail Reed. Her methods of treating the teams trauma is nearly more devastating and harmful than the initial event.
Howser marches on through the pages of Orion One, taking credit for the teams accomplishments, and showing up to administer punishments, and bark orders like a true Commander.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”- John Wayne
“You just train till you puke your guts out and then you keep going.”
Favorite food: “I am not going to answer any of these God damn questions. Favorite food? What the hell kind of stupid question is that? Watch me God damn eat something, if I am eating it I probably like it. If I eat it again, I really like it. Damn stupid question.”
Favorite weapon: “One that will shred this questionaire.”
Relaxation: “Realxation? Oh yeah I forgot to go to my knitting class today I was busy cleaning my rifle.”
Favorite movies: “I am not answering this.”
Favorite music: “Reveille.”
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