I’ve written a great deal of the Premiseverse, from the backstories and histories of the Thirty to figuring how eezo works. A great deal has been not invented from whole cloth, but rather co-opted by me from existing materials Bioware never used.
Once such element that I have altered is Victor Manswell.
The following are snippets about Victor. They are not by me or my hand, but by someone who read my works and presented their own take on Saint Victor. And yet, such is his iron will, vileness and determination — that I found myself only having to alter the concepts put here in the very smallest of manners.
It is the work of a friend named Julian, and I am interested in thoughts upon it.
From the Historical Annals, Post Reaper Views on Critical Points of History
“… the enigmatic individual usually known as “Victor Manswell” (March 28, 1998? – November 14, 2095). Also known as Markgraf Viktor Alchsneiss Schlossvogt von Hechingen, or as Sankt Viktor der Feuersbrünste. He claimed to be part Prussian, part Baltic German, and able to trace his line back to the House of Hohenzollern. He provided what seemed to be valid genetic proof of his claim, saying that he himself had only recently grown curious enough to run such genetic tests and that therefore he not not previously known of his ancestry. He spoke and moved and behaved every inch like a man telling the truth. But then, Franziska Schanzkowska (1896-1984) very likely believed herself to be truthful in saying that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. If the Margrave’s statements were untrue, perhaps he believed them truthful….”
From the Salarian Discourse on Humanity, Volume XII:
“Apparently, “Manswell” had been a close associate of a group of human industrialists and millionaires known as the Bilderburgs. It is disputable if such association translated into influence. What is beyond dispute was that he had over a trillion dollars in gold and in commodities essential to human life — food, water, weapons, prefabricated structures, protective equipment, and other materiél. He controlled where the things he had went, and he controlled where they did not go. The man called Victor Manswell was the richest surviving human being anywhere, and bad things tended to happen to those who questioned him….
From the Systems Alliance Uplifting Infantryman’s Primer:
“… Remembering the enormous contributions of experienced professionals like Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben to the American Revolution, Manswell made use of his personal cadre of expert private military contractors, whom he had handpicked long ago. As he reached out to more and more military contractors on Earth, he recruited them with the food, gold, arms, and medical supplies that he had stockpiled in advance. In particular he recruited from among German, Austrian, French and American mercenaries and defectors to his cause. Then he passed these personnel to his training cadre and send the program’s graduates to train and recruit others, who in turn trained others, and so on. Safe in space, Manswell already had all the necessary specialized support facilities for his new troops, with lavish accommodations for supporting them and their families. This let him control whether those families stayed healthy. Manswell also used a carefully considered system of collective discipline and corporal punishment, one derived from the traditions of Prussia. He moderated his disciplinary system by allowing unit members to reduce others’ punishments with a voting system, and also to volunteer to endure part of a punishment that another unit member would otherwise receive. …”
On Saint Viktor: A collection of the Will of Iron:
“… He earned the gratitude of countless Alaskans when he annihilated the so-called “Coordinators.” This tenacious group of organized extortionists, formed from rogue emergency management units, had seized almost all of Alaska’s remaining power and fuel infrastructure. The thugs also had centers of power in other states, and were able to call on thousands of combatants from as far away as Cuba. They were led by the unstable “Chief Commissioner” of the “National Emergency Resource Coordination Commission,” William Cosgrove Hammond, who at times imposed barter prices so high that many people were left burning human waste just to survive the cold. Finally, the Iron Guard under the equally ruthless Mickey Rourke tracked Hammond down as he attempted to flee all the way to a bunker complex in Nevada. He failed to get that far — Manswell had him drawn and quartered.”
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO MANSWELL
To the Archbishop of Germany, on the eve of the assault on France:
“You ask me whether I kill the innocent? Do you make a joke of this? The burning wave of all the works of the wicked is coming to the shore of mankind. It is taller than fifty buildings; it is wreathed in smoke and cinders. If I do not act to turn that wave aside, then in short years everyone left alive on this planet will be begging me to help them die. And you ask me whether I kill the innocent? What would you do?”
To the refugees of the so-called “Central Authority” of Romania, who protested his heavy-handed rule:
“Until the faces of the debt collectors are reflected in the eyes of burning corpses, humans have a nasty habit of forgetting they’ve even visited the bank. Humanity’s debt now is in a broken planet, in dead populations, in a land that cannot produce food, in air we cannot breathe, water we cannot drink!
I am just the guy restructuring the debt to save your sorry asses. And you’re arguing.”
Excepts from the Journals of Jacen Manswell, on a call from the Family to set aside the SSA war against Earth:
“Neither I nor anyone in this family will stand by while all sinners and all innocents burn alike. Neither I nor anyone in this family will put down this burden, will look away from the pain, or will disown the Motherland. Neither I nor anyone in this family will shrink from consequences. Neither I nor anyone in this family will suffer disobedience!
Iron does not bend, and it does not break. This meeting is adjourned.”
Excepts from the Journals of Darcen Maxwell, unpublished:
“By the leave of this family — and its many sacrifices — you are numbered among those who give orders, or who will grow to give them. No one is born with the skill for such, you must learn how to give them.
Sooner or later, you will have to face the microscopic issue of what to do when you are disobeyed by your lessers. In such a case you may well be forced to eliminate the offender — even perhaps to slaughter his defenseless animals, kill everyone he ever knew, blast his homeland to cinders, exterminate his culture and people in their entirety.
Therefore, you had better be damn sure of what you say, what you don’t say, how you say it, and when you speak. You are both blessed and cursed. You have fewer chances to make mistakes than does the man in the street, and sometimes you have no chances to make mistakes at all. I won’t always be here to help you understand the situation.
God help me, sometimes I … don’t … I don’t even … ”
Deathbed conversations : the annals of Maxwell Manswell:
“Enough. Max, you will listen to me. In the cell at the end of that corridor there is an organically alive but societally dead creature, the kind called an enemy of the people. If ever we can no longer kill the few to save the many, then we ourselves must expect death. That is how it must be for me — how it must be in the time of your heirs, their heirs, and theirs, and theirs. You know what is required. Soon I will return here. Don’t make me summon the part of myself that will kill you if you fail.”
The Sermon on the Hill: Victor at the dedication of the Statue of Christ Tormented at Arlington National Memorial:
“God sent his Son to die for our sins. God took back from His Son’s experience a firsthand familiarity with the experience of death, and death holds for Him no fear.
But mark well that for his part, Satan fears death. When we ask why this is so, we must see that unlike God, Satan has no part of himself that has experienced death. What he does know is that his existence is finite. Someday, souls will escape him simply because he is no longer there to turn them to him. This is one reason why, like God, Satan trains humans to magnify his work.
Satan fears death, and knows in advance the shame he will feel for each soul ultimately escaping his grasp. He knows he will not live forever, and from his fear and shame at this, he yearns to guide us to hurt and destroy ourselves.
Satan strives to encourage our belief in disinformation about sin. Satan’s propaganda on this subject falls into four main categories. First is the lie that God does not exist. The second is the lie that there is no sin. The third is the lie that when God promises to forgive the sins of the repentant, God intends to go back on his word. The fourth is the lie that God is some sort of incompetent or charlatan, lacking the power to forgive sin at all.
I find the worst of those who have been convinced by such falsehoods as these. Then I kill them … before they can kill our race.”
Conversations in Yellow: Accumulated memoirs of Shi Kon Chu, First Gong of Family Chu
“I think the risk of one family going to Hell is an acceptable trade for the preservation of humankind. I think the risk of fifteen being cursed for all time by historians and the weak is of no moment.
Extinction threatens us. And it is not an option.”