High Councillor Atlas
High Councillor Atlas is the head of the A family and a member of the 17th Itera. He is the second-highest ranking member of the House and the most influential Variant in Citadel. Thanks to his natural charisma, careful social manuevering and close supervision of his younger family members, Atlas has played a central role in making the A family the most powerful of all the Variant families.
Atlas got his name from his obsession with maps and cartography as a Kinderwuhn. He dreamed of mapping out the moors and possibly finding the fabled Sea. However, as he got older he was discouraged from this by his older siblings, who told him that only criminals went out into the moors and he would probably die out there. Discouraged, Atlas was ready to give up his hobby altogether... until one day while he was studying an illustration of the human brain, he noticed the way the folds in the brain looked just like roads on a map. It was then that he realised he could map out something far more interesting and useful: the Variant mind. He began to study the people around him. He mapped and charted out their relationships, their apparent likes and dislikes, and what they said vs what they did. Once he had gathered enough data, he began to put what he had learned into practice. Atlas' experiments started out benevolently. He used his newfound social skills to influence people to improve themselves and do good things for others. He presented himself as a helpful, caring and selfless person who was able to see - and bring out - the best in everyone. As his reputation grew and the halo effect began to take hold, Atlas began to use his influence to get what he wanted. Because after all, it was only fair that he get something in return for all he'd done for everyone else, right? With a bit of persuasion, most people were happy to do as he asked. In turn, Atlas kept up friendly relationships with them in public, and made other efforts to increase their reputation. Those who refused his requests, however, found their lives begin to fill with interpersonal conflict. Friends leaving them, rumours popping up out of nowhere, the general sense that they were being shunned... Little by little, their reputations went down, and people were less willing to look them in the eye or be seen with them.
Scholar DaysAs a Scholar, Atlas took great interest in Simula City. He was the pioneer of Simuleave, being one of the first to transfer his mind to the virtual city. While there, he interacted closely with the Simulans and used his observations to run tests on them by engineering a variety of situations via time resets and rewinds. It was here that Atlas got a taste of what it was like to have true power over people and their minds. With a bit of deception and technological trickery, he could make make the Simulans believe anything about themselves, him and others. He could change the very fabric of who they were. And he was hooked.
The RiseAfter the end of his Simuleave, Atlas doubled his efforts to curry favour with others, especially the more senior Scholars. He focused his research efforts on replicating Simone's thought processes for the creation of new tech. He then used the resulting inventions to benefit the wider community, often using individual families to demonstrate their usefulness on a smaller scale. He became an expert at making deals with other Variants in exchange for his assistance. He was seen as "The People's Scholar", someone who mirrored Simone's benevolence and commitment to taking care of others. It is believed that his efforts and the social status he gained from them directly contributed to him being appointed as Councillor. Atlas was careful to instill these values and his own work ethic into the younger members of his family. He encouraged them to start their own mini-initiatives and use their skills to create and implement solutions - all under his guidance and supervision. He also taught them to be sociable, persuasive, charismatic and skilled at negotiations. Over time this elevated the A family's status to that of Citadel's "golden family". Atlas soon became one of the most successful Councillors in history. He was excellent at persuading others to take on his proposed initiatives over others. Every collaboration he formed with other Councillors always ended up being wildly successful. He seemed to have a knack for knowing what would best benefit the community. It was no surprise then that it only took Atlas a few milos to be promoted to High Councillor. As a member of the House, Atlas now had the ability to control who had access to certain resources and who didn't. He also had more social power than he had ever had in his life. People listened to him on principle. They were keen to emulate him and his family - and also get closer to them. Atlas was able to sway public opinion and alter social dynamics at a greater scale than ever before. He could change their very hearts. Turn them towards him, like a flower to the sun. People would do anything for an A. And he would take full advantage of that.
Atlas excelled academically, and displayed a keen interest in the inner workings of the human mind. As a result, he was chosen by the Career Committee to become a Scholar at 15 milos. He became a Councillor before reaching Senior Scholar status, and went on to have a stellar track record of 100% successful initiatives before becoming High Councillor.
Morality & Philosophy
Atlas realised from an early age that influencing people was like leading people through a map of their own mind. It was up to him to draw new "paths" of thinking and encourage people to travel down them to reach the conclusion or desire that he wanted, leading them to take actions that would work out in his favour. As his social status grew, he realised that the best way to unify people was to give them something to be united against. And Atlas had the perfect scapegoat: the X family. In the wake of the serious crimes that got all but the youngest member of the family placed in permanent cryosleep, they had become pariahs to the rest of the Variants, being the source of much suspicion and scrutiny. Atlas knew the now-head of the family was desperate to clean up their image (in sharp contrast to his "problem child" past), and thus used the promise of vindication (and the threat of further vilification) to keep him under his thumb, while publicly distancing the A family from his. Meanwhile, Atlas pinpointed families that he knew would remain loyal to him, and made them close allies and friends of the A family. This enabled him to maintain a strong network from which he could obtain information and who would help him increase his social reach. The closest of these is the E family, who enjoy a high social status in the community as a result.
Atlas is driven by a need for social power. His greatest desire is to be able to change people's minds and thoughts at will.
The walls of Atlas' study are covered with strange maps. They do not appear to correspond to any Earth or Citadel location. It is almost as if the locations came out of someone's imagination.