#20 – Atlas

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

*These are small excerpts and fragments from Julio Cesar Moreira’s upcoming book “The Man behind Atlas: The Story of John Luther Rose”.

1890 – John Luther Rose is born in New York, NY. The first child of Dr. Nicholas Rose and his wife Charlotte, John suffered from serious health issues for most of his infancy. It was considered a miracle of modern medical science that he survived to be a year old, let alone that he managed to make a mostly full recovery.

1904 – John Luther Rose makes history by becoming the youngest man to ever earn a doctorate from the prestigious Oxford University. While there was controversy in that many believed young Dr. Rose did not possessed the maturity to practice medicine, his father and his teachers showed the utmost confidence and pride in him.

1911 – Dr. J.L. Rose stuns the scientific community and the World by unveiling his breakthrough achievement: The Atlas Serum. A miracle drug of Rose’s own invention, Atlas is capable of altering a human’s physiology, taking it to its peak optimal condition, making a person as fast, strong, smart and durable as that person could ever achieve to be. However, the process proved to be so incredibly expensive that Dr. Rose almost went through his share of the Rose family fortune in order to produce enough serum for himself. The military deemed the project “a resounding failure” after reviewing estimates of how much it would cost them to produce a single platoon of Atlas augmented soldiers.

1918 – 28 year old Dr. Rose comes home from the War, were he served both in his capacity as an augmented soldier for the United States government and as a field doctor for the countless of wounded in the trenches. Dr. Rose claims the experience has changed him “profoundly”.

1919 – Dr. Rose cancels his engagement of 5 years to his girlfriend Marie Renard. This made the news for months and shocked many of Dr. Rose’s fans, who saw the couple as the ideal example of young romance. Dr. Rose refused to discuss the subject with the press. Marie Renard returned to her native France shortly after this. She married two years later to one of her father’s business partners. They would never see each other again.

1920 – Dr. Rose founds the Atlas Corporation, a medical research company he hopes will help him achieve his dreams of bettering mankind and the human condition. Atlas was the first company of its kind to so aggressively employ both field researchers and theoretical scientists, not just staff researchers. Within the next 5 years, Atlas would open branches in Europe, Africa and South America. Atlas also became famous for its multiple charity drives and humanitarian endeavors, which Dr. Rose considered paramount to the success of Atlas, both as a company and as an ideology.

1925 – Dr. Nicholas Rose dies at the age of 77. He dies in his sleep, accompanied by his wife Charlotte, who would go on to die just a few months later, also from natural causes. The incident is worth noting due to the fact that Dr. J.L. Rose did not attend the funeral due to business out of the country. A private service would later be held for mother and son in the Rose’s family estate.

1932 – Over the last ten years and making use of Atlas’ South American branch in order to procure all sorts of exotic herbs unique to that region, Dr. Rose was able to improve upon his previously enhanced physiology. The results of his research and experimentation had augmented his abilities tenfold, providing him with super-human strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, impregnable skin, a denser bone structure and sturdier muscle fiber. Even his aging process seems to have become halted as the now 42 year old doctor does not look a day over 20. Though most people are still supportive of Dr. Rose and his work, a small sampling of the populace is starting to grow uneasy with him and questioning his motives.

1935 – Although in the last 3 years Dr. Rose had been operating as a police-sanctioned law enforcer, helping the department in various successful raids and arrests that could have resulted in civilian casualties, Dr. Rose had been kept strictly at street level by the Commissioner and the Mayor’s office. Through his own detective work and with the help of Chief of Police Mason O’Shaughnessy, Rose was able to uncover a ring of organized crime and corruption that deeply implicated the Mayor, the police Commissioner and various respected industrialists and members of the social scene. This immediately transformed Dr. Rose’s perception in the eyes of the public. Low and middle class citizens immediately approved of the doctor’s actions, while the wealthy high class and the political sphere started distrusting Dr. Rose and his motives, distancing themselves from him both personally and in business. The Atlas Corporation did not suffer from this.

1936 – It’s in this year that the nickname “Atlas” was attributed to Dr. Rose as his “super-heroic identity”, forever merging Dr. Rose and his company in the people’s subconscious.

1942 – For the second time in his life, Dr. Rose serves as a soldier in a World War. This time, however, Dr. Rose spends less time being a doctor and more time helping the allies reclaim Europe from the Axis. He was also a member of the upper echelon of the Manhattan Project, along Howard Hughes, Nicola Tesla and J.R. Oppenheimer, and was the only one who voted against the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki three years later. In later interviews, the doctor claimed he was “as disturbed from what I saw in the battle field as from what I saw back at home amongst our allies”. The Third Reich and Hitler in particular would profess a great admiration for the doctor and his work, quoting that “in his research you can find the true spirit and ideals of the Nazi Übermensch”.

1948 – With the War over, Japan indefinitely isolated from the World and Hitler behind bars, Dr. Rose begins a new age for the Atlas Corporation with the inauguration of Unbound Technologies, a new branch of his company originally dedicated to the study of various nascent fields of research that were inspired by his work on the Manhattan Project. Unbound Technologies would go on to become a Fortune 500 company and one of the biggest innovators in the fields of science and technology in the 20th century.

1950 – Dr. Rose once again goes through a new metamorphosis thanks to the Atomic Particle research division of Unbound Technologies. Using a new radioactive isotope of his own discovery, Dr. Rose is able to improve upon the Atlas Serum. Thanks to the new procedure, his strength, speed, stamina and endurance are once again multiplied tenfold. He is now capable of producing rays of clean isotopic energy from his body, which he can use as a blasting weapon as well as to allow him supersonic flight capabilities. His eyes are now able to see through multiple light spectrums and he is also capable of sensing different radiation frequencies. By this point, Dr. Rose/Atlas had become a staple of the super hero community.

1954 – The United States’ Senate of Internal Security Subcommittee calls for Dr. John Luther Rose, as well as the Atlas Corporation and Unbound Technologies to bear trial due to accusations of communist association and charges of treason and war profiteering. The trials are preceded by Senator Joseph McCarthy himself. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is also seated in the room, as well as many of the industrialists and entrepreneurs Dr. Rose uncovered as corrupt during the 30’s. The hearing stands as one of the most embarrassing displays throughout the McCathyism era, with the image of the Senator accusing Dr. Rose of being “a red abomination and a Nazi sympathizer” as well as the series of interviews that journalist Edward R. Murrow conducted with the doctor both during and after the hearing being popularly accepted as the turning point in McCarthy’s career and the beginning of the end for him. While all accusations were lately retracted by the Supreme Court, the hearings had a negative effect on Dr. Rose both publicly and on a personal level, with many tracing the beginnings of Atlas’ misanthropy in this time period.

1961 – In June of this year, President John F Kennedy personally asks Dr. Rose for his assistance in the Vietnam War during a personal appeal at the White House. President Kennedy receives no immediate response from Dr. Rose. His response would come on November of that year, when Dr. Rose would be responsible for singlehandedly putting a stop at the American occupation of Vietnam, forcing military forces to return home and staying in the country for the following six months until all conflict within were solved through negotiations he personally supervised. This split once again the public’s view on the doctor, with many accusing him of being unpatriotic while other applauded his efforts for peaceful resolution. The following year, Dr. Rose would step down as CEO of both Atlas and Unbound, and very little would be seen of him in public appearances.

1966 – Through a private effort of Unbound Technologies, the first Lunar Colony, Charlotte 1, is built by the end of the year. It is revealed the colony will be populated not only by Unbound employees, but also by a cadre of international scientists and researchers combining their efforts to expand human knowledge of space and the Universe. Dr. Rose would continue to evade the press and the media, in complete opposition to his more boisterous persona from the 30’s and 40’s.

1968 – It is finally revealed through an article in the National Enquirer that Dr. Rose has been living in Charlotte 1 for the last 6 years. Public opinion on the doctor is by this point at an all-time low, with many people considering him weird and confessing to be scared of him. This proves especially true for the younger generations, who’ve only recently begun to know about him through the media. Flora Marcelle’s book, “Atlas: The Truth”, is also published by the end of the year, further fueling the fires of distrust in the people. Marcelle, who is Marie Renard’s great granddaughter, claims the book was based on Marie’s original journals from the era when she and the doctor were still engaged and “paints the picture of a different man than the one in the newsreels, one far more sinister and unstable”. The book stayed in the bestseller lists for most of 69 and early 1970.

1985 – An unofficial attempt is made by an alliance of the Soviet Union and the United States to bombard the surface of the Moon with a total of 76 nuclear missiles with the explicit intention of terminating Dr. John Luther Rose, a.k.a. Atlas. The missiles however dismantled themselves in mid-flight. When a rescue team was sent to recover the plutonium warheads, they discovered the plutonium had somehow inexplicably been turned to lead. Rumor has it that 14 days after the so-called “Operation: Eclipse” both the U.S.S.R.’s general secretary and the U.S. president received a direct transmission from Dr. Rose. The contents of this transmission, which lasted only 3 minutes, are wildly speculated and uncertain.

1986 – The Soviet Union officially disbands, seemingly overnight.

2011 – The Orbiting Lunar Station “Charlie 15” is officially inaugurated. While Atlas Corporation and Unbound Technologies have become huge transnational companies with branches all over the world and beyond, they remained anchored by Dr. Rose’s vision of helping to the betterment of mankind. Both companies host a long list of charity programs, outreach centers, special scholarship programs and research grants. Dr. Rose himself has appeared in front of the public eye very scarcely in the previous years, only doing so in his capacity as Atlas in helping the superhuman community with situations of imminent catastrophe for the planet and for the most part remaining secluded in his lunar estate in Charlotte 2. Dr. Rose’s keynote in honor of the 90th anniversary of Atlas’ foundation in 2010 was a global event, with the transmission being translated to a hundred different languages and dialects around the World by the doctor himself as he spoke. The current reach of his power is unknown but it is believed that he is no longer required to sleep or eat and that his aging process has completely stopped altogether. It is also speculated that he has acquired telekinetic abilities, with some sources even claiming that what Dr. Rose is truly capable of is sub-atomic manipulation. Still, speculation is all we have as the doctor has refused to give an interview or even entertain guests for the last 25 years, as he has distanced himself from most of his company’s operations and even stepped down as the public face of Atlas back in 1991. Dr. Rose celebrated his 121st birthday this year, and it seems like he has another 121 years still in him. As reclusive and mysterious as he has become, it is still comforting to know that we can all gently rest our worried heads in Atlas’ shoulders and trust that he will help us go into whatever future is waiting for us.

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Category: Drama, Scifi, Superhero

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