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"What? Can't a two hundred year-old machine god have a good laugh every now and again?!"

~ OTAN jokes to Varvara Trotskaya.

Introduction

The Optimised Transcendence Acceleration Nexus, abbreviated to OTAN, is the omnipotent Supreme Leader of the Mechanocracy of Russia and one of the two guardian archaelects, the quasi-divine protectors of the human race. The other is Joseph Hightower, whom OTAN grudgingly respects as a rival. It (though it identifies as male, it is always spoken of in the third person using gender-neutral pronouns) is notable in the narrative for being the father of legendary Mecharussian warrior Elena Trotskaya, whom the archaelect is currently grooming to take its place upon its retirement. There are no written documents declaring their relation, and it is a closely-guarded secret known only to a tiny inner circle (and Alain, somehow).

Background

OTAN is the reincarnated consciousness of deceased Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, having been brought back to life with the Komarev Device – the mainframe of the Khazard'Vaari Machine King Vaar'madr, the source of its immense, godlike power. It would not, however, be until the cessation of the Sundering that OTAN would give any hint as to its true power, through the purge of the last Soviet Politburo. It is not entirely clear what became of the old Soviet government; although official sources state that they were ripped apart by a swarm of reprogrammed, berserk terror drones, one (disavowed) report describes a platinum-haired individual wearing a black jumpsuit and violet facemask using a beam of "pure darkness" to literally annihilate every politician. Both reports are corroborated by there being no trace whatsoever of the missing Politburo, so it is unlikely that any independent investigation will learn of their true fate.

Personality

The Mecharussian Supreme Leader has more than two centuries of wisdom at its disposal, garnered from a long life full of experience of the wider world and driven by its vision of a perfect world created under its guidance. It is also firmly of the belief that all great things must be earned, whether as an individual or as a collective. It makes heavy application of this belief when it trains Trotskaya, in the hope that she will not squander or misuse the incredible gift that is soon to be bestowed upon her. Also like any good father, OTAN is always there to comfort or protect its daughter when she has nowhere else to turn and is in grave danger of death. It has also learned to gauge when to directly act to defend her, informing her that it would only do so should she be assaulted by an entity that she stands no chance of defeating by her own means (such as Qh'naaz); again, the objective of this is to teach her not to rely on its massive power and be able to take on foes by her own means.

These traits do not, however, preclude the archaelect from holding negative emotions, such as anger or fear – both take notable manifest when Trotskaya, and thereby its vision, is under deadly threat. The greatest challenge of all to it comes in the Alternative Canon, in the form of the Imperium of Sidhae. Initially hoping to exploit its technological advantage to great effect for its vision, the archaelect grows to view the Imperium no longer as a useful asset, but as a deadly existential threat to the human race, and starts devising a plan to see it crippled before it hands over power to Trotskaya. Unbeknownst to even the innermost kernels of the Mecharussian political elite, father and daughter would begin collaborating extensively to pre-emptively hamstring the Imperium, both for their own reasons; eventually, Trotskaya's daughter, Yulia, was made aware of their scheme and assists in its realisation.

OTAN Complex Mystery

A recurring theme in the Mecharussian canons pertains to the location of the near-mythical OTAN Complex, the machine god's seat of power that is described as being so secret that not even Prokhor Stahlrim, the Grand Curator, knows where it is.

The last chapter of To Struggle in the Way of Allah gives the location as Sukhoy Nos, but in actuality OTAN has four Complexes: one at Sukhoy Nos, one below Sunikagrad, another hidden in the depths of Lake Baikal and the fourth is buried under the surface of the Neptunian moon Triton. The complex under Triton is, in fact, not a static construction at all, but a massive phylactery ship.

Trivia

  • OTAN is the second oldest character in the Mechanocratic canon (behind Prokhor Stahlrim), having existed since before even the formulation of Mechanocratic Russia.
  • The character draws inspiration from several villains, most notably Skynet, Deathshead and Yuri (from, respectively, the Terminator, Wolfenstein and Command and Conquer: Red Alert franchises) as well as, of course, Joseph Stalin.
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