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"Have you, my new best friend, ever seen all of civilisation burn to the ground before in an atomic firestorm? I haaaaave!!!"

~ to Serena Romana. (*)

Introduction

Prokhor Stahlrim was the Grand Curator of the Mechanocracy of Russia, making him by extension the nation's head of government. He was well-known for being highly eccentric, laid back to an extent of extremity and for various improbable exploits, usually undertaken when intoxicated (by either drugs or alcohol, not uncommonly both). In addition, he had also had his already-unstable mind uploaded to a neuronet central processing unit, technically making him an archaelect. Though he was not nearly as powerful as a true archaelect, he was almost as indestructible as one.

Stahlrim also maintained an intense rivalry with General Elena Trotskaya, even going as far as to maintain a collection of (dead) Chihuahuas specifically to catapult over his hedge when he is angry - the dogs often landed in her garden, ruining her carefully-planted flowers in the process and enraging her. However, the two were nonetheless able to maintain a positive working relationship.

Background

Stahlrim hailed from middle Siberia, his hometown being the city of Novosibirsk. He was born before the Sundering, being one of the few surviving people from the pre-war era. It is implied that he had a background as a conscript in the Soviet Army. Part of his diary details an episode during Great World War Three where he led a small group of conscripts - including a childhood crush by the name of Svetlana - to battle invading US troops.

The war had a considerable degenerative effect on Stahlrim's mental health, him losing everyone he loved to the horrors of the conflict. The last straw that drove him insane was the Sundering itself - the destruction of the Soviet Union, the motherland he had fought so hard to defend, crushed his hopes and sealed his fate. Paradoxically, it also gave him zeal to compensate for the youth that was taken by the war by living as comfortably as possible. This was facilitated when he was confronted by OTAN at some point after the Mechanocracy was founded in the Union's ashes - having been promoted to officer rank by the end of the war in 2077 to replenish enormous losses in the command sector wrought by the cataclysmic conflict, he was one of the few remaining qualified leaders after the Sundering.

As of 2099, having recovered considerably from the war, he was entrusted by OTAN to run the nascent Mechanocracy Government as the first Grand Curator.

"Keeping the seat warm"

Stahlrim knew of Trotskaya's lineage and of OTAN's ultimate plan for her to take over first as Grand Curatrix and then as the Supreme Leader. He would thus describe, in private conversations with the archaelect, his position as Grand Curator as "keeping the seat warm" for her while he waited for the day that OTAN decided that the time for her ascendancy was right. This can partially account for his laid-back nature: knowing that his days were numbered regardless of what he did, he decided to make the most of his limited time while he could.

Stahlrim also made it his business to test Trotskaya's mettle in his own unique ways. By making himself her most direct rival, deliberately annoying her through any way possible, he believed that he would both make the eventual reward of taking the throne from him all the more greater and harden her resolve against outbreaks of impulsive anger. When the time for her to take over finally arrived, the sole reason that he threw at her all of his fighting capability was to determine if she was willing to fight for her power, the lesson that all great things must be earned being one that OTAN had been ingraining in her since it had begun to train her.

Although he was a harsh clandestine trainer, Stahlrim also demonstrated a high degree of compassion for Trotskaya to which she was none the wiser. On one occasion, he successfully managed to persuade her to come out with him on a pub crawl when OTAN instructed her to relax to cope with the stress of her second pregnancy, recruiting the assistance of a psyker to make her inebriated without actually getting her drunk. This, he would later claim, was to get her to enjoy herself and not be, in his own words, "so fucking boring all the time". Additionally, he would get very upset when anyone mentioned her harsh background in unflattering terms: even encountering Zinoviya Marilova, who had undergone a similar experience of torture-rape to Trotskaya, made him almost berserk with rage.

Stahlrim's greatest altruistic gesture to Trotskaya of all, however, was his action following the kidnap of her children Evgeniy and Yulia by Alain. He oversaw the issuing by the Senate of Mobilisation Order 47, providing the General with able-bodied soldiers and all of the materiel that she would ever need to retrieve the infants, and personally led negotiations to enable ease of passage through the Imperium of Sidhae for her pursuit of the renegade Judicator. Without his effort, the Flight of the Polunochnaya would not have even been possible, yet he insisted on keeping his direct involvement a secret because he knew that Trotskaya would not be able to bring herself to kill him when the time for her ascendancy would come. As a result, the Flight that would be marked in Mecharussian ideological legend would not only be his greatest gift to her, it would also be his last – not long after her return, she would initiate the Six-Day Purge that saw her slay him and take the reins of the Mechanocracy as Grand Curatrix. (No equivalent to the Flight so far exists in the Main Canon.)

Personality

The famously-eccentric Stahlrim was known for his idiosyncratically-quirky personality, and it is infrequently implied that he has multipolar personality disorder. Among his many highly unusual habits involved maintaining large numbers of war drones on patrol at his estate solely to keep his pet cat (with whom he has a quasi-romantic relationship) from escaping. He also had two sex changes, from male to female and back again, the sole purpose of this being to experience what it would be like to have breasts. In addition, he was well-known for his bluntness in conversation, taking the Mecharussian stereotype of honesty to an extreme level.

Another aspect of Stahlrim's personality was that he would remain very calm in even the most difficult of situations. He was also noted for having a keen ability to turn said situation to his advantage with some completely unthinkable trump card, more than willing to endanger his own life (let alone those of his peers) to do so. If, however, something goes irreversibly wrong, he would either panic and literally run around the room screaming, or explode into an extremely violent fit of rage. This made him a dangerously-unpredictable character and an exceptionally hard foe to kill in combat.

Trivia

  • Stahlrim is the oldest character in the entire narrative, having been a part of it since even before the out-of-character formation of the Mechanocracy, still less the creation of the Frencoverse.
  • Several aspects of his character are borrowed from the author of the Mecharussian narrative.
    • His birthday is on the eighth of November, the same as the author.
    • The name of his cat, 'Gven', is a transliteration of the English name 'Gwen', the name of a cat once owned by the author. (Gwen, like Gven, also happened to be a Bombay cat.)
    • The image of 'Nadia' that he possesses, along with his reaction to seeing the Empress of Sidhae for the first time (both shown in Access Violation), shows that he has a fondness for women with raven-black hair and piercing green eyes.
  • He was originally named after the fictional metal 'Stalhrim', found in the Elder Scrolls universe. (The unusual name is explained in-character as being a misspelling of 'Stalin'.)
  • The modern incarnation of Stahlrim is a largely-original character, taking inspiration from such characters as the Marvel anti-hero Deadpool, the DC villain Joker and, of course, his creator.
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