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Operation Atlas

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“Operation Atlas in Full Effect”


So reads the headline on the front page of the New York Daily News. Lying in a stack of newspapers just like it, this one gets snatched up rather quickly. As the view backs away, it reveals a busy newsstand in downtown Manhattan, active with the usual fast pace of the Big Apple. Corporate office types run to and fro, drinking their Starbucks and trying to keep a briefcase, bagel and newspaper in one hand. They walk by peacefully, unfettered by anything. Even the armed guards patrolling the streets on which they pass.


Further down the street and to the side, past a fence that surrounds Battery Park is a bench, damp and soggy from the rain during the early morning hours. Normally, the park would be full of joggers and benches covered by the posteriors of all sorts of people. But on this day, a very odd one even for New York, only one man is seated here. Shown from behind, a clear view of only the upper back and head, he is revealed to be holding a newspaper in his lap. The headline on the paper?


“Operation Atlas in Full Effect”


The man nods and a sudden view of his grinning lips flashes before we return to the mysterious sight of the back of his head. He flips through the paper and glances over the article rather quickly, paying close attention to phrases like “...Operation Atlas shoulders heavy burden on...” and “...insofar, all has gone as planned with Operation Atlas...”



“It sure is. A few bumps in the road, sure, but Operation Atlas is exactly where it needs to be.”



He folds the newspaper up and tosses it to the side, glancing around at the people around him, rushing to get to wherever their lives take them.



“You know, I almost envy them.” He says to no one in particular. “So focused... nothing distracts them. Days from now they’ll be booing their little hearts out at me. Meanwhile, I’m sitting right here, free to approach or attack, and they haven’t got a clue.”



He stands up and walks down the path that leads to the street. Walking uptown, Sean continues to look at the passer-bys, none of which give him the attention that he’d get if his face was hidden. His thoughts are still pronounced though...



“It’s such a rush to do this sort of thing, especially here. They should know me, and they used to. But it’s unbelievable how quickly your fame rises and falls in this town. To go from nothing, to the top of the food chain... that’s an accomplishment. But when you fall, you plummet. You drop so far that they even forget who the hell you are. And in turn, you too forget...”



He turns a corner and walks up one of the horizontal streets that line the island of Manhattan. Seemingly aware of where he’s headed, Atlas continues forward until something distracts him for a moment – a flyer on the side of a sports bar, advertising the SWF’s visit to Madison Square Garden this Friday. He reads down the list of advertised names... Flesher... Neilsen... Frost... Jay Dawg... ‘And Many More!’.



“`Many more’. That’s who I am now?”



He shrugs it off and continues down the street. Carelessly stepping through puddles, Sean walks along as a homeless man hiding in an alleyway up ahead walks out of his makeshift bed, counting the loose change in his paper cup. Atlas gives him a momentary glance, just the kind that one would give such a character, and ignores him as he passes by. That is, until the man speaks up...



“You! I knows ya!” says the bum.


"No, you don't." Replies Atlas without turning around.


The man runs to catch up to Sean. “I do too! You’s one of ‘dem rasslers, aren’cha?!”




“Ya gotta be! I seen ya before, I knows it!”


“Listen, will a twenty shut you up?”


“Jus’ tell me who ya are, eh?”


Finally turning to the man, Atlas speaks up louder.


“How about you tell me! If you know me so well then go ahead, tell me my name.”




“I thought so. Here, take this twenty-spot, but yourself some more booze to rot you to your death and take some words of wisdom along with you. The ingrained knowledge of yourself, the fabricated identity of yourself... it’s like existing through a mask, so that the mask, and other people’s reaction to it is incorporated into your perception of yourself, even though the mask is not really who you are.”



The bum stands dumbfounded in the middle of the street as the generous man walks away. Atlas meanwhile, his face never shown through the whole ordeal, heads away from the lunatic. Repeating his last few words to himself, he wonders just who the guy thought he was: The man that wears the mask now or the image he used to be all those years ago? No. Neither.



“Just another deranged wackjob...”

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Guest Dace59

I like. I really like.


Yet another little mind screwing promo from Atlas.

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Guest Beezel

And here I thought I was the only mystery man to return. Or have I read too far into this? Perhaps not enough?





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Guest Crowe






Seriously. That was a great promo, Sean. You make me feel like writing one.

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