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Adam Arés is a Technical Sergeant in the US Air Force, one of the principle members of the SOR and also one of the youngest. Only Thomas "Irish" Butler is younger or of lower rank, but despite his virtually junior status on the team, Adam is one of the most respected and capable members of the HEAT. He is an excellent medic, a brave and heroic Airman, and the utterly unapologetic self-styled "Alpha of Meatheads." 

He is in many ways the team's heart and soul. The HEAT treat him like a favored younger brother…one who is vastly stronger then everyone else and sometimes doesn't realize the extent of his own strength.

Appearance[]

In his first appearance in chapter 14, Adam was a typical growing teenage boy. He was puppy-dog handsome, slightly short and wiry, with luxuriant black hair and dark skin owing to his Hispanic heritage. Little did he know that one day his broad, bony shoulders would grow bigger than his blocky head, or that his long arms would become strong and thick enough to crush cars in their grasp.

After moving to Cimbrean, Adam took up weightlifting and wrestling to counteract the effects of low gravity on human biology. His body responded superbly and in a frightenly short time he grew into the strongest man on Cimbrean. He was breaking scales before he turned seventeen.

Adam hardly noticed, being too caught up with his friends and their interests. The unavoidable point was finally driven home in Seattle when he visited a coffee shop and shocked the crowd into silence with the intensity of his sheer physical presence. He did it again with the recruiter at MEPS, on the pull-up bar, in Basic, on the scale and on the field, and at every step of the way through training.

He was a freak from the outset and it took him years to reconcile with that notion. Pararescue school turned his already powerful body into a lean, iron-hard instrument of war and confirmed him as one of the very strongest humans alive, all before any Crue-D regenerative medicine ever touched his body. Joining the SOR and training at the limits enabled by ready access to Crude took him far beyond where any human has or possibly ever will go.

The end result has transformed him into a man his younger self would hardly recognize; he's now a tall, hairy caveman, so broad and thick he needs to squeeze almost sideways through most doors, so heavy his steps often reverberate through buildings even if he's being careful, and so strong he redefines the notion of what's humanly possible. He is far and away the biggest, fastest, toughest, quickest, strongest and most enduring man in the SOR, probably beyond even Firth's eventual reach, and that makes Adam the most physically capable sapient athlete in the known galaxy, exceeded only by Daar and Yan.

But even Adam has limits. Having finally run into his personal "wall" in chapter 40, Adam can at last rest easy; he's reached the top of the mountain, and it's unlikely anyone will follow him to the summit anytime soon.

Personality[]

Outwardly, Adam appears to be a gigantic friendly puppy of a man. He is boisterous, happy, enthusiastic and passionately loyal to the people he likes. Inwardly, he struggles with powerfully aggressive urges and occasional flashes of intense hatred toward the universe in general. He regularly seeks psychiatric counselling and relies heavily on his friends and family for support. Despite this he is overall a relentlessly optimistic person, and he is driven most powerfully by the urge to protect and to save lives.

He is also, like Firth, an intensely primal man. His incredible body has given him hormone levels that would be considered medically dangerous in most anyone else, and this has strongly affected his felt experience of the world. He is a hypermale human puppy and has a friendly, alpha-dog personality because of it. In most situations he keeps himself remarkably well-contained, but with close friends and family his true, much more aggressively dominant personality becomes evident, sometimes to his post-incident embarrassment.

That being said, he is a very contentiously considerate friend, and will readily express contrition if he goes too far on any given point. This saving grace has kept him in the good wishes of everyone on the team, and he considers each of them as like a brother. Adam may wrestle 'Base to the ground and toy with him like a dog thrashing a frisbee, but he'll stop and snuggle (with equally inescapable force) the moment it's too much.

Friendship with Adam can be an exhausting ordeal. It's no coincidence his best friends are physically robust.

Skills[]

Like all members of SOR, Adam has collected a great number of skills and abilities over the course of his career. While he doesn't have quite the same incredible hard-earned gift for motion that Firth has, nor does he possess an intellect anything like Baseball's, Adam more than makes up for those shortcomings with enthusiasm, a hard-earned capacity to study, and his sheer, mind-bending physical prowess.

Certified medic and EMT[]

He and John are certified in a huge number of EMT situations: dive, mines, forest, spaceborne, etc. HEAT Protectors are the most highly qualified combat medics the allied militaries have ever fielded, and despite his occasionally self-denigrating beliefs to the contrary, he is second in that job only to John.

Full PJ qualifications[]

He's a certified diver, even if his incredibly dense mass makes that a difficult hobby to safely indulge. He's also an excellent climber and rivals Chimp in skill. Like most special operators he's a certified JTAC and can call in airstrikes, though normally those are tasks left to the other members of the team. He's also highly trained in search and rescue, advanced combat tactics, hand-to-hand combat…

Qualified combat astronaut[]

All members of HEAT must maintain zero-G certification, including the additional Spaceborne Combat Arms ratings their unit helped develop. Adam scores top marks, in no small part because the qualification inflicts zero gravity, hypergravity, steep tidal forces and rapidly changing downforces, collapsing environments and worse. He and Firth are dead-even rivals for top marks, thanks in no small part to their incredible strength. Firth's decades of martial arts experience, however, might net him the slightest edge.

Adam compensates for his relative inexperience with his enormous strength but that isn't without drawback: he, along with the largest members of the team already carry so much bare-naked mass they warp the decking of some ET environments simply by walking across. Adam is by far the heaviest, his suit is half again as heavy as 'Base's, and he usually carries the heaviest mission loads as well. All of that means he has a keen eye for structures, almost as good as a Defender's. Despite the handicap his mass presents, his power wins out and he manages a top certification.

EV-MASS certified operator[]

He has a full Type IV+ certification, the highest available standard. Midsuits configured for that level are the thickest, heaviest, and most effective armor, but that comes at the cost of pressure; his suit squeezes with enough force to shatter the ribs of even the toughest men on the HEAT and would outright crush a normal man to a gory death.

Adam, however, finds that incredible pressure merely "pleasantly tight" and considers the suit "comfortable." Righteous and 'Base aren't far behind, but Adam will likely move on to Type V if they ever become available…and all of that is before he adds plate armor. In his full suit, he's as close to invulnerable as it's functionally possible to make a human operator, and the sheer weight of it all doesn't slow him down at all.

Exo-atmosperic operations certified[]

A late entry to their original training pipeline, it was realized that operations in the interface between space and planet would certainly be in the possibility space, and as such Adam was on the development committee for the initial training. He along with the original HEAT operators were also the first to attempt such a jump…in combat, without prior experience. Nowadays he's second only to Blaczynski in total jumps, jump certifications, and effective skill. Both Blac and Firth have him handily beat on traditional parachute drops.

Certified personal trainer, dietician, massage therapist, and nutritionist[]

There is arguably no human alive who can beat Adam's practical, functional knowledge of the human body, and along with Daar, that's arguably true for Gaoians, too. While Adam's knowledge isn't as medically deep as 'Base, his intuitive understanding is very strong, and together the two make an excellent team.

Adam co-owns a gym with Titan in the basement and ground floor of their apartment building, and along with Dane, he recently rehabilitated Julian's body from years of stress, abuse and general uninformed neglect to the pinnacle of what his unaided body could do…or at least as far as could be done, given a little short of a year of time. What Julian chooses to do with the gift he's been given remains to be seen.

Cooking and sewing[]

Both skills were born out of necessity. It's impossible to find any clothing that fits, even shoes, socks, and underwear. Rather than fork out money on an almost weekly basis, Adam simply learned how to assemble clothing from bare cloth. He's finally reached the point where he can't pack on mass anymore without great effort even by his standards, and that suits him fine; he can finally keep a dress shirt for more than a week.

His food was the same way; nobody eats like a HEAT operator, and nobody in the HEAT eats like Adam. He's in charge of the team's kitchen staff, and under his watchful eye (with Martina Kovač in consultation), the staff prepares and transports substantially all of HEAT's daily food and nutritional supplements.

Relationships[]

Adam's parents divorced when he was twelve, and custody was awarded to his mother Luísa, against Adam's preference to remain with his father Gabriel. Adam repeatedly ran away from his mother's home to spend nights at his father's apartment. He remains very close with his father, and constantly looks to him for life advice.

Adam began dating Ava Ríos in high school and the pair stayed together for nearly seven years, during which time Ava was adopted by Adam's father Gabriel following the death of her parents.

After moving to Cimbrean, Adam and Ava became close friends with Sara Tisdale. Her murder in 4y AV provoked Adam to join the US Air Force and become a Pararescueman.

Over the course of his training, Adam's relationship with Ava became strained and distant. Ava, herself struggling to cope with Sara's death and feeling abandoned by her boyfriend, ultimately cheated on Adam with Sean Harvey. When Adam discovered Ava's infidelity he broke off the relationship.

He entered a phase of random hookups, one-night stands and booty calls with various women around Folctha before finally deciding that what he really wanted was another serious relationship. He had already had some chemistry and flirting with Technical Sergeant Martina Kovač prior to the breakup, and the two began going steady in 11y AV. They became engaged to be married in 13yAV and get married between 13y6mAV and 15yAV

He reconciled with Ava after Operation EMPTY BELL, and the two now have a slightly distant brother-sister relationship.

During basic training he met and became best friends with John Burgess, who had also enlisted with the intent of becoming a Pararescueman. His relationship with John is a full-blown bromance, and it was only Adam's example that inspired John to join the SOR and become one of its Protectors. The two dote on each other and have no shame displaying physical affection, but their relationship is strictly platonic; Adam is entirely heterosexual and 'Base keeps mostly to himself.


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