Magnus Paglione

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Interior art from the novel Ancestor by Mark Hester, depicting the character Magnus Paglione
Magnus Paglione is a fictional character in Scott Sigler’s novel Ancestor. The younger brother of Danté Paglione, Magnus oversees the security and stability of the operations of the Genada Corporation, for whom they both serve.

Character Background

Life Prior to Genada

Before taking a position as a senior employee of the Genada Corporation, Magnus served in the Canadian Special Forces where he earned several medals for his service. His Special Forces unit was named the Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), which was a counterterrorist division of the Canadian military. His missions took him to countries such as Nepal, Zaire, Iraq (Bagdhad, Mosul), Rwanda, Peru and Bolivia. However, since the missions were highly sensitive, they remained secret. One of his comrades in the JTF2 was Andy Crosthwaite, who would later be his subordinate at Genada.

Upon discharge from the military, Magnus earned a starting position in the Canadian Football League. Magnus played for three years as an offensive tackle on the roster of the Calgary Stampeders where he helped his team win the ultimate recognition in the Canadian Football League, the Grey Cup.

In the Employ of Genada

After his military and sports careers, Magnus took a position with his family’s biotech company, Genada. As a senior manager in charge of security operations, Magnus directly reported to his brother and CEO of the company, Danté Paglione.

Magnus was instrumental in keeping the Ancestor project alive when he was alerted to the actions of Sydney Chapman and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) eliminating the Novozyme operation due to an outbreak. He had a contact in the CIA by the code name Farm Girl who tipped him off. Upon learning about the Novozyme situation, Danté instructed Magnus to move the Baffin Island operations to Black Manitou Island before the CIA could shut them down. However, when Magnus arrived at Baffin Island, he was greeted by the aftermath of Erika Hoel’s rampage. Unbeknownst to Magnus, Dr Hoel was persuaded to be a mole in Genada for the CIA.

Genada Corporation Logo

Magnus kills Dr. Hoel when he learns that the CIA was sending agents to Baffin Island. Magnus reasons that repercussions for the murder were low as dead Americans on Baffin Island, which was Canadian soil, would cause both nations to be in a precarious position with their respective public images.

Feeling that the Ancestor project was a failing venture, Magnus forumlates a plan to destroy Genada’s C-5 mobile lab, effectively killing the Ancestor project. He further plans on framing P.J. Colding for the disaster, and recouping the expense through the insurance claim on the plane all without Danté's knowledge.

Shortly after Magnus arrives at the Black Manitou Island facility, Jian is caught calling the CIA to blow the whistle on the Ancestor project. Magnus kills Jian and instructs Colding to bury her body. Magnus then demands that Sara relocate the C-5 mobile lab to the Genada headquarters in Manitoba. Once in the air, Sara realizes Magnus has piled the C-5 fuselage with explosives.

Hours later, when Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf calls from Sven Ballantine’s house, Magnus sends Andy out with Colding with orders to kill both Rhumkorrf and Colding. Meanwhile, Magnus goes to Clayton Detweiler’s home, where he finds women’s clothing and a lab coat, confirming that Sara and Tim Feely were alive. Magnus returns to the mansion, waits for Clayton and then straps him to a chair using duct tape. Clayton tells Magnus that the women are hidden in an abandoned mineshaft instead of the church where they were actually stowed. It is here that about two dozen Ancestors first attack Magnus, who survives by squeezing himself in a coffin-sized crawlspace deep within the mineshaft.

Several hours later, an air raid siren is sounded to alert of Danté’s arrival. The siren caused the Ancestors to abandon their seven-hour standoff with Magnus and follow the siren. Magnus then returns to the security room where he tortures Clayton into divulging Sara and Tim’s true hiding location.

On his way to eliminate Sara and Tim, Magnus watched from afar as his brother and Bobby Valentine land their helicopter amidst a host of Ancestors. He then witnesses Bobby being dismembered by the creatures and knowing his brother would suffer the same fate, Magnus continues on to the church to kill Sara and Tim. When he arrives, Magnus hears the helicopter being operated by Rhumkorrf and shoots him down with a stinger. Sara shoots Magnus in the thigh but Magnus succeeds in catching the lurking Colding and uses him as bait to lure out Sara and Tim. Instead Sara and Colding out smart Magnus and leave him to the Ancestors who invaded the church in search of food.

Attributes

Name

The character’s full name is Magnus Paglione. No nickname is used and no character dared create one.

Outward Appearance

Magnus is physically described as being 203.3 cm (6 ft., 8 in.) tall and approximately 145 kgs (320 lbs) with the unique eye color of violet. He is described as being massive, muscular and intimidating in stature, being so wide and bulky that he actually had to turn his shoulders in order to walk through a door. He also bore a pencil-thin, pale white scar that spanned head from just above his left eye over the top of his bald head. Across his left forearm, Magnus bore multiple scars as a result of his habit of inflicting pain on himself in order to assist his thinking process. Magnus was also described wearing his Grey Cup championship ring. Although his exact age is not revealed in the novel, Ancestor, Magnus is described as being six years younger than his brother Danté.

Personality

Magnus displays a reactive disposition as he is quick to anger and embarrass, and does not handle stress in a rational fashion. Magnus’ volatile personality, along with his massive size, actually scared his older brother Danté although Danté was adept at not showing his fear to his younger brother.

On a more personal note, the only person who seems to share a friendship with Magnus is Andy Crosthwaite, who served in the military alongside him. Magnus is described as enjoying Andy’s company but is also described as not hesitating to discipline him when he overstepped his bounds. As far as family dynamics are concerned, the text of the novel Ancestor mentioned that Magnus felt his father always trusted and supported Danté, so much so that his father left the controlling share of his company to Danté. It is implied that Magnus felt that his accomplishments in both his military service and his sports career was not enough to gain his father’s respect or approval. Furthermore, Magnus feels as if Danté is ruining the company their father built in order to serve his own purposes.

Skills & Idiosyncrasies

Skills

Magnus’ skill in hand to hand combat, weapons management and battle tactics were honed during his military service and were transferable to his security responsibilities at Genada. He shows proficiency with weapons ranging from a knife to a stinger missile. Magnus also shows experience in interrogation and torture as displayed in his treatment of Clayton Detweiler in the novel Ancestor.

Idiosyncrasies

Magnus also exhibits a few peculiarities. He is fond of the alcoholic beverage Yukon Jack, a Canadian honey based whiskey. This brand is also advertised as the “Black sheep of Canadian Liqueur”, which parallels the way Magnus is described to feel within his family structure.

Magnus showed great pleasure in referring to Americans with the term “bubbah.” Being of Canadian birth, Magnus has disparaging views of Americans, especially American women, as exemplified in his comments toward Sara Purinam.

Differences between Versions

Three distinct changes were made to Magnus' character between the 200 and 2010 rewrite of Ancestor.

First, Magnus' character lost one of the more disturbing aspects of his personality - his former inexorable proclivity towards psychopathological self-injury or put in another fashion, self-mutilation resulting from a psychological dysfunction.

Neither version of Ancestor confirmed a psychological defect in Magnus, however this personality trait went further into confirming that one did exist. Specifically, when Magnus experienced high stress situations that demanded a decision be made, he perceived a degradation in his sense of clarity and decisiveness. To counteract this degradation in cognitive ability, Magnus compulsively inflicted cutaneous lacerations or cuts to his skin, which results in the restoration of his thought process and decision making ability.

From a scientific perspective, the linkage between the cognition and the anticipation of pain is known to be associative. However, while most mentally and emotionally stable humans generally associate pain with danger and therefore avoid painful things, Magnus’ associative link to pain is cognitive clarity.

Magnus’ procedure involves applying a seven-inch, flat black bladed Ka-Bar knife to his forearm and calf area. He also addresses the knife as if it were a sentient object, often thanking the blade for the clarity it brings him or expressing his familiarity with the blade using such phrases as, “I know you”. This knife accompanied him on many missions while he served in the Special Forces. There are hints of familiarity to his blades in the 2010 version of the novel however direct association with cutting has been removed.

Second, in the previous version of Ancestor, Magnus killed Teyshawn (replaced with Dr Hoel and the nine other CIA agents, including Sydney Champan at the Baffin Island event. In the rewrite, only Dr Hoel, replacing Teyshawn as the mole, was killed by Magnus.

Third, Magnus' trip to London, to meet with Charles Littinger of Lloyds of London was removed from the 2010 rewrite. Originally Magnus had lied to Danté, telling him he was travelling to London to meet with a CIA contact but instead he was going to meet with the insurer of Genada’s C-5 mobile lab in order to raise the insurance payout on the vehicle. He does this with the intention of destroying the mobile lab.

External links

See Also