Bear Mtenga is a MAGA soldier, operating within the Tanker Regiment's Downfall Company. He is a private in fire team One-Four Alpha, under the command of Corporal Frane Harth, and works alongside privates Haynis Rothrom and Burner.
When deployed to combat Mtenga has a preference for working with Ragnar Otkellsson of fire team Bravo. Since Corporal Harth supervises both of their fire teams Bear often gets his way.
Born and raised on the low gravity colony world of Braüquil, Mtenga comes from a long line of giants. At 2.46m tall he is almost certainly the largest human in the MAGA service, standing almost as tall as his Rodori squad-mate Burner. Bear is obliged to use the seating designed for Rodori soldiers when travelling in navy landers, and he is reminded daily of his freakish size by all the people — Tankers included — who either crane their necks to speak with him, or duck their heads and run away.
While most Tankers have a specific nickname within their platoon, Mtenga is simply called 'Bear' by his squad mates. Given his size they see no particular need to think of another suitable name.
Size and Consequences
Mtenga's Braüquillian heritage is a double-edged sword. His muscles are constantly fighting to lean down their mass, and his lungs are not optimised naturally for the level of oxygen transport his body currently requires. Additionally, his skeleton developed in a reduced gravity environment.
To keep his size and strength, and to operate normally in what most other humans would consider to be a standard gravity environment, Mtenga must train his body constantly. His intense resistance training is complemented by a robust cardiovascular regime, intended to ensure he can power and sustain explosive bursts of speed and strength. Like many Tankers Mtenga uses a soup of androgenic drugs, but in addition to this he has also sought out a number of genetic patch treatments in an effort to reduce the rate at which his muscle fibres shed their size. Further patches help to increase the density of his bones and promote red blood cell production. The legal status of those patches is dubious at best, but their effectiveness cannot be denied.
Human biology has its limits, and Mtenga's sheer size, the strain of his brutal training, and the drugs he pumps into his body will almost certainly impact on his life expectancy. He is acutely aware of this fact and appears resigned to it, which may explain his devil-may-care attitude, his policy of smashing first and asking questions never, and his mandate to have as much fun as possible.
During the Second Liberation of Mibes, while armed only with a metal rebar, Mtenga single-handedly took on a group of Viskr skulkers. After this encounter he was described by Brokko Daxon as being a "beardy black guy the size of a house". The description was not altogether inaccurate — Bear has to stoop frequently just to fit under ceilings and overheads (→LOTD).
Mtenga was one of the Tankers assigned to Operation Keystone, and during that operation he twice fought against Rasas on the surface of Guathelia. During both clashes he fought like a berserker (→TRD).
Mtenga was present on Lopama during the liberation of Forge Ruinous, and later took part in the invasion of Arroch Bay on Palanda Ire. While at Forge Ruinous, he saved the life of Euryce Eilentes by tackling a Rasa which had pursued her. She reciprocated by shooting the Rasa dead as it tried to kill Mtenga. Later, during the Siege of Damastion, Bear demonstrated his size and sheer mass by accidentally breaking a defensive barricade when he slammed his weight up against it (→FSS).