- "I'm leaving. Anyone who wants to survive, come with me."
- ―Henry Miller to the rest of the NY Ghosts before going west
|Date of birth:||2231|
|Date of death:||N/A|
|Occupation:||Ghost Elder of the NY Ghosts, Commandant of the New Ghosts, Grand Commandant of the Northern Commonwealth, Mayor of Mason, Ally of Custer's American Army|
Commandant Henry Miller was a high ranking member of the NY Ghosts in New York City in New York and currently is the leader of the New Ghosts in Mason in South Dakota. Once ambitious and proud, Miller has been brought low by the RUSA and has become a reluctant ally of Custer. He is an experienced fighter and commander but is hindered by the New Ghosts' small size.
Childhood and Teenage Years
- "The things in the dark... They crawl out of the light. They got Robert."
- ―Henry after seeing his friend dismembered
Henry Miller was born to Laura Miller in 2231 in the New York underground. His father, Chevek Miller, had been an NY Ghost and was killed at the beginning of the Subway War in a tribal station, with his body never being recovered. This left Laura to birth Henry alone.
Henry's grandmother had a big role in raising him and Emma while Laura Miller was working. She stayed with him during the day, fed him, and schooled him as well as his older sister Emma. This schooling mostly consisted of arithmetic, English, and literature. This bored Henry, and he became more interested in the father who he never knew. Still, Henry mostly played with his friends in the subway and explored, even as the Subway War that killed his father still raged just out of eyesight. Laura never told Henry what happened to his father, telling Emma to stay quiet as well, and accordingly, the boy's imagination wandered.
At the tender age of ten, Henry found his father's old journals. They were hidden underneath his father's bed, unknown to his mother and grandmother. It took days for Henry to read through all the journals, mostly containing personal information and accounts of Chevek's service in the Subway War. In the journal's last entry, Henry found that Chevek was going to a tribal station. Little Henry knew where that station was, but it was far away, farther away than he had ever gone. Not trusting his mother, grandmother, or sister to tell him the truth, Henry asked his friends, Constance and Robert Leroy, to come with him to find the tribal station. Robert was reluctant, but eventually, both of them agreed to come with Henry. They set out on their adventure on April 28, 2243.
This predictably ended in disaster with Henry, Constance, and Robert being captured en route by Cabal tribals. The terrified children were brought back to a tribal station (not the one they were looking for) and put in cages. The station was in ruins and lit by torches, not the inviting lightbulbs of the children's home station. Henry and Constance were lucky as they had cages to themselves while Robert Leroy was shoved into a cage with a captive Underlyer. For the next few days, Henry and Constance were forced to watch Robert being killed, disemboweled, and eaten in darkness while their tribal captors laughed and got high on chems.
The nightmare ended a few nights later when a team of NY Ghosts, searching for the lost children, came upon the tribal station and destroyed it, rescuing the surviving children. Little Henry came back to his mother with dry eyes, having exhausted all of his tears over his friend Robert. His mother Laura worried sick but also mad as hell, beat Henry black and blue for his actions and kept him confined to his room for month as punishment. He was lucky that Robert's family had forgiven him because, by subway law, they were well within their rights to kill him in revenge, child or not.
In the month he was confined to his room, Henry's only visitors were his mother and grandmother (Emma was told to stay away). Only his grandmother would talk to him. Henry was wracked by nightmares of the events he had experienced. Angry at himself for his failure, Henry decided to ask what had really happened to his father.
Henry's grandmother, his mother's mother, was ready to oblige the boy and spun a long story over several days. Henry was fed the ballad of a man who sacrificed all he had for the woman he loved, joined the Ghosts to defend his home, and eventually died trying to save his men. By the end of the story two weeks later, young Henry was sobbing. His grandmother hugged him, and the sound attracted his mother. Seeing Henry crying his eyes out, Laura Miller also embraced her son whispering that it would be all right.
Emma watched but hung back, watching the group hugging. She wanted to forgive Henry for his rash actions but to her, it did not feel right. Henry had led a boy to his death. This began the wedge between Emma and Henry that would only widen over the years.
Henry emerged from his house for the first time a month later after he recovered from the news of his father's death. He had to earn back the trust of the rest of the community, and that took time. By 2246, most of Henry's community had forgiven him for his actions due to his hardworking attitude and willingness to serve. A layer of distrust still permeated every conversation Henry had with others in his community, though. Despite Henry's best efforts, his old friend Constance would not forgive him for what happened. He asked his sister Emma for advice but she told him that Constance was within her rights not to talk to Henry. This was not the answer Henry wanted. With practically the whole station being against him, Henry stayed to himself and began to wander beyond the edges of the station. He made numerous expeditions down subway tunnels down unknown paths armed with naught but a torch and a knife and always came back.
Eventually, the situation with Constance worsened into the girl actively hating Henry due his constant efforts to gain forgiveness. This though was superseded by two events happening in 2247 that would more deeply affect Henry's young life: his grandmother's death and the Cabal's attack on his home station.
In the afternoon of March 4, 2247, Henry's grandmother went into paralysis and was confined to her bed by Laura and Emma Miller. Henry was out exploring almost missed saying goodbye to his grandmother. Luckily, he did make it home and gave a final hug before she died and was consigned to the mushroom heap to continue the circle of life. Her death made Henry feel even more lost as his grandmother had felt more like a mother than his real mother who was always busy.
In late March, a Cabal raiding party penetrated deep into stations protected by the NY Ghosts. One of the raiding parties came upon Henry's station and a battle ensued in the dead of night. The clash between the Cabal tribals and NY Ghosts woke up the entire station, including Henry. Henry, Emma, and their mother barricaded their house and took up their weapons to prepare for the worst. Henry had prepared for an attack but was terrified now that it was actually happening, hearing cries of pain outside. No tribals came into their house but smoke did.
However, the smoke from burning buildings began to smog up the Miller's house, and they were forced to go outside or suffocate. Henry's mother Laura nearly did Emma and Henry dragged their unconscious mother out of the smoke-filled house and look for some other shelter. While Emma held up their mother, Henry defended them for marauding tribals. He was forced to kill three with his shotgun, with gave him an edge over the club and maul wielding tribals. The tribals' savage faces and ferocious fighting skills terrified Henry and stayed in his nightmares for years to come.
After ten minutes of panic and roaming the station looking for shelter, Henry, Emma, and their mother were allowed into someone's house where they waited out the rest of the battle. By the end, half of Henry's home station had been destroyed or burnt down, including the Millers' home. The NY Ghosts could only offer protection and did not have the resources to rebuild the homes lost in the raid. One of NY Ghosts involved in the station's defense had noticed Henry's skill with a shotgun and asked if he might want to join up. Henry refused, knowing his father's fate and not wanting to abandon his family.
Homeless and broke, the Millers decided to head to the NY Ghosts' home station to seek their fortunes and additional security. So, in 2247 Henry left his home station to head deeper underground, a refugee of the Subway War.
Upon arrival, all members of the Miller family set to work. Laura worked as a washerwoman for the NY Ghosts' mess hall, Emma got a job at a local bar, and Henry tried working as a scavenger. Scavenging proved to not be a sustainable lifestyle, though. The pickings were too slim, and Cabal tribals were still roaming the subway tunnels.
In the New York tunnels, Henry manged to hold his own against hostile scavengers and Cabal tribals, often relying on traps and his wits so as to preserve ammunition. These skirmishes eventually attracted the attention of the NY Ghosts, whose patrols often ran across young Henry in the tunnels. Specifically, Henry attracted the attention of a Ghost elder, Boris Karlson. Karlson was convinced Henry would make a great Ghost and made overtures for him to join on various occasions. At that time, though, Henry was still reluctant due to wanting to be there for his family and remembering what happened to his father.
However, Henry's attitude changed by 2249 when it became clear that scavenging was not a lifestyle that would satisfy him or sustain his family. So, Henry decide to accept Karlson's offer and join the NY Ghosts.
- "Mostly a bore but I saw some stuff that will never leave me. Weird stuff."
- ―Henry on his service during the Subway War
The process of joining was not as simple as just agreeing to join, though. Henry was put through a month and a half of hellish training before he was even allowed to put any equipment on. He wasn't allowed to see his family or even talk to anyone outside of the Ghosts. Training mostly consisted of combat and survival techniques that would save him in battle in the NY Undercity. When in training, Henry proved himself able and a good shot, earning him the admiration of many of his peers and many friends. He became very confident in himself. That was why Commandant Malcolm Long picked him to make an example of to the new recruits.
One morning while the NY Ghost recruits, including Henry, were practicing hand-to-hand combat in a remote tunnel, Commandant Long came to inspect them. After observing a few of the fights which Henry won, Long asked if he could participate as well, against Henry perhaps.
Honored by the Commandant, Henry and the trainees accepted Long's offer, and the two squared off to fight. Henry knew that the experienced Ghost would probably beat him but figured that his raw strength and skill might carry the day. It did not.
Commandant Long gave no quarter to Henry and absolutely trounced him in close-combat. The other trainees were not surprised by the fact Long won but the fact that he beat Henry so absolutely. After laying Henry on the ground, Commandant Long gave a lecture to the trainees on being smart and choosing your battles wisely, against enemies as diverse as raiders, Underlyers, or tribals.
Laid out on the ground, Henry slowly got up and tried to thank Long for the lesson. In response, Long kicked him in the leg and called him a "pissbaby kissass". This made Henry snap, and he tried to lunge for Long, only to get a kick in the ribs that laid him out again. However, that time, Henry did not get up.
Long's kick had caused Henry to have internal bleeding apparently. After this was discovered, Henry was immediately sent to a clinic to be taken care of, as stimpaks and Med-X could not immediately heal his problem. Henry's time in the clinic was almost therapeutic, finally being out of the Ghosts' hellish training environment. His trainee friends often visited him as well as his sister and mother. He even got a visit from his sponsor, Boris Karlson, who was concerned over his health (perhaps due to the damage Henry's death might have to his reputation).
Henry spent two weeks in the hospital before returning to the Ghosts, his internal bleeding healed. His friends were happy to have him back and surprisingly, so did Commandant Long. Long proceeded to give Henry Miller a long talk about his future and how to survive. This was probably meant as half an apology, half an education for the future. That was not how Henry interpreted it, though. He took it as Long being condescending and still looking down on him despite surviving his beatdown. So, he gave Long a resounding "Fuck You" and left. The Commandant was angry at this but forgot about it the next day, focusing his rage on another recruit.
After a little more training, in 2250 Henry finally became a fully fledged member of the NY Ghosts. Before going on his first deployment, several of the old Ghosts made Henry and his trainee friends go through a traditional rite of passage: go to the surface unarmed, take something, and return it to the Undercity in one night as "tribute" to the older Ghosts. The practice was not endorsed by the higher ups but still tolerated. This scared many of the trainees shitless. Henry was too but did not show it. He had never gone topside and didn't even know what to expect.
On the midnight of January 24, 2250, Henry and the rest of the trainees set out to the surface. He decided to go together with another trainee Yusuf to get to the surface. It took Henry and Yusuf three hours, skirting Underlyers and tribal stations, but they did manage to get to a station still connected to the surface. The two emerged into a moonlit New York City, hearing screams, gunshots, and rumbles of explosions. The air was open, and the sky terrified Yusuf. Luckily for the two young Ghosts, the area they emerged into was not radioactive. After Henry calmed down Yusuf, they decided to split up to look for their artifacts in the ruins.
Skirting the moonlit and rubble-strewn streets of New York City, Henry poked among the ruins looking something suitable to return with. After about an hour of searching, Henry found five packs of cigarettes. Knowing smokes were a rarity underground, Henry decided to take those and return to the NY Undercity.
It took another hour, and it was seven o'clock. However, as Henry was heading back to the entrance to the Undercity, he heard a smooth voice drifting through the air like siren song, better than any radio song he had ever heard. Immediately thinking it a trap, Henry resolved to head straight down. He however could not resist the temptation and decided to investigate the noise. It turned out it was coming from a record player playing in a National Pleasure League raiding camp. It also turned out that the camp had been exterminated by local raiders, and the records were the only things breaking the silence of the night there. Taking the records and record player, Henry decided to bring that down with him as well as the smokes.
By the time Henry made it back to the entrance of the NY Undercity, dawn had arrived and the sun was peeking over the horizon. It took Henry a lot less time to get back underground and by 8:10 AM, Henry had made it back to the NY Ghosts' home station. Handing the older Ghosts the packs of cigarettes he had found, Henry quickly set up the record player in his quarters and played the record he had found to hear the song again. It was beautiful music. Yusuf and some of the other trainees also listened in and asked what the song was. Looking at the record's package, Henry Miller found that it was a single by Frank Sinatra, New York, New York. That song ushered in Henry's time in the NY Ghosts and his love of the music of Frank Sinatra.
After the right of passage, a week or so of respite, and a bit of visiting with his family, Henry and the other trainees were placed on the frontlines of the Subway War in outposts or barricades dotted around Ghost-controlled New York to fight the Cabal. Henry brought his records and record player with him to his first deployment, an isolated Ghost outpost in the northern tunnels, Station Gamma.
No longer the top dog of the trainees, Henry had to stick with his friend Yusuf and keep his head down. Henry Miller stayed at the northern outpost for almost five years and participated numerous clashes. However, these clashes were few and far between, and the NY Ghosts at the outpost were forced to find ways to pass the time. Some used sex, others chems, some even counted radroaches crawl by. One of the ways Henry passed the time was by listening to his Frank Sinatra records, which the many of the other Ghosts listened to and sometimes borrowed.
It was through this borrowing that Henry met Jacob Richards for the first time. Another new arrival to the outpost, Jacob was a freshly minted Trailblazer and had second-hand borrowed one of Henry's Frank Sinatra records from Yusuf in early 2250. While on sentry duty, Jacob was playing the records and did not even notice that Henry Miller had been shifted into guard duty.
Henry complemented Jacob on his taste in music and asked him where he got the records and record player. Jacob deftly responded by saying he had borrowed it from Yusuf. Henry loudly cursed at this, as he had told Yusuf not to give out his valuables. Before he could further voice his complaints, a throwing spear appeared on the wall not two feet from Jacob's head. The Cabal was attacking Station Gamma.
Sounding the alarm, Henry and Jacob managed to repel the Cabal attack with the help of their fellow Ghosts. The two worked well in battle, and Henry forgot his anger. At the end of the battle, the Cabal had been repelled, three Ghosts were dead, and the records were undamaged. Tens of dead tribals were dumped near a Cabal station as a kind of message to the Cabal.
After that, Henry and Jacob managed to bond and become friends while on sentry duty together. At one point, Henry even showing his letters from home from his mom and Emma to Yusuf and Jacob, as he trusted both of them. The contents of the letters became more concerning as time went on since Henry's mom and Emma were having trouble because Emma wanted to move out of the house finally. However, in 2250, it was still just local gossip, visits to Penn Sanctuary, and news from other fronts of the Subway War.
In the summer of 2250, after much boredom and music listening, an unknown sickness hit Station Gamma and several other outposts on the borders of Ghost-controlled New York, as well as many Cabal stations. The disease was not typically fatal but was very debilitating physically for the effected. The outbreak lasted about a year and was never seen again. Henry was spared the sickness, but Yusuf fell deeply sick, and Jacob caught a mild case twice. This meant Henry was put on sentry duty overtime to make up for the sick Ghosts in late 2250 and early 2251. This gave him very little sleep and put him on edge somewhat.
Things did not improve for Henry when his record player broke in 2250 from degradation. The loss of his music made Henry curse God for several days, but he managed to get over it. Wanting to preserve them for later, Henry asked his superior if he could store his Frank Sinatra records in Station Gamma's safe. The man initially refused but was later convinced by Henry's friends who vouched for the records' importance to morale. They would stay in there until Henry found another record player.
Later in the year, news came to Station Gamma from the south of the death of Deputy Commandant Trent Billings in battle against the Cabal and the ascension of Penelope Jay, a lacky of Malcolm Long, to the position of Deputy Commandant. This concerned Henry and his friends some, but they had little time to consider it, with the sickness still around and events soon to come.
In the early September of 2250, a traveling brothel from the surface came down into the NY Undercity to try to cater to the subway dwellers. The first civilized place the brothel came upon was Station Gamma, and they decided to stay there for a short while to ply their trade.
The outpost's commander would not let the brothel and its whores come into the outpost so they were forced to camp outside in the tunnels. Still, many Ghosts came to the brothel looking for comfort away from their sick comrades. Henry, along with the still-sick Yusuf, tried to resist going. However, Henry decided to go on the last day to lose his virginity.
The experience was an altogether uncomfortable one, where Henry was confused and uncertain about what to to do. It would be an experience that would rather forget later in life but one Jacob would use to poke him for the rest of his life.
In the late September of 2250, the traveling brothel left Station Gamma. Snow soon began to fall on the surface in the ruins of Manhattan and the tunnels became cold, making the sickness worst. Henry was forced to huddle around a fire to wait out the winter listening to the radio, hearing about skirmishes and battles to the south.
In early 2251, the Subway War returned to Station Gamma alongside a Cabal war party. The war party tried to attack in the dead of night and kill the sentries to try to catch the Station off guard. Henry was asleep when the word came that an attack was underway, waking and suiting up quickly. Two minutes later, Henry was on the walls of Station Gamma with the rest of the Ghosts engaged in a firefight with the Cabal tribals. Only a few Ghosts were injured at the cost of several tribal lives.
Seeing the element of surprise lost, the Cabal war party decided to instead move south to riper targets. Henry would have been happy to celebrate the victory but rations did not allow a celebratory meal or loud music anymore. So life just went on as it had before. It would be a long time before Station Gamma came under fire from the Cabal again.
As the sickness wore on in the early months of 2251 after the attack, Henry finally fell victim and became bedridden. Henry decided to take a bed beside his friend Yusuf, who was in worse condition. Jacob, who had replaced Henry on his watch, came in occasionally and complained about the long hours of standing guard and not being able to go on scouting expeditions.
As spring came on in 2251, Henry began to have odd dreams involving great open places and opportunity. He tried to confide with Yusuf, but Yusuf did not have anything more to add, just a few words of comfort. The dreams went on and eventually changed, showing a world consumed with fire and falling concrete. Occasionally, Henry even dreamt of a world underwater. Henry wondered if it might have to do with him being sick. It probably was.
Before summer began, a gang of raiders from aboveground descended into the NY Undercity and attacked Station Gamma. Henry did not take part in the fight but heard it occur outside. Two Ghosts died and some more were injured in the battle which saddened Henry. This heralded in a summer of violence, with many Cabal war parties and raider gangs firing at the station but not mobilizing for a full-on assault. This injured a few Ghosts, but luckily none died.
By the end of the bloody summer, Henry had recovered from his sickness and was ready for duty once again. Jacob was extremely happy at this, knowing this would cut his sentry time in half and finally give him someone to talk to.
August 4, 2251 was one of those nights. Henry was still trying make sense of his strange dreams and confided in Jacob about it. Jacob had listened to the dream talk for a straight month and had gotten a bit frustrated with the whole affair. So that night, Jacob finally told Henry that he was sick of the dream talk. Jacob wanted to talk about some of his own issues. Henry, respecting Jacob's attitude, decided to listen.
Jacob began to talk about his future after the Subway War, maybe rejoining the Trailblazers and leaving the NY Undercity to explore aboveground. As the two talked, an odd sound began echoing through the tunnels. It was not Henry or Jacob's concern that moment since it seemed to be coming from a distant tunnel, so they kept talking. However, after about three minutes, the noice became more of a low roar and alarms began to to go up from all over Station Gamma, warning of some type of attack on the western side of the base. The two friends rushed to defend the western wall with the strange sound only growing louder. Henry ran ahead of Jacob as he heard gunshots.
Henry made it to the western wall just in time to see what was making all the ruckus. What appeared to be a fully lit and crowded train was passing by Outpost Gamma, confusing or scaring all the Ghosts on watch who had fired on it to no avail. Henry was unnerved by the train as well. Lit by a blinding light, it was a pre-War marvel passing by them but why? It had to be some type of ghostly apparition Henry later told Jacob, but he could never be fully certain. The incident was not recorded in official NY Ghosts records and became somewhat of an urban legend. That only served to fuel Henry's curiousity and along with his dreams, Henry would wonder about the ghost train for years later.
Soon afterwards in 2251, the sickness' grip on Outpost was finally broken when reinforcements came and a medicine cache was discovered by Ghosts scouts aboveground and distributed to the various outposts. Yusuf finally was able leave bed and rejoined Jacob and Henry on watch.
Outpost Gamma was quiet for the next few months, with raider and Cabal activity down during the winter and no returning "Ghost Train". Only in early December did Outpost Gamma meet its next enemy: Underlyers.
On December 3, the first reports of Underlyer activity came from scouts outside Outpost Gamma. This concerned Henry, as he was still afraid of them from his experience years ago but would never admit it to any of his friends, seeing it as a weakness. The Outpost fortified for an attack by the mutants.
The Underlyers came in the early hours of the morning. The mutants came against the walls of the outpost, scratching, howling, and making an unholy racket. Henry watched along with the rest of the Ghosts on the walls, raining down hot lead on the mutants. That did not ward them off but calmed Henry's nerves somewhat seeing them die.
The next day, the Underlyers had moved on, losing interest in the outpost. Henry had sweated through his uniform and slept for a whole day after the attack, only to be met by nightmares. Jacob knew something was up with Henry but had his own problems to attend to. Yusuf tried to help Henry cope but was little real help.
Christmas and New Year 2252 were rather uneventful at Outpost Gamma and the NY Undercity in general as the Subway War cooled down during winter. Henry's nightmares went away, and he got more letters from home but became more discreet with showing them, as his family's home situation seemed to be deteriorating, with his mother becoming increasingly enraged by his sister Emma.
January and February were also quite peaceful in Station Gamma but that was not the case in other fronts of the Subway War, specifically in the south. Word even came to Henry of clashes on the surface between the NY Ghosts and the Cabal, something that shocked him, Yusuf, and Jacob. They feared the possible repurcussions from groups from the surface and talked about it often with the rest of the Ghosts. This helped Henry forget about what was happening at home.
A new enemy came upon Station Gamma in March, though not one Henry or any of the other Ghosts might have have expected. Around midnight one night, the sentries on the walls began hearing incohrent babbling coming from the northern tunnels and roused the entire Outpost to prepare for an attack. Henry wondered what it might be: probably not the Ghost Train, perhaps the Cabal, some chem-addled raiders, or, dare he say, Underlyers? The thought made Henry's blood run cold.
As it turned out though, the noises were coming from a ghoul that was coming down the tunnel. The Ghosts identified the ghoul as heavily armed but non-hostile, so they decided to try to warn it away, as ghouls were not allowed inside Station Gamma.
This warning only enraged the ghoul, and it subsequently opened fire on the walls of Station Gamma. So, Henry, Yusuf, and the rest of the Ghosts opened fire on the ghoul in response, only to watch the ghoul walk on uninhibited. The ghoul cackled and screamed that he was the "Ghost of Uncle Sam" and continue to fire, switching to a grenade launcher.
Explosions rocked the station and many Ghosts, including Henry and Yusuf, fled the wall as blasts rocked it. The ghoul blasted itself a hole through the wall and stepped through. Then, it pulled out a submachine gun and ripped into the retreating Ghosts, cackling like a madman the whole time. Telling Yusuf to run to send out a radio call to sound the alarm, Henry took a defensive position in a building and returned fire at the ghoul.
By the time the ghoul had been taken down by intense gunfire, it had killed seven Ghosts and injured twelve others, an unthinkable feat for a single person in the NY Undercity. Henry and two other Ghosts were told to retrieve the ghoul's body for closer examination.
The three Ghosts slowly approached the ghoul's corpse and inspected it to make sure it was safe. The ghoul seemed ex-military, decked out with firearms, grenades, and other weapons as well as a rusty dog tag on its neck. Taking the lead, Henry led the other Ghosts to drag the rather heavy corpse inside to be examined.
In the next week, the residents of Station Gamma set about repairing it, burying their dead, and readying for reinforcements. The ghoul body was sent off to Penn Sanctuary for examintion. There, it was discovered that the ghoul possessed sub-dermal armor, an implant that improved durability. Where the ghoul gained the implants remained unknown, however.
After that rather random attack, Station Gamma was promised reinforcements and new equipment but due to complications with the New York Trading Company, that proved impossible. This angered many in the Ghosts and set off an attitude of discontent in Station Gamma.
In the early spring, a slow stream of people began to trickle into the tunnels outside of Station Gamma from the south. These people were refugees of the Subway War, more specifically tribal enemies of the Cabal who had been displaced from their homes. Hundreds of tribals set up refugee camps outside the station. The NY Ghosts in Station Gamma sent a message to Commandant Long and the Ghost Elders asking what to do, and they responded by saying they should protect the tribals and try to sway them to the Ghosts' cause.
So, Henry and the rest of the Ghosts often went out into the refugee camp to enforce the law and try to sway the tribals. Jacob liked the refugees since he was a Trailblazer and valued their knowledge and language, but Yusuf disapproved of them, distrusting tribals due to past experiences of violence. These opposing positions drove Jacob and Yusuf apart but not Henry, who remained their mutual friend. He cared for the refugees but did not show it often.
The refugee camp and large number of tribals were what attracted the raiders for a second attack on Station Gamma. This raider gang was not like the first ones, being native to the NY Undercity. The raiders, led by a boss named Cutter, were mostly made up of staunchly anti-Ghost ghouls and Subway War deserters. So their attack on Station Gamma was worse than a potential surface attack.
Coming from tunnels to the east, the raiders first struck the refugee camp. The Ghosts were aware of the raiders' assault soon afterwards but decided to wait to engage until they came closer instead of close combat in the camp. The attack caused a great panic and stampede towards the safety of Station Gamma. Henry watched in disgust as the refugees trampled each other to flee and wished he could help.
By the time the raiders had gotten to the station's wall, the refugees had made it inside, and the Ghosts opened up on the raiders. The raiders managed to make off a few shots but decided not engage as they lost several of their own. Cutter called a retreat back down the eastern tunnels.
As the raiders retreated, the Ghosts and many of the refugees followed them, killing stragglers. Henry himself managed to kill a raider with a flamer who had been trying to burn down the refugee camp, which was satisfying for him. However, Henry still felt guilt for seemingly abandoning the refugee camp to its fate and became determined to help these tribals to rebuild.
That spring, Henry and several other Ghosts (including Jacob) did help the refugees either move deeper into Ghost territory or rebuild their refugee camp. Yusuf disliked this attitude and again warned against assisting the tribals. However, they soon were both happy to find that another record player had finally been found by some other Ghosts to replace the first one. For a short time, both Henry and Yusuf enjoyed Frank Sinatra's records once again even as they argued over "the tribal problem". Reports also began to come in that Underlyers were becoming increasingly organized in their attacks on stations and for all Ghosts to be extra cautious. Henry, fearing Underlyers with a passion, took this to heart. However, he could never have predicted what would happen next.
It was August 5, 2252 when the Satanists' train pulled into Station Gamma. The NY Ghosts were on watch at high noon when they first heard the low roar of a train. Few trains in the NY Undercity worked, and fewer remained working for long. Most subway dwellers regarded Ghost Trains as the extent of their experiences with trains. Some had even forgotten what had gone through the subways in the first place.
The then-mysterious train slid past Station Gamma, striking a swathe through the refugee camp as it came past. This angered many of the Ghosts including Henry Miller, and they began to fire upon the train. Their superior called them off quickly though, saying that their pulling through the refugee camp might have been unintentional, and the "train people" might be negotiated with.
When train screeched to a stop and the "train people" emerged, it became clear they were not peaceful. The sides of the train were decorated with corpses, pentagrams, and upside down crosses. The people emerging from the train were painted red, tattooed with unspeakable symbols, and wielding fearsome weapons. Henry assumed they were more Cabal tribals, but it was actually the Satanists, a tribe separated from the Cabal for being too vicious. Since being banished, they had used their train to roam the Undercity and ravage subway dwellers.
The Satanists first set upon the refugee camp on both sides of their train. This enraged many of the Ghosts and alarmed the Station's commander. He ordered the Ghosts to fire on the tribals immediately. Henry, Jacob, Yusuf, and the rest complied.
This did not put much of a dent in the Satanists' numbers and soon they had chased off or killed all of the refugees. Next, they turned their attention upon Station Gamma. Their numbers overwhelmed the Ghosts' firepower and soon enough, the Satanists had gotten through Station Gamma's wall. Many of the Satanists, including their Chief, Randall, were not dressed like tribals and were well armed. The firefight in Station Gamma cost many lives on both sides, including Yusuf to a crossbow bolt to the eye. Eventually, Henry, Jacob, and most of the other Ghosts retreated south out of Station Gamma. The station was lost to the Satanists. The Satanists later executed the station's commander who they had captured.
Henry was mad as hell. Yusuf and the commander were dead, most of his stuff was still in the station, and the remaining Ghosts had lost their portable radio in the rush out of Station Gamma. However, the remaining Ghosts remained determined: they had to retake Station Gamma by themselves. Henry did not think of it at the time but later he realized how stupid that sounded.
Journeying back north up the tunnels with the Ghosts, Henry met Jacob Richards on the way, severely injured. Jacob had taken some bullets to the gut and was heavily injured. Henry was conflicted, he wanted the glory of the battle but could not just leave his friend. With the blessing of the other Ghosts, Henry did and used several stimpaks to try to heal Jacob. It took much time. As a result, Henry missed the fight to retake Station Gamma but saved Jacob's life.
Supporting Jacob on his shoulders, Henry hauled him to the nearest Ghost outpost, Station Delta. The station took them both in for the next week or so as news came of the Battle of Station Gamma. As Henry heard of the great battle and the defeat of the Satanists, he felt both proud of his Ghost comrades and saddened that he had not joined them in the battle and avenged Yusuf's death at the hands of savages.
After a week at Station Delta, Henry and Jacob returned to Station Gamma to find it still being cleaned up. Blood was scrubbed away, upside-down crosses were taken down, and Satanist corpses were being hauled out to the surface to be burned. Henry joined the relief effort cleaning up the station while Jacob rested from his injuries. Jacob soon got better, and they both were present at Yusuf's funeral about a month after the attack. After Yusuf's death, Henry took his friend's words on things like tribals seriously, carrying many of their conversations for the rest of his life.
The rest of the fall of 2252 and much of winter was spent repairing the damage done to Station Gamma and intergrating reinforcements into the ranks. Henry expected to be put in charge of intergrating the newbies into the Station but got snubbed in favor of Jacob and another Ghost. So instead of meeting new people, Henry was posted on wall duty like old times. This bored him to no end and eventually made him pretty depressed, also due in part to Yusuf dying. Henry's only solace was listening to his records and going on the occasional scouting expedition, which he was happy to be a part of now. Jacob was busy with the new recruits so he grew bored.
At first, most of the expeditions were uneventful, mostly amounting to scouting out nearby deserted subway tunnels. He had hoped to go to the surface as well but was told that going topside was unnecessary and too dangerous. Instead, the scouting expeditions in the tunnels continued intermittently.
Something interesting finally happened in September. On an expedition deeper down the tunnels, Henry and the other Ghosts discovered a small Cabal station. The tribals were mostly families and only had a few warriors, so the Ghosts decided not destroy the station but watch it instead. Henry and another Ghost, Andrew, were put on that watch. They fully expected to be found out or killed and silently cursed their superiors.
Henry and Andrew were very cautious about their jobs and made sure not reveal themselves to the tribals, watching them from afar with binoculars. This went on for two weeks. Henry got to know Andrew and they worked well together saving each other's asses from boredom and death occasionally. The arrangement the two went through got really awkward after a while.
Two weeks after being posted, the two Ghosts woke up and scanned the Cabal station for activity. What they found shocked them. The Cabal was being attacked by Underlyers who were using clubs and makeshift hatchets to hack the tribals apart. Henry and Andrew watched the battle intently and saw as the small station was slowly but surely massacred by the Underlyers. Henry, paralyzed by fear, had to be slapped back to life by Andrew, who had them vacate their position to tell their superiors and escape a potential Underlyer attack.
Returning to Station Gamma, Andrew reported the situation while Henry recovered from his shock. He knew this could not go on. Henry needed to grow a backbone and face his fears of the Underlyers.
The news of the Underlyers using tools and massacring an entire station alarmed Station Gamma's new commander, and he sent word of this to the Commandant and the Ghosts' council. Commandant Long seemed disinterested in the news, but the council worried about it, hearing of suspicious Underlyer activity from other stations in other parts of the NY Undercity. It seemed as if the Underlyers were becoming organized, if not civilized. The council, under the advice of the Librarian, ordered a Northern Expedition from Station Gamma to fully assess the problem and possibly resolve it. Henry considered asking to join it but backed down at the last moment, still to afraid of Underlyers to get over himself. The search for the Underlyer God had begun, and the expedition left in January of 2253.
In early 2253, Henry Miller tried link up with Jacob Richards as he was put back on sentry duty but was unable. Jacob had been with the recruits for months and had instilled with them his skills. Jacob had also instilled in them his love of the music of Frank Sinatra. Sentry duty had been a bore, but it got better as Henry was at least on duty with Jacob's recruits.
Another raider attack came from the surface in March. The raiders this time hailed from lower Manhattan and had very good weapons, including a gauss rifle or two. The raiders besieged Station Gamma for about a week and in that time, Henry and Jacob finally got to catch up as they manned the walls in defense of the station. Henry talked about Yusuf ans his fear of Underlyers while Jacob spoke of his newfound leadership and initiative. The battle against the raider ended with the raiders being massacred by NY Ghost reinforcements coming from their backs. The reinforcements stayed for about a week and then left. Station Gamma went back to normal.
The next few months in Station Gamma were spent on guard duty, waiting for news or a Cabal attack. What came to Henry was arguably worse. A tear stained letter from his mother Laura informed Henry that his sister Emma had disappeared from their home. This alarmed Henry greatly. He and Emma had not been particularly close but she was still his sister and the issue clearly distressed their mother.
Henry asked his superiors numerous times if he could be discharged temporarily to attend to "personal affairs on the homefront". He should have been accepted, as he had been at the station for almost three years. However, as the Northern Expedition was out and the number of Ghosts left at Station Gamma was rather low, Henry was told to stay put. For that, he told his superior to "fuck off" and stormed back to his quarters in a fury.
For insubordination, Henry was sent to the station's cells for a week. Henry was thankful that he not been physically punished and complied. For a week, he brooded in his cell planning his escape to find his sister. Henry seemed an entirely different person from his usual self, who was hardworking and obedient.
The station's new commander asked Henry's friend Jacob Richards to talk to the man and help him out. Jacob was very concerned about Henry's condition and readily accepted the commander's offer. Knowing they would help calm Henry down, Jacob took the Frank Sinatra records to the cell to talk with Henry. As he arrived, Jacob played a record and began to talk.
It be a long talk, involving family and Henry's recent problems. However, after about a few hours Jacob managed to find the root of Henry's problem: his survivor's guilt about Yusuf seemed to be driving him to be rash. Jacob convinced Henry of this and calmed him down. By the end, Henry knew deserting would be suicidal.
In a few more days, Henry was let out and put back on watch. Taking back his records, Henry cooled off listening to the music trying to forget about Emma and Yusuf. This helped somewhat.
That did not help Henry with what would come next though. The Underlyers began to return to the tunnels near Station Gamma in mid 2253. Henry's nightmares returned as he sighted them when on sentry duty, chittering just beyond the light of the station. Jacob and Henry's fellow soldiers saw his discomfort and told him that he had to get over his fear somehow. Henry stayed on sentry duty and watched the Underlyers for days. It gave him a better understanding of the creatures and took away their appearance of being an unknowable enemy.
Eventually, the Underlyers made their move on Station Gamma. A small horde of them surrounded the station and prevented anyone from coming in or getting out. The station was under siege.
This caused many of the Ghosts inside to panic, but Henry was not bothered by this as much. He finally understood the Underlyers and was eager to engage them. Henry even managed to bring comfort to the new recruits and their nerves.
The siege lasted for two months before most of the Underlyers dispersed, and the siege ended. Station Gamma was relieved by other NY Ghosts, and Henry got new letters from home. His mother still only talked about Emma and her fears, but Henry thought less of it now than before. He finally felt peaceful; free of his responsibilities and free of his fear of Underlyers.
Feeling weirdly introspective, Henry decided to start writing a journal to record his thoughts in September 2253. This helped him convey his emotions, and he kept it until 2256.
As fall plodded on, another wage of refugees emerged from the NY Undercity fleeing Underlyers. This time though they were not tribals though, they were ghouls. Henry and the other Ghosts kept the ghoul refugees at arm's length but did not clear them out of the tunnels, letting them cling to the safety of Station Gamma. This ended later in September when the refugees decided to move to the surface. Henry was relieved at this, hating both the ghouls' smell and their near-madness.
Soon after the refugees left, Station Gamma was attacked by more raiders from aboveground. Henry assisted with the defense, and the ill-equipped raiders were repelled. Jacob lost a couple of recruits though, and that saddened him. Henry tried to comfort Jacob, but he did little good.
In December, the Northern Expedition finally returned to Station Gamma. The station and Expedition's commander met to talk about developments, but Henry spoke to the other Ghosts. They spoke of huge Underlyer nests to the north that were taking tolls on the Cabal and confirmation that "the God of the Underlyers" existed. Henry felt a tinge of fear from more news of Underlyers but also appreciated the new information. The rest of year was spent in leisure along with Jacob, eventually celebrating Christmas for the first time.
Two weeks after New Year's Day 2254, Station Gamma gained some visitors. The New York Trading Company has finally felt comfortable sending caravans to Station Gamma after a year of begging from the station's commander, and a whole caravan bearing new supplies had arrived. Henry and the other Ghosts were overjoyed at this. The arrival of New York Trading Company meant that there would finally be a steady supply of supplies and equipment (ans possibly that the war was drawing to a close). Their inconsistent food source had lowered moral for too long and everyone was overjoyed when the first NYTC caravan came to the station. The supplies, including red meat and soap, were great boons for the Ghosts, and Henry was overjoyed as well.
Henry's joy turned to confusion later when he received a new letter from his mother Laura. It told him that his sister Emma had apparently reappeared in the Ghosts' Inner Circle of station with a pair of newly-born twins. She was currently living in poverty and refusing to talk to Laura. When at first reading the letter, Henry felt a smug sense of self-righteousness that Emma had "earned" her punishment for running away. As time passed though, Henry grew to empathize with his sister more and more. However while at Station Gamma, Henry put Emma in the back of his mind trying to not worry about his home problems.
In the spring of 2254, Station Gamma was peaceful. Henry, Jacob, and the (now rather experienced) recruits were mostly posted on wall duty as usual. Henry was a bit ticked at his lack of a promotion in four years but was consoled by his friends. They had long conversations about what they might do and often listened to Henry's Frank Sinatra records. In fact they listened to the records so much that hearing Frank Sinatra's music became a sure sign you were near Station Gamma for many caravaners and travelers.
The recruits, led by Stuart, even pulled a prank on Henry in May when they slipped liquidized psycho into his liquor. The psycho did affect Henry much though and just gave him explosive diarrhea. For that, Henry beat half of the recruits to a pulp but later after an apology from Jacob and Stuart he bought them all their own liquor that week.
After the end of spring and the beginning of summer, violence briefly resumed at Station Gamma. A raider attack came from the surface once again. These raiders were not very well equipped though and were easily repulsed by Henry and the other Ghosts. Shortly after the attack, the New York Trading Company decided establish an official trade route through Station Gamma out to the surface. This made Henry and the other Ghosts very happy as that meant even more supplies and protection would come. And it did.
The Ghosts, now fully recovered from the last raider attack, were even more overjoyed to hear of peace negotiations with the Cabal and a possible end to the Subway War. Hoping the war might soon come to an end and he could return home, Henry began to write a series of letters home to his mother talking about Station Gamma and focus more on writing in his journal.
A little later in the summer of 2254, Henry and Jacob both caught Dead Lung and were forced to stay bedridden beside each other for almost a month. Henry was surprised at this happening, as he had not fallen sick when disease first arrived in Station Gamma. He was at comforted by Jacob's presence and played his Frank Sinatra records often.
However, Henry's other friends were unable to visit as negotiations had broken down, and the Cabal was on the warpath once again. Jacob managed to get better in a month and was on sentry duty again without Henry. The Underlyers also became a problem, harassing caravans near Station Gamma.
Finally, Henry recovered in the winter of 2254 and returned to sentry duty. It seemed as an attack was going to come soon from either the Cabal or Underlyers. Station Delta and Zeta had already been attacked by the Cabal recently, but the masked mutants seemed to be building up strength to go to war.
It was the Cabal that attacked several caravans and the station itself in early 2255, but the attack was simply from a raiding party. The tribals were turned back rather easily. Soon afterwards, the Council of the NY Ghosts decided to send out a second scouting expedition, this time to take out the God of the Underlyers for good. Henry wished the expedition well and stayed put at Station Gamma.
The next few months were quiet in Station Gamma, and Henry heard of numerous battles in the south with the Cabal and the north with the Underlyers. The Cabal was definitely losing to the Ghosts while there was little word on the was with the Underlyers.
In the fall of 2255, a mad old man came out of the tunnels east of Station Gamma. He hurled obscenities, insults, and feces at the walls of the station. Some of it hit Henry and Jacob and in anger, Henry fired some warning shots at the madman. However, after some shots Jacob stopped Henry and told him to practice restraint. This frustrated Henry, but he decided to stop and simply glowered at the madman, continuing to throw feces.
Only a few days later, word came from the Inner Circle of a final assault on the main tribe of the Cabal. Henry was happy to know that even if it would not be peaceful, the end of the war might be near.
On October 3, 2255, all the Ghosts in Station Gamma heard a radio broadcast that echoed through the entire NY Undercity: the war with the Cabal was over.
Fallback, Family, and Focus
- "It's wrong, plain and simple. I ain't doing it."
- ―Henry Miller on the Fallback Policy
At the news, all of Station Gamma rejoiced. They emptied their liquor stores, and Henry blasted his Frank Sinatra records as they partied through the night. Everyone, including Henry, was joyous that the war was finally over.
However, in the next week the Ghosts learned that the war was not quite over. They also heard of Commandant Long's removal and exile. This gave Henry a bit of satisfaction knowing Long was gone. However, soon word came from the north that the scouting expedition there was having difficulty fighting the Underlyers. The Subway War was far from over.
Fortunately for the NY Ghosts at Station Gamma though, they were soon recalled back to the Inner Circle since the outer stations were now secure. They and other Ghosts from the outer stations were hailed as returning heroes in the Inner Circle. Henry had a great time and met numerous important people, including future Commandant Lawrence McNair who was still only a recruit at the time.
Henry finally returned home in the winter of 2255 while he was on leave from the Ghosts in the Inner Circle. His mother Laura was ecstatic at seeing him and made a roast molerat dinner for him. To Henry's surprise, Emma and her two twins also came to the dinner. Although Henry felt some disappointment and Emma felt resentment, they got along during the dinner. Henry was also very happy to meet his niece Cheva and nephew Hugh and acted the role of a kindly uncle.
After a few days visiting with his mother (and sister), Henry returned to the NY Ghosts to continue to serve where he was needed. Fortunately for Henry though, he was not put back on the front lines of the Subway War. Instead, he was put in charge defending the outskirts of the Inner Circle with a small force of NY Ghosts. He was given a leadership position due to his time and experience at Station Gamma.
In the next three years, Henry furiously fought the remnants of the Cabal, raiders, and mutant creatures. This was a taxing period for Henry, so he stopped writing his journal in 2256 and progressively drifted away from his friends and family. However, at the same time Henry made many new friends among his defense force and among other high-ranking Ghosts. His attempts to befriend members of the Council and Commandant Briggs himself were rebuffed with them thinking that Henry was a "loud egotistical clod". So, Henry befriended some other course high-ranking Ghosts and gained prominence defending the Inner Circle.
When the Subway War finally ended in 2258, Henry Miller emerged as a rising figure within the Ghosts. For Henry's service during the Subway War, Commandant Landon Briggs decided to make him one of his new subordinates in 2260. Henry was able to sit through and watch Council meetings, as well as being able to visit his family often. After about a year of being alongside Briggs in Council meetings, Henry was bored to death by the meetings and asked Briggs if he could be moved to a more active role in defense. Commandant Briggs decided to grant Henry that request and put his subordinate in the defense of the Outer Stations from raiders and mutants along with the two other subordinates. Henry liked this job better than his cushy stay in the Inner Circle and established himself as the dominant subordinate in the Outer Stations, defending them from Underlyers.
Henry's stay in the Outer Stations was rather peaceful until 2263 when one of the other subordinates' stations was overrun by mutated creatures, and Henry and the other Ghosts were forced to repulse the attack. That and other attacks on the Outer Stations were what convinced Commandant Briggs to enact the Fallback Policy.
The policy worried Henry, but he remained in Outer Stations nonetheless. After a few weeks of the Fallback Policy, attacks leveled off and the Policy seemed to be working.
However, Commandant Briggs had become paranoid of a wave of mutants flooding the Outer Stations, so he sent out radio signals to NY Ghosts positions to enact the Fallback Policy. Henry was conflicted by the call, knowing he had to save the Inner Circle. Ultimately, Henry decided to defy Briggs' order and attempted to evacuate the stations he was defending before blocking them off, risking exile or even execution. His men agreed with him, and they quickly set about evacuating the stations. Before they were finished with the evacuation though, word came that the Policy had been rescinded and Briggs deposed.
Instead of being exiled or executed, Henry was hailed as "the embodiment of what all the Ghosts stood for". He was promoted and sent back to the Inner Circle. For almost six years, Henry served the Ghosts coordinating the defense of the Ghosts' territories in the NY Undercity against tribals and mutants. In that time, Henry's sister Emma died and his mother Laura was took over caring for her grandchildren. Henry mourned Emma and often vistied her children, eventually inspiring young Hugh to join the NY Ghosts in 2270.
Henry Miller rose to new heights in 2271 when he was promoted to become a Ghost Elder by Commandant Emily Haverson, gaining a position on the Council and becoming its youngest member. Ghost Elder Miller did not particularly like his position on the Council due to inaction and boredom and was often known to skip out or even bring his Frank Sinatra records to the meetings. Miller was lucky not to be penalized. This was because he was still a highly valued member of the Council and beloved by many of the rank and file Ghosts.
In Miller's time as Ghost Elder, he reconnected with his friend Jacob Richards, who had become a trainer. Also, Miller always took time to try to visit his mother and his sister's children.
In 2277, Miller finally became fed up with the Council's (and the NY Ghosts') inaction in the last two decades and decided to draw up a grand plan for the final conquest of the Undercity and expansion aboveground: Operation Lightbringer. After some discussion, the Council rejected Miller's plan as unfeasable, further alienating him. He fumed about his crushed dreams for the next two years. Jacob comforted him and his nephew Hugh's successes as a Ghost gave him a bit of happiness.
2279: The Year from Hell
- "WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE!?!?"
- ―Henry Miller raging at the attacking Enclave soldiers
The year 2279 began normally enough for Henry Miller and the Ghosts, with the occasional clashes with Underlyers being an occasional issue. Overall though, the NY Undercity under the boot of the Ghosts was prospering with the New York Trading Company assisting them. Hugh was fighting these Underlyers in skirmishes, and Miller worried about him but hoped he could take care of himself.
In late February, a man staggered into an Inner Circle station ranting about invincible armor-clad men with energy weapons, killing everyone they saw. The Ghosts guarding that station took the man and after some questions sent him to the Ghosts' headquarters to talk to the Council of Ghosts. Henry and the other Council members believed the man and recognized the threat power armor and advanced technology would pose to them.
After a long meeting, Commandant Haverson and the Council determined that they had to send several teams to combat this new threat. Each of these teams would strike before the attackers knew what had hit them, wiping them out quickly by blowing up the station they had taken. Henry Miller offered to lead one of these teams but was rejected, as they needed him more to coordinate the attacks than on the front line. His nephew Hugh was placed on one of the teams to fight the attackers. Henry hoped that Hugh would make him proud.
The preemptive attack took place over three days, with constant radio communication between the teams and Ghost headquarters (Henry included). The news was initially good with the Ghosts driving the attackers, now identified as the Enclave, back into the station they had taken. However, desperate radio calls began to also stream in from Outer Stations in the north of a massive coordinated mutant attack. Tens of Ghosts were reported killed, and Ghosts headquarters was thrown into a panic. Henry Miller kept his cool pretty well but intently listened to all of the radio signals coming from the Outer Stations.
In the next two days, news began to trickle back to the Inner Circle of what had happened. A horde of mutants were streaming south through the Outer Stations towards the Inner Circle while the Enclave slowly methodically worked their way through each station they came across. It could not be a coincidence, but the Ghosts did not have time to consider that at the time.
The Council of Ghosts assembled to decide what to do next. Led by Commandant Haverson, the Council wondered if it might be best to use the Fallback Policy to wall off the Inner Circle from the threat. Henry was appalled at this suggestion, knowing that hundreds of refugees, tens of Ghosts, and his nephew Hugh were still in the Outer Stations. Managing to rally just enough support from other Council members, Henry managed to block the move to reinstitute the Fallback Policy in favor of letting the refugees in and fighting the two external threats head on. He was extremely proud of his decision and declared that "the coming battle would go down in history as his greatest moment".
In the next week, the refugees and remaining Ghosts from the Outer Stations streamed into the Inner Circle. Hundreds of lives were saved. However, as Henry learned the hard way, the fight was not over. It turned out that Hugh had run from the field of battle and been summarily executed for desertion.
News of that and word of the advance of the mutant horde into the Inner Circle took the wind out of Henry's sails. He had saved lives in the short term but possibly doomed the Ghosts. Seeing the writing on the wall, Henry sent a letter explaining the situation to his mother and asked to take refuge in Penn Sanctuary for the time being, a much safer place than the Inner Circle. His mother complied, taking Cheva with her.
Henry felt extremely guilty about Hugh's death but did not outwardly show it, keeping a strong face for the other Ghosts. In the three days after the first attack on the Inner Circle, Henry fought alongside his other Ghosts to stem the tide of mutants spilling in. This was ultimately costly and unsuccessful, partly due to the interference of the Enclave that was still advancing. Seeing that the fight would soon come to headquarters, Commandant Haverson ordered the evacuation of all remaining civilians from all Ghost-controlled stations to the surface.
Henry, a Ghost Elder, was offered to help with the evacuation, but he instead decided to assist in the defense of the last station before the mutant horde got to headquarters along with a Ghost platoon. Commandant Haverson led the defense of the station along with other prominent Ghosts.
The station was initally barricaded with debris studded with mines, but the mutants still managed to tunnel through. The NY Ghosts proceeded to open fire and were surprised to be met with tribals as well as mutants: a rebuilt Cabal was fighting alongside the mutants. Soon enough, explosives started going off everywhere. The whole thing was a blur of gunshots, spears, and blood for Henry.
When the smoke cleared more than three hours after the battle began, the Cabal and their mutants had had been temporarily repelled by Ghost reinforcements from headquarters. They found only two blood-soaked survivors from Commandant Haverson's platoon: Lawrence McNair and Henry Miller.
Henry and Lawrence were shepherded back to headquarters while the ruined station was collapsed with explosives. Henry, exhausted and shell-shocked, was forced to sit through another Council meeting to decide on the Ghosts' next move and who should be the next Commandant. It all sounded like a lot of useless bickering to Henry. During the meeting, he began to pass notes with Lawrence McNair. It turned out Lawrence felt the same and in the next half-hour, they passed notes to formulate their own plan. After the conclusion of their planning, McNair and Miller took charge for a plan that would save the Ghosts from destruction. They would wire Ghost headquarters with explosives, and lead the both the Enclave and the Cabal down the tunnels, and as they fought each other, the Ghosts would detonate the entire station, having evacuated in mere minutes before. This plan was met with much opposition, especially from the older Ghosts. It had been the station they had first arrived in fifty-nine years beforehand.
Nevertheless, Lawrence's charisma paired with Henry's stubbornness won out. The Council of Ghosts decided with much trepidation to go along with Lawrence and Henry's plan, knowing that the alternative would mean admitting defeat or a final stand.
Headquarters was evacuated and rigged within two days. Several brave Ghosts, led by Henry Miller, lured the Enclave to the station while the Cabal barreled down the tunnels. Henry seemed to have died almost a hundred times too many but miraculously survived. However, all but three of the other Ghosts in his team were killed.
Henry and his Ghosts made it back to abandoned headquarters only twenty minutes before the battle began, ahead of the Enclave and the Cabal. Henry promptly took his position at the station's topside entrance and waited.
The Enclave arrived first but seemed confused on why the station was abandoned. They saw the Ghosts at the station entrance but initially did not engage. They spotted the explosives in only two minutes after they arrived, but that was too late.
The Cabal and their mutant army spilled from headquarters tunnels to the rest of the Inner Circle, sandwiching the Enclave's forces between the tribals, their mutants, and the Ghosts. The battle after that was the fierciest the Ghosts had ever fought. The Ghosts wanted to draw as many enemies in the station as possible before detonating the explosives and to hold back anyone from getting to the surface. Henry and Lawrence commanded the Ghosts to hold the line for their people and their future.
The Enclave desperately tried to break out through the Ghosts' lines while the Cabal simply tried to destroy anyone who was not their own. As the Cabal streamed into the station, Henry and Lawrence gave the order. The entire station was blown to kingdom come, killing or burying the Enclave, much of the Cabal, and many mutants. The Ghosts lived to fight another day.
The remaining NY Ghosts and refugees from the Undercity took refuge on the surface outside of their now buried home station. The Ghosts established a safe zone around the area of their emergence and held another Council to decide what to do next as the sun rose for the the first time for many of the metro-dwellers.
Following what became known as the Second Subway War, the Ghosts were stuck on what to do next. There were barely two hundred Ghosts left alive, and most of the Council had been killed. In the end, a majority of Ghosts, led by Lawrence McNair wished to rebuild at a new station underground, officially re-establish the Council, and regain their dominance over the NY Undercity.
However, Henry Miller was both despondent and angry. Henry felt that the NY Undercity, his home, had only brought him and the Ghosts pain. He had lost his father, his sister, his nephew, and some friends for seemingly nothing. There was nothing left down there to fight for. Henry hammered that point to the other Council members and suggested that the Ghosts should leave New York City and search for a new land, similar to Samuel Mason and the original Ghosts.
The Council of Ghosts argued about this issue for days, delaying the inevitable commandant election between Lawrence and Henry. The two, having bonded somewhat over the last week or so, did not want to fight each other and tried to resolve the issue of the future peacefully. Henry often put on Frank Sinatra while talking and gave Lawrence a liking for it.
Nonetheless, the two different factions within the NY Ghosts could not come to an agreement and as winter began to set in, the refugees suffered and some arguments turned violent. Henry Miller, now fed up with the other Ghosts and resenting McNair's role as de-facto leader, decided to announce that he was leaving with his supporters, no matter what the others on the Council said. This was encouraged by Jacob Richards, an old friend and one of Henry's supporters on the Council.
The announcement was made at the Council of Ghosts in September of 2279. Henry made the declaration to the Council first and then to the rank and file Ghosts. Although Henry was not popular on the Council, nearly a third of the rank and file Ghosts sided with him.
The Council was unsure what to do in response of this. Some wanted to assassinate Henry, placate him, or disgrace him. That did not work though, as Henry's popularity stifled their actions. The separatists, led by Henry, prepared to leave New York City.
They did leave in the dead of winter, December 2279. About sixty Ghosts left with Henry and they became known as the New Ghosts.
The New Ghosts
- "So that's a tree. Huh."
- ―Henry Miller upon seeing his first tree
The journey out of New York City took about two weeks and led to the New Ghosts coming across many new and scary enemies on the surface of Manhattan including the raiders of the Lions of New York, various local militas, and more feral ghouls than you could shake a stick at. Luckily, through Henry Miller's intrepid leadership (and the quick thinking of others) no New Ghosts were killed before they left New York City.
After crossing a bridge out of Manhattan and entering New Jersey, the New Ghosts made a brief stop to set up an offical "chain of command". Henry Miller was immedaitely made commandant and after some consideration, Jacob Richards was chosen to be deputy commandant.
From then on was an almost constant slog west and endless fighting. The surface was an alien place to all the New Ghosts, Henry included, but they were able to adapt rather quickly. Trekking through the wastes, the Ghosts lost several men from death or desertion, with a large group deserting near Rochester, New York. However, Commandant Miller and his men plodded west, searching for a new home.
The New Ghosts trekked through the Northeast and the Midwest, going through numerous wastelands and crossing the Mississippi River. It took two years. Many battles were had, many friends and enemies were made.
Henry and his men were walking through the Great Plains of South Dakota in 2281 when the New Ghosts appeared to have enough. They stopped and had a talk with Henry. Commandant Miller was surprised to find that his men were dissatisfied but conceded that they had good points. Henry promised the New Ghosts that they would settle down in the next town they came across.
In the fall of 2281, Henry and the New Ghosts finally came upon a ghost town in South Dakota that they decided to settle. Whittled down to a little over twenty, the New Ghosts secured the ghost town, led by Commandant Miller.
The New Ghosts wanted to establish themselves as the "protectors of the people" and decided to settle down to begin their operations, naming their town Mason after the NY Ghosts' founder, Samuel Mason.
Clashes with Custer and Reality Check
- "Mason is ours, now and forever! No one else's!"
- ―Henry Miller yelling to the RUSA something he would later rescind
After rebuilding and fortifying Mason, Henry Miller decided to assert his authority in this new territory by declaring himself the Grand Commandant of the Northern Commonwealth. This was analogous to the pre-War commonwealth.
Finally feeling free to become the leader he always thought he should be, Henry continued fortifying Mason. This attracted the attention of some local tribals. Remembering the Cabal and all they had done, Henry ordered his New Ghosts to watch the tribals and fire on them to warn them if they got too close. This was Henry's first big mistake in the Badlands Territory.
One of his sentries spotted the Dakota spying on Mason and fired at them, killing several, soon after the fortifications were complete. This led to Dakota war parties frequently clashing with the New Ghosts. Grand Commandant Miller, encouraged by Jacob Richards, committed to fighting these new tribals and escalated the conflict. At the same time, Henry Miller sent out scouts to convince communities to ally with the New Ghosts. No communities responded back.
The Dakota soon called their friends into the conflict: Custer's American Army. An entire army surrounded Mason and laid siege to the town. Grand Commandant Henry Miller stubbornly held on for two weeks, refusing to admit defeat, something he had never done before.
However, as his men began to go hungry and speak of death, Henry began to have doubts. He quickly suppressed them at the time, but the feelings simply reemerged later. Eventually, Henry had a change of heart and ordered his men to lay down their arms.
The leader of the army outside, Colonel Cain Vandada, accepted Henry Miller's surrender and had a sit down with him. Cain made Henry accept the authority of the RUSA and pay reparations to the Dakota. Henry reluctantly agreed.
After being effectively shut down by the RUSA, Henry has struggled to cope with having to bow and scrape to Custer, who he despises. Nonetheless, he continues to live in Mason, Commandant of the 'New Ghosts', and occasionally sends troops to assists the RUSA in their war. Henry has lost direction in his life and is desperate to find it again.
Henry Miller gained his position among the NY Ghosts for his seemingly endless confidence, stubbornness, and bluntness. His ego and impulsiveness played smaller roles. Although this benefited him in his rise to power thanks to the help of sympathetic Ghosts, Miller had little taste for bureaucracy which led him to defy Lawrence McNair's idea of reestablishing the NY Ghosts in New York instead of going to find new places to protect. Instead, Miller left with his "New Ghosts". This did not benefit him in South Dakota when Miller confronted General Custer, who forced the Commandant to bow to him after being defied once. This has made Miller unsure of his own abilities for the first time and placed seeds of doubts in the New Ghosts about their leader.
Nevertheless, Henry's friends look past his ego and rudeness and see a man who is loyal to the end and will never betray them. Henry is noted for his loyalty to his friends, one of the reasons so many NY Ghosts left with him to create the New Ghosts. However, Henry's stubbornness can make him blind to the suffering of others and has made him many enemies. He is also deathly afraid of Underlyers and used to be somewhat bigoted towards tribals and mutants due to his experiences in the Subway Wars. However, he has since learned to overlook his prejudices as he has seen the merits of both groups from his time in the Badlands Territory. This has been accompanied by cynicism, as the independence Henry desired is now impossible.
Commandant Miller's physical appearance is not quite imposing, being short and stocky. He has short brown cropped hair and a beard, sometimes trimmed and sometimes not. Henry Miller's skin has a rather sickly hue from living underground for most of his life, so he burns easily and prefers to cover up.
Henry Miller mostly wears camouflage Army fatigues, even in civilian settings. In battle, Henry wears black combat armor and a gas mask. This used to be used to aid in camoflague underground but now serves to individualize the New Ghosts from other groups in the Badlands Territory.
- "We fight for what's ours. That's what we do."
- ―Miller talking to Lawrence McNair before the final battle of the 2nd Subway War
- "Surprise shit-stick!"
- ―Henry getting the jump on a Cabal tribal
- "I've been fighting longer than you've been alive and seen things that would turn your stomach inside out. What happened to you was horrible, but kid, if you want to survive out there, in the real world, I advise you buck up and grow some balls."
- ―Commandant Malcolm Long giving some advice a young Miller
- ―Nash Laurens on Miller
- "Henry's a dangerous man because you can't ever really know what he'll do or who he will persuade to his side."
- ―Lawrence McNair discussing Miller with other Ghosts
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