Stole Mannings (ストール・マニングス Sutōru maningusu?) is a character in the Mobile Suit Gundam photo-novel Gundam Sentinel. A veteran of the One Year War and a man distrustful of Newtypes, he paid the price of heroism at the cost of his leg, losing it order to save the life of his comrade Tosh Cray.
Stole Mannings fought alongside the Earth Federation during the One Year War and during the war he lost his leg. He had it replaced with an artificial one and due to this he fears being assigned to a logistical role against his will. He spent some time with his comrade Tosh Cray at Side 1 in UC 0085 where the two talked about the prestigious Instructor's Corps. Mannings avoided applying to the corps because he feared that doing so would get him relegated to a desk job.
In UC 0087 Mannings was transferred to assist in an experimental MS development project primarily focused on the MSA-0011 S Gundam and its integrated Artificial Intelligence system, ALICE. There he became acquainted with the Cheshire Cats. He reacted with disgust to the potential pilots for the S Gundam that had been selected by the development team, he was reluctant to even call them pilots. Initially he resisted taking command of them within Task Force Alpha, however the developers threatened to remove him for disobeying orders and he conceded.
Task Force Alpha was launched to intercept the New Desides rebels at Pezun, Mannings was assigned command of the mobile defenses with the ulterior motive of observing the performance of the Cheshire Cats. Through this mission he acted primarily as the first officer and general advisor the Task Force Alpha Fleet commander, Major Eton Heathrow. As he is caught be the rebellious attitude of Ryou Roots he comes to the conclusion that he is likely a Newtype, this assumption stems from Mannings own prejudices against Newtypes. He feels a great resentment towards them because of their innate ability to thrive on, and even dominate the battlefield when they have little to no skills or experience whatsoever. He feels that it isn't right that a rebellious hot headed Newtype kid could be more effective than a skilled, tactical war veteran.
Continuing to support Heathrow and Alpha Task Force, one of Mannings first significant actions came when he and Heathrow realized the true nature of "The Devil's Garden". He devised a plan to retreat on thrusters to avoid being back attacked by the many stationary weapons New Desides had hidden there. While this proved to be an effective strategy New Desides closed in and unleashed a missile barrage on the fleeing Task Force Alpha. Mannings chose to ignore incoming missiles from The Devil's Garden, believing mistakenly that it would be ineffective. Instead the rocket-propelled asteroids hurled from The Devil's Garden destroyed the Takao and the Long Beach. Despite Heathrow's strong desire to, Mannings convinced him that it would be dangerous and futile to search for survivors of the devastated pair of vessels, instead he convinced Heathrow to attack in order to catch the enemy off guard, a plan which ultimately proved to be effective.
During the ensuing attack on Pezun Ryou Roots deploys for the first time in the S Gundam and, unable to handle the acceleration he loses his bladder. While Mannings congratulates Roots on his overall performance, he chides him over his loss of bladder. This angers Roots and Mannings tears into him telling him:
"You‘re not cut out to be a pilot! Just quit the Forces already! You woulda been shot at least two or three times by now! The enemies won’t wait for you! If you die, I’m not gonna write a letter to your parents saying ‘Sorry, your son has died in battle'! Instead, I’m just gonna tell ‘em, ‘The entire fleet was destroyed because your son’s retarded’!”
This enraged Ryou Roots who had lost his parents. Roots used this as an opportunity to challenge Mannings to a duel and Mannings agreed to indulge him. Shortly into the face off Mannings easily outmaneuvered Roots. Roots had always had difficulties finding where an agile enemy was and Mannings took full advantage of this. He deftly evaded Roots's attacks when Roots found him he was hit by a clean shot from Mannings.
During Task Force Alpha's second attack on Pezun, Mannings received a report notifying him of New Desides apparent retreat, he quickly realized Tosh Cray's feint and ordered the withdraw of Task Force Alpha. After this battle he at last came to Eton Heathrow's room when Heathrow was playing chess against a computer. He then informed Heathrow of his past relationship to Cray. He also says that because of Cray's and the given information he believes that Cray's final destination is the moon. He goes on to suggest a preemptive strike on Ayers City, stating that it will be easier to break through when they have minimal defenses, thinking Aeno's fleet is far behind, near Side 4. Mannings also mistakenly believed that Aeno and New Desides had not made contact.
Mannings briefs the mobile suit squadron commanders on Operation Eagle Fall, the mission to attack and capture Ayers City. After hearing his plan the attending Ryou Roots comments that they are being sent off to die first, even though reinforcements will arrive in two days. Ryou and Nero pilot Chung Yung argue, Yung saying that death or not he should follow orders. Mannings realizes just how disruptive Roots is and reassures them both that he would not send them out to die. In another ill-fated action Mannings ordered radio silence in order to maximizes chances of success in the raid on Ayers. He realized that this was a serious error when the 112th company was wiped out by New Desides forces that were not supposed to yet be there.
Over the next several days as Task Force Alpha and Task Force Beta lay siege to Ayers City he orders Ryou Roots and his Z Plus units on repeated missions with little respite. Roots complains about the nature of his missions and that he has no chance of success and Mannings reprimands his cowardly attitude, citing his constant arrogant remarks and the attitude that he possessed during training. He goes on to insult Roots's sense of strategy. Roots asks him about the system behind the S Gundam and why it acts on its own, but Mannings refuses to answer his question. Annoyed Roots again challenges him and Mannings again accepts. Realizing the implications of Roots's comments about the S Gundam acting on its own he mutes his comm just before launching to the duel with Roots and sends a secure message to Heathrow advising him that ALICE was not sealed as they had suspected and that she was indeed learning.
As Mannings and Roots battle again, he criticizes Ryou for following standard battle maneuvers. To test the limits of both the pilot and the system, he intentionally mimics Cod's final attack that nearly killed Roots in order to frighten him. While he is successful in terrifying Roots, ALICE is not perturbed and Mannings is defeated by the S Gundam. He realizes however that this was likely ALICE and not Roots's doing. Mannings continues to keep Roots in the dark in order to promote the one-sided love that is supposed to optimize and awaken A.L.I.C.E. to her true potential. To Roots he claims that in order to actually win Roots needs to win every time. He then refuse to tell Roots anything about the S Gundam despite losing their bet.
When he learns about the Penta takeover, he fears and that if Cray is responsible he has some kind of plan. Task Force Alpha reaches Penta and here the Pegasus III is attacked and he sorties in his Neros Trainer without permission, saying that it is a soldiers greatest honor to die in battle and saluting Heathrow. Mannings then closes on the Zodiac with complicated maneuvers, using his beam rifle in full auto mode, he begins to realize that it is likely Cray in the mobile armor. Mannings and his Nero's Trainer continually interferes with the Zodiac's shots at the Pegasus III until finally it targets him and takes out his leg, shortly after it vaporizes him and his MS, his last thoughts are disgust at being unable to complete his mission.