Evan Graham's latest update for Tantalus Depths

Jun 15, 2017

So I tried fourth place for a little while. It wasn’t for me.

We’re back in third! And still climbing, too. I don’t like being passed, so I’m pretty determined to snatch that second place position soon. There’s still an irritating chance that we might get knocked down to fourth again, and I’d very much like to put some distance behind me asap to keep that from happening. So please keep up the good work and share our updates, and ESPECIALLY tell your friends and families about this book. The more people we get on board, the better our chances are of really securing our place in the top three. We’ve only got ten days left. They all have to count.

I am way too stubborn to lose this contest. Much like today’s highlighted character: Captain Lucas Sicarius: the man so determined to hold onto his power, he simply refused to die.


Lucas Sicarius

The youngest of three brothers, Lucas spent most of his life trying to live up to the expectations set in place by his eldest brother. When Jacob joined the military at eighteen and became an all but overnight war hero, Lucas followed in his brother’s footsteps. His skills were impressive, enough to get him assigned to the elite taskforce known as the Razorbacks, alongside his brother. Upon joining the Razorbacks, Lucas was implanted with an Erymanthos combat AI named Eidolon, which further enhanced his skills. However in spite of his impressive natural talents, Lucas and Eidolon continued to be overshadowed by Jacob and Proteus throughout most of their military career.

While Jacob’s skills were focused on ground combat, Lucas’s talents were keyed more toward combat support. He was especially adept at piloting various aircraft and spacecraft. Eidolon assisted with this, adapting its primary function as a combat assessor and target finder to aid Lucas in performing complex flight maneuvers. It also adapted its battlefield memorization programming, allowing it to memorize the controls of every vehicle Lucas piloted, enabling him to feel as familiar with a new vehicle as if he’d been piloting it for years. Lucas became one of the Razorbacks’ best combat pilots, and at last it seemed that he’d begun to make a name for himself, rather than merely being “Jacob’s younger brother.”

This all changed when, during a mission on the perilous sun-blasted planet Buyan, the dropship Lucas was piloting was struck down by a surface-to-air missile. All hands were lost in the ensuing crash, save for Jacob and Lucas. Though both men were gravely injured in the crash and one of Buyan’s two deadly suns was about to rise, Jacob managed to save both their lives by burying them both in the sand until rescue could come during Buyan’s brief dusk.

Battered, bloody, and deeply discouraged, Lucas found rescue worse than death. Once again, Jacob was hailed the hero, while Lucas was merely the one who’d crashed a ship. When both men were offered the chance to retire from active duty with honors, Lucas accepted, while Jacob did not.

Lucas served for a few more years in the military in various behind the scenes functions, but found no fulfillment in it. Several years later when Jacob was offered the coveted honor of being the leader of the future colony on Bella Rosa, Lucas was invited to join the mission. Initially, he was to join Jacob and their other brother Isaac in cold stasis, the three of them being revived together upon arrival at their destination.

But Lucas knew when they arrived at Bella Rosa, it would only be the same old story again. Once again, Lucas would be living in Jacob’s shadow, forever known as “Jacob’s brother.” He saw an opportunity to choose a different fate.

Instead of joining the colonists, Lucas applied for the captaincy of the Somnambule. His service record was more than satisfactory for the job, and Lucas was declared captain. As his brothers bid him an emotional farewell, Lucas watched them submit to the deep sleep of cold stasis. He knew he would never see them awake again in his lifetime. He knew, from this point on, he was the only Sicarius people would talk about.

For decade upon decade, Lucas served as the absolute authority on The Somnambule. The entire crew answered to him. He was the master of all he surveyed. At last, he had found his own importance. For 75 years he ran The Somnambule. When his body began to fail from old age, he had his life prolonged through cybernetics.

As he continued to cling to his twilight years of power and life, eventually becoming so dependent on his cybernetics he served as more of an autopilot than a captain. His body was plugged directly into the ship; it’s systems became as much a part of his mind and body as his own. Even as death tapped its foot patiently waiting for him, he refused to relinquish the control he’d found. He refused to let go of a life he’d already prolonged too far. He had found his kingdom; a world all his own.

Then, with a freak act of sabotage in the stasis bay, Jacob Sicarius awoke once again…