Posted in Cut Scenes and Fun Extras | Posted on 11-02-2017|
If you’ve read any of my Fallen Empire series, you’ve already met the cyborg soldier Leonidas, and you’ll known he wasn’t a point-of-view character in the books. That changes in my new adventure, Cyborg Legacy. It introduces a new hero, another cyborg ex-soldier named Jasim, but it also brings back Leonidas as a secondary character, and we get to spend some time in his head. We also get to see how family life is treating him four years after the events in End Game.
You can check out the novel on Amazon if you want to learn more about that adventure, but for now, I’ve arranged an exclusive interview with Leonidas right here. Thank you to those on Facebook who chimed in with questions!
Note: There are naturally some spoilers for the Fallen Empire series in here. If you haven’t finished reading those books yet, and you care about spoilers, you may want to skip this.
Interview with Leonidas
Hello, Leonidas. Thank you for agreeing to sit down with me. Well, you’re not exactly sitting, I see, but standing. Vigorously. Is that some form of exercise? You’re listening, right?
Leonidas: I have to train when I can now that my family keeps me busy. A man needs to be fit when pirates come knocking on your hatch. Also, he needs to be able to fit into his combat armor. Did you know that Beck is still using me to taste-test his recipes?
That doesn’t sound too bad of a life. We’ll start with a light question first. Kantami asks: if you have any say on what stickers get put on your armor to make you look less fierce, what kind of stickers will you choose?
Leonidas: I have no say. Sometimes I can wrangle the children into choosing smaller stickers over larger ones. I also try to steer them away from stickers that smell or can play music. If I had a choice in the matter, there would be no stickers. Stickers featuring weapons or combat armor wouldn’t be that bad… But the girls never choose such things. I seem destined to wear kittens for the rest of my life.
All right, next question. Michael says: Judging by how much fun you had using a rocket launcher… would you consider taking on some more t-rexs for an upgrade… I could see a shoulder mounted rocket launcher serving you well… even if it had to have FIVE kitten stickers on it.
Leonidas: What kind of question is this? Of course. Does this mean we’re going back to the moon with the genetically engineered dinosaurs soon?
Ah, we’ll see. I don’t think Alisa is a big fan of Cleon Moon, due to the fact that Solstice still lives there. Here are a couple more serious questions. Bob asks: 1) Would you do it again, knowing what you know now? and 2) Is it a path you would allow your son to take?
Leonidas: Would I partake in the adventure with Alisa? Or would I join the imperial army and undergo the cyborg surgery? I don’t have any regrets now about joining Alisa (now that I’ve survived knowing her). As for the surgery, I wouldn’t say I don’t have any regrets, but I would do it again, for the same reasons I did it back then. I would have tried harder not to alienate my little brothers in the process though. The military itself suited me fine. It was a tough and violent time, especially those last five years, but since the war ended and I’ve been retired, in a manner of speaking, I’ve found myself missing the challenges and the action. I like fatherhood and being a husband, but I can’t look back without some nostalgia for the importance of the work we did, the built-in adventure and high stakes, and the bonds I had with my fellow officers.
I don’t know if sons are in the stars, but I wouldn’t object to them joining the military, but it would be hard for me to stomach it if it was the Alliance military. Maybe it’s futile at this point, but there’s still a part of me that hopes something else will come along…
Stacey asks: Why do you love cookies and chocolate so much?
Leonidas: I have a fast metabolism. Sweets break down quickly and give me energy.
So no addiction problems, eh?
Leonidas: Of course not.
No days where you wake up craving Beck’s brownies? No twitches if you don’t get your fix? All right, sorry I asked. Put down that–what is that? Some kind of dumbbell? It looks heavy. Hey, maybe I’ll see if I can get Beck to bake you something after we complete this interview.
Leonidas: *flat stare* It’s not over yet?
Not quite. Your fans have a few more questions. Maria asks: What were your first thoughts when you first met Alisa/when you first saw her in her combat armor?
Leonidas: When I first met her? I was contemplating shooting her. She was impertinent, mouthy, and wearing that damned Alliance flight jacket. I had to remind myself that the war was over and that there were laws about shooting civilians. At least, there had been before the fall of the empire. I suppose on Dustor, nobody would have cared. But I’ve always tried to do the honorable thing, regardless of local policies.
Of course, by the time I helped her find some combat armor, I’d learned to appreciate her mouthy… mouth more. At the least, I didn’t mind it as much. And she’d used it to come to my defense a few times since we first met. I was quite surprised when she didn’t try to turn me over to the Alliance back when we were escaping Perun. That’s when I started to see her as a friend and an ally, and I wanted her to stay alive, so I was pleased to see her in her armor.
It wasn’t until later, after certain events, that I noticed that women’s combat armor isn’t entirely unflattering, since there are a few curves on the outside to accommodate the, ah, curves within.
Does it take a cyborg soldier to find women’s combat armor sexy? Hm. No, don’t answer that. We have another question from a reader. Joy asks: Does he still really want the Empire back in power now?
Leonidas: I do miss the safety and security that the empire provided for its subjects throughout the system. The Alliance is proving to be rather selective in who gets protection. I can understand them not wanting to overextend themselves, but they seem content to leave the border worlds to fend for themselves. I will admit that the empire was not without flaws, but I still believe it was a superior system. I wish those who felt the need to rebel had worked to change the system from within instead of destroying centuries’ worth of infrastructure and stability.
For the next question, Sarah asks: How do you feel about Abelardus’s continued presence on the Nomad?
Leonidas: He and Young-hee have finally moved on. I don’t think I was ever so pleased to see another man get married, though I find it amazing that Young-hee could put up with his many, many character flaws… She seems to be able to keep him in line however. The only perk to having him onboard was that I had a living, breathing sparring partner with whom I rarely had to hold back on my punches. Not holding back was quite pleasant. For many reasons.
Navs asks: 1) Any plans of having kids in the near future? And how many would you want?
Leonidas: As I answer these questions, Alisa and I have been married for more than three years, and we’ve had twin girls. I had originally imagined we might have more children, and a son would have been appealing, but the girls are quite, ah, vigorous. They seem to have a hive mind and know how to work together to reach their goals, however forbidden those goals are. I never realized how difficult it would be to childproof a spaceship.
Yes, I hear old freighters don’t always come with all the perks you’d hope. Okay, next question! Heli asks: 1) Are you going to contact your brothers one day and explain to them why you chose the path you did, or has that ship sailed for good for you? 2) if you could have surgery to go back to a “mainstream” human would you do it, and if you did are there any cyborg features you would like to keep?
Leonidas: I’ve talked to my brothers a couple times since my wedding. One of them even came to the ceremony, the one who joined the Alliance… I think he was pleased that — as he assumed — Alisa was converting me. He seemed a little smug about it. No, I haven’t spoken to them about my decisions when they were younger. It seems like it would be self-serving, or at least serve no purpose now.
I don’t think I’d choose to give up the cyborg implants now. They’ve been a part of me for too long. I like being able to defend my family. Fiercely and imposingly, as Alisa would say.
Chanel asks: Do you now have moments where you regret leaving Prince Thorian, especially since you never got the full story on what happened in that box and even though you found love and a family?
Leonidas: I do regret leaving him. I know he’s in capable hands with Dr. Dominguez, but I also believe Alisa may be right, and that perhaps he should have a family rather than tutors and a mission. At the least, he shouldn’t have just those things. I would have gladly taken him with us to become a part of the family, but I also understand his commitment to his duty. It was his choice in the end. I hope he doesn’t regret it. We’re here if he changes his mind.
Dena asks: Although you wanted children, how does it feel to suddenly be a step-parent?
It was odd in the beginning, and I didn’t know how much authority I should attempt to exude over Jelena, especially since she feared me early on. We’re gradually working things out though, and she’s even been an advisor at times, in regard to her mother and the twins. Not always a reliable advisor, mind you, but an advisor nevertheless.
Nicole asks: What would you have done if you actually weren’t attracted to Alisa after your operation? (I would’ve been devastated, I love their love! 😂)
Leonidas: There wasn’t much chance of that being a problem. I shouldn’t admit this (Alisa won’t be reading this, right?), but I was attracted to everything after that operation. I even had some lurid dreams about–oh, this interview is going to be publicly available? I should leave it at that then.
Heike asks: When will you make this beautiful needlepoint battlefield with flowers? 😉
Leonidas: It’s up in our cabin now! Jelena informed me that chocolate wasn’t a grand enough wedding present (I beg to differ), so I set to work on it in secret as we traveled, and I presented it to Alisa on the day of our wedding. I must confess that the flowers are quite small. Alisa claims they look like blood droplets. It’s just that I couldn’t imagine say purple flowers on a battlefield. Red flowers seemed appropriate.
That’s it for the interview! Please check out Cyborg Legacy if you want to learn a little more about what Leonidas has been up to since End Game. Here are the links for the main Amazon stores:
For now my science fiction adventures are exclusive with Amazon, but I’ll have more fantasy coming out on all of the sites this year. Thanks for reading!