Here’s a fictional character/story idea I came up with awhile back, though I’ve added to it a little, since then. If I remember right, it was inspired by the “origin story” of the Christian Walker character in the Powers comic book series. If you’re familiar with it, you’ll probably see the resemblance in the basic premise right away. There may be elements of Highlander in it, too. And, of course, there are unique elements of my own that I threw into the mix. I suppose it could work as a book, TV, or comic series.
Jacob Lazarus is a verrrrrrry old man.
But, you’d never know it to look at him. Lazarus, owner and CEO of a small but prosperous tech company, appears to be an extremely healthy, fit man in his early 40s. Yet, he has clear memories reaching back nearly a hundred years and then fuzzier ones reaching back about another hundred years or so. In fact, he is actually more like 20,000 years old. He knows this from the journals he has kept from nearly the very beginning of his unusually long life. The earliest(?) ones were on papyrus leaves and scrolls and were in ancient languages which he no longer remembers, but they were copied over into more recent languages and on newer materials every few hundred years or so. Needless to say, he now has quite an interesting personal library.
For years, Lazarus wondered how he knew from “the beginning” that he 1) would be extremely long-lived, or 2) that he would only be able to retain a couple centuries’ worth of memories. (Did his parents tell him? Did they know?) Unfortunately, his very first journal (alluded to in a later one) is one of a few that have become lost or destroyed over the millennia, so he doesn’t know how he first discovered his longevity or what prompted him to keep the journals to record his knowledge and experiences — or, for that matter, any knowledge he may have had at one time about why/how he is/became “immortal”. (Also, were/are there others — e.g., relatives of his — who were/are immortal, too?) He does know that he is susceptible to wounds & illness, but on those rare occasions when his health/life was in serious danger, his healing ability and/or immune system kicked into overdrive. (In the worst cases, he lapsed into a coma-like state, while his body “focused” on whatever condition threatened his life.)
Aside from the apparent immortality and extraordinary recuperative abilities, Lazarus has no superhuman powers (that he is aware of). He does, however, have a few skills that he has developed over the decades (and still remembers) and which serve him well in his personal and business activities. For example, his aim with thrown objects is pretty good, thanks to his once being a minor-league pitcher and more recently a competitive frisbee-golfer. He was a fair greco-roman wrestler in college but now practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and escrima. He knows a fair bit about certain ancient cultures and keeps tabs on the latest archeological discoveries. Obviously, he is a more-than-competent businessman, with an MBA (from a generation ago, under a different identity) and a Masters in Information Technology. He is not particularly outgoing and maintains a relatively small group of friends in both his personal and professional lives. Very few know anything of his unusual history and abilities.
One day, Lazarus decides that perhaps the way his “ancient” self knew of his longevity and had the foresight to begin keeping journals is that his future self will travel back in time to tell, um, himself. Aside from potential temporal paradoxes, the major problems with this scenario are 1) the fact that no one (as far as he knows) has invented any sort of time-travel technology, and 2) he is not even sure what ancient language(s) he originally spoke, let alone if there are existing samples of it that he can learn from. So, assuming he can eventually travel back to meet his younger self, how will he communicate with him? Fortunately, he is very smart (genius?) and focused when he puts his mind to something.
We join Lazarus now as he begins a new life in pursuit of this new knowledge, with glimpses back to past identities and exploits, and occasional forays into archeology, cyber-warfare, and everyday adventures in business and life….
There is, of course, plenty more to flesh out, especially if one were to actually develop it for a series of some sort. It would not be superhero fare but more a mix of mystery and thriller with some action/adventure and science-fiction thrown in. I hadn’t even considered fan-casting for it until just the other day. Since I don’t have a particular look or body-type in mind (other than 40-something and physically fit), I came up with several actors that might fit the bill for Lazarus — no major stars, as usual — and “dispersed” them around this post.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for the character and/or storyline….
* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2014.