Heather’s Mannequin, my debut novel, has a host of characters that I had a fantastic time writing about. Captain Elias Lombardi was probably the easiest one to write. I could see myself acting and talking like Elias around friends, so his dialogue flowed naturally.
WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS FOR HEATHER’S MANNEQUIN
So, Elias. Who is he? He’s an Army Captain and has several soldiers under his command. Battle-hardenend and willing to take extreme measures, he maintains a subtle code of honor. Elias is the representation of hyper-masculinity. His first name, Elias, is typically reserved for fictional warriors and soldiers. The name itself commands resepect and valor. His last name Lombardi is taken from legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi. The SuperBowl trophy is named the “Lombardi Trophy”, as well. The name Lombardi is basically synonymous with football, and football is the most masculine sport in America (I could say rugby, but it isn’t popular enough for some reason).
Elias Lombardi exemplifies masculinity: He’s tough, stern, and leads his men during wartime. While ocassionally goofy, he straightens up when the situation calls for it. As the force of masculinity in the story, he’s meant to align with, and counteract, Silvia Bloom, the force of feminity. Both characters are exploiting Heather Zlamanowski in their own ways.
We first see Elias when he and his men barge into Heather’s home at the beginning of the story. His initial concern is the safety of Colette Seraphina, who found her way into the territory of a suspected terrorist operative (Heather herself, but more on that another time). He hits Heather with a tranquilizer and brings her to an Army-run tower for questioning.
During the interrogation, he neglects to hurt Heather in any way because of her condition. Instead, he opts to eliminate a Corporal in a ploy to coerce Heather into exposing her network. Elias even goes so far as to shoot himself in the arm. While his methods are definitely questionable, Elias is willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve his end: the safety of his country. He believes that all is fair in love and war.
Captain Elias is also practical to a fault. One scene showed him ordering his men to remove Heather’s prosthetic limbs, even though it bordered on sexual assault. It’s still shown that he (somewhat) maintaints a soft spot for Heather, and definitely for Colette because of both their physical limitations. His code of honor mandates that the strong look out for the weak.
In fact, he was visibly devastated when he wasn’t able to save Colette in the end. This emotional unraveling allowed Silvia to incapacitate and leave him with a broken neck in his last scene.
For those who are wondering; Yes, Captain Elias will be back and he’ll be back with a vengeance.