Posted in Cut Scenes and Fun Extras | Posted on 30-04-2012|
Last week on my Facebook page, I asked for “interview questions” for Sicarius. We had a lot of submissions, but he’s a busy man right now (those of you who have already finished Book 4 can guess why), and I could only get him to agree to answer ten questions. I had to risk my life to elicit that promise, and there was… glaring and knife fondling during the interview process. I hope you appreciate the risk I took to get these answers to you.
Interview with Sicarius
LINDSAY: Good evening, Sicarius. I know I’ve made your life eventful of late, so I hope you won’t mind me pulling you away from your current mission for a few minutes. Your fans—did you know you have fans?—have a few questions for you. Are you willing to answer them?
He folds his arms across his chest and gives me an icy stare.
LINDSAY: No? I can see why you might not be too happy with me, due to, ah, recent events, but the readers are innocent bystanders. Surely, you don’t have anything against them? Don’t you think Amaranthe would encourage you to be polite and amenable?
SICARIUS: I have not seen Amaranthe lately. His icy stare hardens. You know why.
LINDSAY: Er, yes. Sorry about that. Conflict is something of a prerequisite for a novel, and I have to…er, is it necessary to glare at me so much? I am your creator, after all.
SICARIUS: He glares.
LINDSAY: How about this: I’ll make it easier to find her if you cooperate here. I’ll even give you an opportunity to have that private conversation with Sespian. Just answer twenty questions for me.
SICARIUS: It is unwise to attempt to blackmail an assassin.
LINDSAY: Fifteen questions?
LINDSAY: Twelve questions. And no one-word answers.
SICARIUS: Ten. I’ll answer how I please.
LINDSAY: All right. I’ll take that. For the first question, we’ll start with something light. Michele asks, “Why do you always wear black? Isn’t navy blue acceptable for skulking in the shadows? Also, have you ever thought about letting someone else give you a proper haircut?” (Numerous people asked after your hair status – i.e. when will you let Amaranthe cut it or let Maldynado recommend a barber?)
SICARIUS: My hair. Your questions are about my hair.
LINDSAY: Hey, I didn’t come up with them. Maybe your fans just want you to look good!
SICARIUS: Hair is irrelevant. I require only that it remain short enough to stay out of my eyes during battle.
LINDSAY: So… no word on when we can expect you to let Amaranthe cut it?
SICARIUS: Is that your second question?
LINDSAY: No, a follow-up on the first. Also, you forgot to comment on the navy blue.
SICARIUS: The haircut status is unknown. It is not a priority. I was assigned black clothing when I worked for the emperor. I see no point in changing what I wear now.
LINDSAY: In other words, you haven’t been clothes shopping in years? No, never mind. That’s not a question. Okay, number two… Jenna asks, “If Sespian were to clear your name, what is one thing you would do with that new freedom?”
SICARIUS: Little would change. The bounty does not bother me. Having people trying to kill you keeps you alert and encourages you to maintain your fitness and fighting skills. However, it would be… acceptable to be a free and… trusted man, so I could walk up to Sespian and speak with him. Without guards around.
LINDSAY: Sandy asks, “Do you want more kids?”
SICARIUS: It is the nature of man to want to pass down his seed.
LINDSAY: I could ask the fans, but I don’t think they’ll find that an acceptable answer. It’s a tad evasive, don’t you think?
SICARIUS: The glare has returned. There are… mistakes youths make that might be… avoided if one had the chance to do a thing again.
LINDSAY: I’m not sure that’s not evasive as well, but I see you fondling your dagger, so let’s move on. Alita asks, “Do you secretly laugh at what Amaranthe does or do you really find nothing humorous?”
SICARIUS: His eyes glint. Yes.
LINDSAY: Drat, and we were doing so good with the multi-word answers. Well, you’ve done that to Amaranthe often enough that I guess I can’t expect more. Jennifer asks, “It seems clear that Amaranthe is good for you. Do you feel that you are good for her?”
SICARIUS: Her schemes are dangerous. Someone has to keep her alive.
LINDSAY: I see… You have nothing more to say on the subject? I think Jennifer may have been thinking about the romance department.
SICARIUS: He looks away for a moment. I should not encourage her infatuation. Another would be better for her.
LINDSAY: Kendra asks, “What were you thinking when you nearly lost Amaranthe to the Makarovi?”
SICARIUS: It would have been… inconvenient for my plans. I believe she can help change Sespian’s opinion of me.
LINDSAY: And that’s the only reason losing her would have upset you?
SICARIUS: These questions are invasive. I do not appreciate your prying.
LINDSAY: All right, all right. Put your knife away, please. We’ll move on. Liana asks, “Tikaya from ENCRYPTED was one of the most formidable women you’ve met in your life, and you met her while still very young. Readers can’t help but notice the similarities between her and Amaranthe. You let Tikaya go, even though your assignment was to kill her, and you keep Amaranthe around even though it isn’t in your best interest. So I have two questions for you… One, was it because Amaranthe resembled Tikaya that you didn’t kill her in your first adventure. Two, will you ever tell Amaranthe about Tikaya and Rias, about how they influenced you and whether or not you keep in touch with them?”
SICARIUS: I spent little time with the Kyattese cryptanalyst. I spared her because of Fleet Admiral Starcrest. He is a great man. The emperor was mistaken to wish him dead. As a boy, I read his books on military strategy. I also acquired some of the less… factual books about his adventures and hid them in my cubby in the Imperial Barracks.
My choice not to kill Amaranthe had nothing to do with the foreign woman. When I met her, she wore a bracelet I recognized, one Sespian made by hand for his mother. I knew he would not have given it away lightly. I did not wish to kill someone who meant something to him.
As for two, I recently had to share the history of the alien technology with Amaranthe, and I explained the role Admiral Starcrest and Professor Komitopis played in decoding the artifacts. I have not kept in touch, as you say, but I would not be adverse to working again with the admiral one day.
LINDSAY: Celia asks, “Have you ever regretted a kill or have you only regretted the consequences of one (such as Sespian seeing the heads of the Mangdorian leaders at age five)?”
SICARIUS: It is illogical to dwell on that which cannot be changed. He pauses and studies the ground. There have been… targets I would not have chosen to eliminate of my own volition.
LINDSAY: Heather asks, “I have always wondered about the exchange with Litya in the super-secret-underwater lab that Basilard witnessed. Why did he look at the tank? What deal did she offer her that was so “interesting”?”
SICARIUS: Despite Amaranthe’s belief otherwise, I am capable of acting, so long as I have something invested in the outcome.
LINDSAY: In other words, you’ll throw yourself behind an acting job that will save yourself or perhaps Amaranthe or Sespian, but you’re less enthused at participating in a ruse to get Maldynado and the rest of the team out of jail, for example.
SICARIUS: I believe that’s what I said.
LINDSAY: Melody asks, “You’ve gone from working alone to working as a team. Would you rather go back to working alone, or do the pros of working as part of a team outweigh the cons?”
SICARIUS: Working alone is safest and most efficient. He lifts his chin. I was never captured or injured when I worked alone.
LINDSAY: And yet you’re still with them.
SICARIUS: You know why.
LINDSAY: Hm. Sylvia asks, “Aside from Amaranthe, how do you feel about the rest of the team? I know in the beginning you put up with them because of her, but have you developed a fondness for any of them, or a particular dislike? How about respect?”
SICARIUS: Basilard is a competent warrior.
LINDSAY: High praise indeed. Anyone else?
SICARIUS: The others talk too much.
LINDSAY: I see. You like Basilard because he’s mute.
LINDSAY: Right. Moving on. Maria asks, “When has Amaranthe’s self-endangering behavior made you angriest? And also (#2) – you peeked at Amaranthe in the cabin, didn’t you? You’re just too sneaky to get caught.”
SICARIUS: I have answered the agreed upon ten questions.
LINDSAY: Oh, come on. Everyone wants to know about that last one.
SICARIUS: I do not get angry.
LINDSAY: Uh huh, sure. And the last question? The one about sneaking a peek?
SICARIUS: An observant assassin sees everything.
Thank you for reading (and if you haven’t picked up Book 4 yet, here’s the excerpt and store links).