Character Profile: Robert Lee and Tim Lawrence
(A Stone Soldiers Encyclopedia Entry)
In the two years the series has existed, there have been a number of Stone Soldiers. The four short stories in the anthology Elemental Warfare not only tell the story of the team's encounters with each of the four types of elementals, but also the early days of the program and the first four petrified soldiers.
A bit of retconning has taken place. Originally, in Mythical, the first four are briefly seen before they are killed by the shapeshifter Ketzkahtel kills them all. Only the briefest of explanations accompany them. But in Elemental Warfare readers get to learn more about the first four.
Tim Lawrence, Code-Name PERSES, was a former member of Delta Force, one of America's most elite Special Operations units. A veteran of many years, Lawrence lost a leg in Somalia in 1993, then went on to continue serving his country by counseling veterans suffering PTSD. When offered the chance to become a petrified soldier, Lawrence took it, eager to engage the horrific monsters he was briefed on.
Robert Lee, Code-Name CRONUS, was the youngest recruit into the Stone Soldiers, a member of the Marine Corpse Force Reconnaissance until he also lost a leg to insurgents in Afghanistan in 2008. Months later, still coming to grips with his injuries, Lee was offered the chance to join Detachment 1039 and took it.
In Stone Soldiers: Sea of Monsters, the story opens with the petrified Lee still having nightmares about that loss of his leg. But the youngest member of the Detachment put that aside when it came time to go to work.
Bound by similar career-changing injuries, these two warriors served as a marked contrast in the Stone Soldiers, the older, grizzled veteran who no longer saw things in terms of black and white, versus the young, disciplined, by-the-book Marine, ready to follow orders at any cost.
Both soldiers served the Detachment until that fateful night in June 2013. A raid on a roadside motel in Arizona, ordered to kill a heart-eating shapeshifter turned into a full-on defeat for the team, as one after another Stone Soldier was killed.
While Tim Lawrence and Robert Lee may have paid the ultimate price in service to their country, their sacrifice will never be forgotten. And we may see them again in more flashback prequels.