Literature: Casca: The Eternal Mercenary
When they flew Casey into the hospital at Nha Trang, Vietnam, the medics were sure he would die. That he didn't was only the first surprise. The second, and bigger one, was that Casey had been fighting for two thousand years, ever since that day on the hill of Golgotha when he thrust his lance into the side of the man on the cross. "Soldier, you are content with what you are. Then that you shall remain until we meet again." Thus does Casca's journey begin, a man who cannot die, does not age, and who is forced to live through the ages, through many wars, only as a soldier until Christ returns.
Back cover summary
A paperback book series written from 1979 to the present day, Casca
is a Wandering Jew
series about Casey Romain, AKA Casca Rufio Longinius, AKA... the list goes on. While initially written by Barry Sadler (of "Ballad of the Green Berets" fame), ghostwriters took up the job in the late '80s. After Sadler's death in 1989, other authors have written the rest, the most notable being Tony Roberts.
While the first book starts during the Vietnam War
, the series chronologically begins in Jerusalem, 30-something A.D. After Pontius Pilate hands Jesus over to the Jews, Casca Rufio Longinius is tasked with crucifying him. However, when Casca spears Jesus in the side "just to make sure", Jesus turns about to be less dead than the Bible would have you believe
. Jesus then announces "Soldier, if you are content with what you are, then that is what you shall remain. As I return to my Father, so you shall return to me". Casca is then cursed to walk the earth
until Jesus' second coming. What happens after that depends on his behavior, but judging by his behavior... who knows?
He then fights in virtually every major war that has occured in the past 2000 years
, fighting alongside and against some of history's greatest generals and soldiers. Later on, he finds the "Brotherhood of the Lamb", a pseudo-Christian cult that worships Casca's old spear
. The Brotherhood keeps Casca in their sights until the Armageddon; though they may hate Casca for his actions on Golgotha, they must not prevent him from meeting their Lord. Casca Longinus is their path back to Christ and they will stop at nothing in keeping their most hated enemy in their sights for all time.Needs Wiki Magic Love
This series provides examples of:
- Eternal Hero: Justified, Encounters with Casca tend to spur prophecies of his return at some future time, and sure enough, he returns! (He was was mistaken to be the god Quetzalcoatl in 3rd Century Mexico, when he left he said he would return, and sure enough he was one of Hernan Cortez' conquistadors that arrived in 16th century Mexico)
- Immortal Hero: Subverted, he is certainly the Eternal Protagonist, but he can be both brutal and heroic when the mood suits him.
- Flat Earth Atheist/Nay-Theist: Met Jesus, received miracle, NOT A CHRISTIAN.
- Flying Dutchman: Of the Wandering Jew variant.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Remember, Casca's fought in every major war for the past 2000 years. Meeting guys like Hitler, Ghenghis Kahn, Atilla the Hun, Blackbeard, Montezuma, or-what-have you is practically a given.
- Healing Factor: The basic modality of Casca's Immortality, all wounds heal in minutes or at most hours.
- Long Runner: 34 novels since 1979, and still going. It seems the series might keep going to the Second Coming, just like Casca.
- May Fly December Romance: A love interest in every book, none of them immortal.
- The Mutiny
- Anti-Mutiny: He has been on all sides of it you could ever possibly imagine.
- Old Soldier: Subverted, he does not age physically of course, but he is OOOOOLD
- Rated M for Manly
- Suicide Mission: Never actually results in permanent suicide.
- Stop Worshipping Me: The Brotherhood of the Lamb does not think he is the messiah per se; but they won't leave him alone because they think he is the harbinger of the messiah.
- Unwanted False Faith: Commonly mistaken for a god, much to his chagrin.
- Walking the Earth: What Casca is cursed to do until Jesus comes again.
- War for Fun and Profit: It's not that he starts wars for profit, it's just that is how a lot of real wars in history have begun. Casca is just a mercenary. And very good at his job.
- Who Wants to Live Forever? Casca's immortality angst is usually played straight, and entirely justified.