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|“||"Their (the Topsoilers) time is drawing to a close..."||„|
The Old Styx is the leader of the Styx, the main antagonists of the Tunnels series. Like his name suggests, he is an aging man with graying black hair and wrinkled skin. He is the father of the Crawfly and the grandfather of the Rebecca Twins. This makes him the head of the ruling Styx dynasty in the Colony, an underground city under London that the Styx rule.
He is a major leader in the Styx's grand plan to take over the surface of the Earth (Topsoil).
The Old Styx appears when Chester Rawls is about to be banished to the Deeps of the Earth. He is brought before the Old Styx, but thinks he is kinder because he is older. This is false; when they lock eyes, Chester sees his are evil and cold. The Old Styx reads out the banishment sentence, and turns a deaf ear to Chester's pleading.
The Old Styx is shown with one of his granddaughters, Rebecca, and a group of Styx with gas masks, standing on Admiralty Arch as the sun rises. He commends Rebecca on her work of tricking Sarah Jerome into helping the Styx. However, he is wary that Will Burrows could become a figurehead of anti-Styx fighters and a threat to their plan. He then reveals the Styx's grand plan for surface domination: to release the deadly Dominion Virus, killing off most of the world and allowing the Styx to take over. He and Rebecca release doves containing a bead of expermental Dominion Virus on them, which will melt from the sunlight and release the virus all over England. This works, and the virus causes flulike mayhem all over the country.
The Old Styx is called to the Deeps, where the Rebeccas were pushed into the massive Pore by Sarah Jerome. He orders the Limiter soldiers to search the area and try to verify that the twins are alive. Renegade Tom Cox, who is working for the Styx, talks to the Old Styx about whether anyone could survive the fall. The Old Styx then sends a detachment of soldiers to retrieve Dominion Virus samples from the Styx Bunker.
When the Old Styx reaches the Bunker, he finds that it has been completely destroyed by Drake. A Limiter says that Drake's bombs have denatured the remaining virus. The Old Styx and Tom Cox plan to kill Drake for good.Later on, Drake plans a surface ambush to capture the Old Styx. In return, the Styx will leave the Burrows family alone. The plan goes awry, though, when Styx sympathizers detonate a secret sonic weapon that knocks out everyone in the park, including Drake's men, Mrs. Burrows, and Drake himself. The Old Styx appears, and has Limiters take the men prisoner and take Mrs. Burrows back to the Colony for interrogation. He briefly notices an oddly-clothed Limiter grab Drake's body; this Limiter is really a Styx deserter named Eddie who will save Drake from capture. Back down in the Colony, the Old Styx watches Mrs. Burrows's interrogation. However, the Styx cannot break her with their signature sonic torturer (Dark Light) because she has a strong and resistant mind. It gets to the point where 7 Dark Lights are needed to sap her of all strength. This comes as a surprise to the Old Styx. A Colonist officer offers to take care of the comatose Mrs. Burrows. Again, the Old Styx laughs at this and says it would be kinder to let her die in the prison.
The Old Styx and his assistant come to the house of the Second Officer, who is watching over Mrs. Burrows. They say it is time to give her to the Colony Scientists, who will dissect her to figure out why she resisted the Dark Light for so long. The Second Officer is hesitant because he is in love with the recovering Mrs. Burrows, but is forced to give in because of his family. The Old Styx says he made the right choice.
At the end of the book, the Old Styx receives a message from the Scientists saying that Drake has blown up the Laboratories and escaped with Mrs. Burrows. He is further angered when another message comes, saying Drake has also wiped out the raw source of the Dominion Virus in the Eternal City. He rages to the point where he throws a metal canister at a soldier's head, and swipes things off his desk. He is calmed when his granddaughters, the Rebeccas, enter in the room and present him with the Dominion Virus phial. They also tell him that the Styx now have a disposable army: the New Germanians, who live in a world in the center of the Earth. They have all been brainwashed into droid-like soldiers for the Styx. The only bit of bad news is that Elliott drank the Dominion Vaccine, and now Drake and Elliott are reunited. The Old Styx says not to worry; he will prepare some "forward planning" for Drake.
The "forward planning" was having the now-brainwashed Prime Minister of Britain shut down the hospitals receiving Elliott's blood that had the Dominion Vaccine, and reduce the health care system's ability to deal with a virus pandemic.
The Old Styx buys an abandoned factory in Kent, which later becomes known as the Phase Factory. The area gets roadblocked and guarded by the New Germanian soldiers. He invites his granddaughters and many Styx women to the new base of operations. While the Styx sent the country into chaos through bombings and riots, the Styx elite prepares for the 4th Phase. It is revealed that the Styx are insect-like humanoids that go through a mass breeding Phase once in a blue moon. He supervises the female egg impregnation process, which produces hundreds of Warrior Class Styx larvae.
The Old Styx is shown in the epilogue in a hotel with Rebecca 2. He shows sympathy to her over the failure of the Phase Factory (this is rare for a Styx). He then brings her over to the pool and shows her the fully-developed Armagi beasts swimming.
Along with many other Styx, the Old Styx goes to the Hub, a major control center in England. With the rest of the country in war, the Styx have taken control of many vital systems. He applauds Styx ally Danforth for his work in engineering the success. However, Danforth is secretly working for the Old Guard (anti-Styx) group. The Old Styx also is disgruntled by Rebecca 2's crush on New Germanian Captain Franz, who walks around the Styx like a zombie slave.
The Old Styx appears at the Battle in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. The Armagi trap Will and Elliott inside, and the Styx close in on them. Styx woman Alex taunts Elliott, who is half-Styx. When Elliott begins to claim that the Styx have got it all wrong, Alex orders the Old Styx to kill her. He produces a handgun from his coat and is about to kill her. However, an Old Guard soldier shoots the Old Styx in the back of the head, killing him.
The Old Styx is a sinister and experienced person. He is dedicated to the Styx's plans to take over the world. Much like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, he plans ahead and adapts easily, although this could be seen more as the work of the Styx as a whole.
He does have a very emotional side, as seen when he has a raging fit due to Drake destroying the raw Dominion Virus source and blowing up the Laboratories. Also, he showed Rebecca 2 sympathy at the end of Spiral. He is implied to be very sadistic, even to those who ally with the Styx.
- The Old Styx is something of a 'cult character' on some Tunnels fan sites/forums. Quite a few TunnelsDeeper.com users affectionately call him the "Old-but-young-inside-Styx" and talk about his role in the series. On Fanfiction.com, one fan fiction has him as a more important character that actively tortures Will (he pulls his nails out and punches him) and eventually gets betrayed by the Armagi.