|Real Name:||Colonel Donald Michael Lydecker|
|Occupation:||CO of Manticore (Former)|
|Portrayed by:||John Savage|
|“||You kids had no idea how much you meant to me. I was trying to build something. Think about it. Instead of sending a thousand soldiers into battle and losing a hundred, I could send in ten perfect soldiers and not lose any.||”|
— Donald Lydecke
Colonel Donald Michael Lydecker was the commanding officer of the military forces at Manticore for most of its existence. During that time, he supervised the training of the X5's, and was universally loathed by all of them. Eventually, he was betrayed by Elizabeth Renfro and allied with the escaped X5's. He disappeared mysteriously not long after the destruction of Manticore. He reappears in the 3rd book that was released by Max Allan Collins "After the dark".
Lydecker joined the Army at a young age, and served a distinguished career for many years. He eventually married his hometown girlfriend, however, she was murdered under unknown circumstances, and the case was never solved. After this, Lydecker became an alcoholic, and had to undergo rehabilitation before he could return to duty. At some point, he was appointed by a mysterious government agency known as "The Committee" to head Project Manticore.
As commanding officer of Manticore's facility in Gillette, Wyoming, Lydecker oversaw the creation and training of several generations of X-Series transgenic soldiers. As he ruled them with an iron fist, and trained them with harsh and rigorous techniques, he earned their hatred and resentment. Despite this, he would later claim that he cared deeply about them, and was particularly close to the X5's. In the years to come, he even called them "his kids".
Eventually, a group of X5's rebelled against their handlers and escaped. During the revolt, Lydecker shot one of the young rebels, Eva, which only encouraged the rest of her unit to despise their CO even more. They then fled into the forest, pursued by Lydecker's soldiers on foot, snowmobiles, and helicopters. During the getaway several of the X5's were killed, but in the end, twelve made it out. Knowing that Manticore would be doomed if their existence was exposed to the world, Lydecker began a search that would go on for years.
It is not known if Lydecker managed to capture or kill any of the X5's in the years immediately after the escape, however, approximately ten years afterward, he found that one of them was living in Seattle, Washington. Although he did not know it, this X5 was the one known as X5-452, or Max. Several times, he nearly caught her, but she always managed to slip away. At one point, they in fact attended the same genetics conference by accident, but since Lydecker hadn't seen Max since she was nine, he didn't know it was her. Max, of course, recognized Lydecker, and when terrorists took the guests at the conference hostage, she actually saved his life, for reasons even she could not understand.
It is later revealed that Max was designed after or "inspired by" Lydecker's wife who was killed under mysterious circumstances and contains some of her DNA.