A "waster kid" who rose in prominence in the Light Bringer sect (a Satanic Cult) in the Edmonton arcology. He served the sect second only to a mysterious woman only know to us as "Banneth". He was responsible for attending to Banneth's "cargo of weird persona-sequestrator nanonics". The sect brought out an unmatched arrogance in Quinn. He received two high-quality nanonic clusters from the sect with biolectric pattern-minicing features (illegal technology that could have condemned him to a penal planet if detected). He killed seventeen people over a five month period before being deported as an Ivet to Lalonde. His offense was not murder, but rather running from the authorities when they attempted to inspect Banneth's nanonics package. He vows to return to Earth and use some command codes that he knows to harm Benneth with her own nanonics. Until then, he is to serve as forced labor for colonization Group Seven on Lalonde.
Quinn Dexter ultimately uses his powerful skills of persuasion to influence the local Aberdale officials into a policy of greater leniency towards them. This is strongly objected to by Powel Manani, but Aberdale officials see this as a threat to their authority and overrule him. The 18 Ivets (15 men, 3 women) begin to work only 13 at a time for the community, leaving five to constantly do something for the “betterment” of the Ivets in order to give themselves something of which to be “proud”. At first this is a superbly constructed A-frame, which becomes the envy of the citizens and actually has the positive effect of influencing others to improve their own quarters. After establishing this initial reputation, however, Quinn begins to form a cult within the A-frame while secretly and systematically acquiring various weapons through the use of his illegally attained fuseodollars from Jovian Bank credit disks. The other Ivets keep special note of who has such disks at Aberdale for future thievery and murder.
Quinn is aware that someone nearby is responsible for several families that have turned up missing recently in Schuster County. He keenly detects the presence and goes out of his way to declare that he is not afraid of it. In fact, he proclaims that he wants to talk to whoever or whatever it is.
The Aberdale Ivets, under Quinn’s leadership, systematically kill off many settlers who have Jovian Bank disks. All the while, Quinn uses his nanonic implant to increase his “treasury”. Some of this money is used by the group to acquire various items secretly that enhances their individual lives presently and will ultimately assist Quinn in escaping from Lalonde. The deaths are all suspicious, but no hard evidence is available. People die by drowning or they are killed by a laser fired in their eye sockets, then the bodies burned almost beyond recognition completely covering up the laser wounds. Overall, there are six deaths in five weeks. Ruth Hilton is on to them ,however. She tries to convince Father Horst, but the priest is too weak willed to allow such facts to complicate his fragile life.
Quinn solidifies his control over the Ivets with an official Satanic ceremony during one of the murders at a savanna homestead. He performs a dark mass during the crime. The powerful combination of group sexual intercourse, murder and blood ritual serves to bind the group to Quinn’s will.
Eventually, Quinn’s fearlessness and instinct bring him to a face to face encounter with Laton. Quinn wants to team up with Laton to assist in the lather’s escape from Lalonde. He offers to turn Aderdale completely over to Laton for “incorporation” as long as he let’s Quinn escape without any alarms being sounded to the authorities watching the suspicious happenings in Schuster County. Laton refuses because he doesn’t have a sufficient number of bitek regulators to sequester the entire settlement. He makes Quinn an offer to join him. Quinn is interested in Laton’s experiments and, without committing to anything, agrees with Laton that it would be an advantage to both of them to eliminate Powel Manani’s communicator block. Unbeknownst to Quinn, Laton plans to arrange to have the villagers eliminate the Ivets after Manani’s communication device is destroyed. This plan is foiled, however, when Quinn captures Manani and performs a demonic ritual on him. Quinn outsmarts Manani when the latter heads up an effort to kill all Ivets in Aberdale. He and six surviving Ivets sacrifice Manani in ritualistic fashion. As his victim dies, a huge flare of energy erupts out of the wounds in the body, light dancing over Quinn. In the center of this light, however, Quinn sees absolute darkness. He begins to hear a chorus of voices in his head. Quinn excitedly welcomes this experience, interpreting it as the coming of Satan himself. Then, lightning flashes out of Manani’s corpse, screams come from inside the bolts as they seek out the six Ivets and strike them, wrapping each of them in cloak of glowing light. The Ivets immediately seek out other humans in Aberdale in order to spread the dysfunctional process of possession. This happens, interestingly enough, in Chapter 13 of the first part of “The Reality Dysfunction.”
Following the emergence of the reality dysfunction, he emerges in Durringham where he accidentally runs in to Marie Skibbow. She helps him to get a berth on the Lady MacBeth as a passenger in route to Norfolk. Initially, Joshua offers him zero-tau, but Quinn rejects this. This, however, was only a tactic by Joshua to drive-up the price of the berth which is finally agreed upon at 55,000 fuseodollars. The Lady MacBeth then experiences a series of mysterious technical problems during its journey to Norfolk.
After he is possessed Quinn realizes that the force released by his sacrifice of Powel Manani is not Satan (the “Light Brother”). He is in a unique position from other possessed personalities in that he can still function as his former self to some degree in spite of being possessed by another being (Edmund Rigby). Hamilton writes that Quinn is furious with this realization and he feels betrayed. In reference to not being the Light Brother, the possessing force within him, slowly gaining control of his mind, replies to Quinn: “Of course not, Quinn. I’m worse than that, worse than any mythical devil. All of us are.” Quinn then hears laughter in his head as he struggles to understand as his mind begins to fade. A prolonged struggle ensues where Quinn attempts to, at first, understand what is possessing him, and, by using all of his vast trickery and psychic abilities, ultimately overcome possession itself.
He retakes his body from Edmund Rigby on Norfolk, more confident and treacherous than ever. He immediately destroys all of Rigby’s closest followers and proclaims that he is “truly blessed” by the Light Bringer. “My belief in Him brought me back, me alone out of all the millions who are possessed. I am the one God’s Brother has chosen as His messiah.”
Eventually, he lands on Norfolk at Boston and takes on the appearance of a priest. Following the possession of Boston he briefly sets up an outpost for his growing cult at Cricklade manor. Quinn soon becomes disenchanted with Norfolk and its backwards society. He makes plans to get off the planet and return to Earth where he hopes to organize the various cults in the arcologies into an organization under his command. "We can gnaw at the Confederation from within," he says.
He makes it to Norwich where he tries to board a spaceplane to get off Norfolk. He accidentally runs into the Kavanagh sisters and Fletcher Christian and tries to steal their transport contract for the Far Realm. He is driven by this mad desire not spread possession or to organize a cult under his leadership, but to get back to Earth and find Banneth. He wants revenge for the way she treated him. "Now, I'm the one who's gonna do things right back to her," Quinn babbles. "God's brother understands, understands the need in me. I'm gonna let my serpent beast devour her and spew out the bits."
Before he can steal the contract, however, he succumbs to several bolts of fire launched at him from an unknown figure at the opposite end of the hangar. In the confusion that follows, Fletcher and the sisters escape. Quinn turns to face the mysterious person, demanding to know their name. He never finds out for by now there is fire erupting everywhere in the hangar. Quickly, accompanied by Lawrence Dillion, he makes his way to the Tantu's spaceplane, kills the guard and boards the plane disguised as a priest. When in orbit on the Tantu, he makes an unauthorized ZTT jump out of the system.
It takes Lawrence Dillion and himself only a few minutes to possess the Tantu’s 19 member crew. After a few technical and disciplinary problems, he orders the vessel to leave Norfolk’s orbit. He experiences some problems with the possessors of the ship’s captain. He has to replace them three times before he finds someone suitable, someone who knew something of starflight in their previous life. After that, Quinn orders the Tantu to make several ZTT jumps toward Earth, arriving there a few days later.
Earth is heavily defended with an elaborate SD platform. When the Tantu is unable to comply with Earth’s request for the ship’s “ASA code” the planetary defenses are quickly locked onto it. No one aboard knows what an ASA code is. Quinn makes the hasty decision to jump one-light year while the Tantu’s various sensor antennae are extended. The jump severs the sensors, causing four breaches in the ship’s hull and six areas to be severely weakened.
Quinn is furious because, until repairs are made, the Tantu cannot make another jump. The immediate object of his wrath is the possessor of the captain. Stating that he “should have known” about the ASA (Armed Ship Authorization) code, he sends him back to the beyond. Quinn then tortures the real captain, whose name is Mauer. Finally, he turns Mauer over to Lawrence Dillion for further debauchery.
Father Horst Elwes -
Priest of Lalonde Group Seven. Assigned by the Unified Christian Church to that location because of his general faultiness as a religious leader, his skepticism and shaky faith. Horst is a recovering alcoholic. He brings a “medical block” with him to Lalonde. Rectangular in shape, the block measures 25 centimeters long, 25 wide and three thick. It has several peripheral accessories and a powerful stored knowledge of every known human illness and suggested treatments. This makes him Group Seven’s primary medical specialist in addition to his religious standing. Discovers the existence of Quinn’s Satanic cult from a conversation with Ivets as they build his church. This is too much for the weak priest and he immediately responds to the obvious sacrilege of such people building his church by going on a drinking binge with a bottle of Scotch. Later, he witnesses the coming of the reality dysfunction with the sacrifice of Powel Manani. The unstable priest is almost a victim of possession himself but for the distraction created by the Ivets discovering Camilla. He escapes to Aberdale and is able to warn Ruth and Jay Hilton just become the village begins to burst into flames and the possessed begin to overtake the unsuspecting settlers. At Ruth’s urging, he takes Jay and flees into the jungle.
The next day following their escape from the destruction of Aberdale, Horst and Jay Hilton returned to the village to determine the situation. He saw that only the children of the village remained “normal”. All the few remaining adults were acting “devoid of purpose, walking slowly, looking around in befogged surprise, saying nothing.” When one adult blasts their own child with a fireball, Horst rushes out of hiding and confronts the possessed person. Another fireball if aimed at Horst. He holds out his crucifix and ignores the pain that the attack causes. His lack of fear (and perhaps the crucifix itself) intimidates the possessed somewhat. But, when he accuses the possessed of being the Devil’s servants, one responds. Hamilton writes: “A spasm of fright crossed Brigitte Hearn as the silver cross was shaken in front of her. ‘I’m not,’ she said faintly. ‘I’m not the Devil’s servant. None of us are.’”
When Horst asks why the possessors are sequestering innocent humans, he is told of the utter nothingness that awaits in the beyond. He further inquiries as to why so many bodies are being possessed. The reply is that “Together we are strong. Together we can change what is. We can destroy death, Father.” He is then told that the children are not possessed because the souls from the beyond want to come back to strong, vital bodies, not the frail ones of children.
Horst takes the injured child and all the children with him. Jay assists him by fetching various items as the group leaves Aberdale for the last time. The event had changed his life. He lost weight, toughen up with all the manual labor he was suddenly required to do. His situation gave his life (and faith) renewed meaning, to protect the children and see them to safety. He promises the children every night that the Confederation Navy will come to their rescue. In the meantime, the tiny group have taken over an abandoned homestead on the savanna.
During routine foraging one day, Father Horst happens upon the Reza Malin scout team and immediately believes he and his horde of children are saved. His experience on Lalonde, though terrifying and hazardous, has renewed his spirit. “I have seen such evil, foul, foul deeds,” he tells the Reza scout team. “Such courage too. I’m humbled, the human spirit is capable of quite astonishing acts of munificence when confronted by fundamental tests of virtue.”
He arranges a service of commemoration at Tranquillity for those who sacrificed their lives for the children Joshua brought back on the Lady MacBeth. In presenting the news to Joshua and seeing the anguish in Joshua’s face that he harbors for the entire affair, Horst says: “There is more to death than the beyond. Believe me, I have seen how much more with my own two eyes.” He does not reveal to Joshua what this is. He simply states that it would be something different for Joshua, leading the later to conclude that “We have to come to faith in our own way.” After the service is held he approaches Joshua and gives him a small wooden crucifix telling him that “I had it with me the whole time I was on Lalonde. I’m not sure if it’ll bring you good luck, but I suspect your need is greater than mine.”
In a discussion of his experiences on Lalonde with Tranquillity’s bishop, Father Joseph Saro, he disagrees with the bishop’s perspective on the relevancy of Jesus Christ. Who can tell what the real truth about Jesus is anymore, the bishop wonders. Horst responds that the only relevant fact is that Jesus existed historically and that His essence has been carried by the church through the centuries. “Christ showed us the human heart has dignity, that everyone can be redeemed,” Horst says. “If we have faith in ourselves, we cannot fail. And that is the strength we must gather if we are to confront the possessed.” Horst is completely confident that there is something more to death than the beyond. When the bishop wonders about the myriad of faiths and all their differences in the face of the absolute reality of the beyond, Horst answers that all faiths have the same origin. “The notion that we are something more than flesh and mind alone. People must have faith. If you believe in your God, you believe in yourself. There is no greater gift than that."
Marie Skibbow (Kiera Salter) -
An extremely attractive young woman, daughter to Gerald. She hates being on Lalonde and is highly rebellious against her father. She engages in frequent sexual intercourse any way she can and is especially fond of threesomes, as long as she’s the only female. Upon arriving at Aberdale and the savanna region beyond the settlement, he learns rather quickly that she hates living in the grassland in particular and on Lalonde in general. She turns 18, but everyone is too busy forging their new lives to remember her birthday. This proves to be the last straw and, as she is now legally an adult, she simply ups and leaves the settlement, hitching a ride downriver on the Coogan. Ultimately, she becomes the victim of the Gail and Len Buchannan, the merchants of the Coogan.
Marie's highly sensuous body becomes strong and more muscular while she journeys on the Coogan back toward Durringham. Her attractiveness is greatly enhanced. As the merchant ship nears the capital, she takes a few belongs she has secretly accumulated from bartering on the trip and abandons the ship. Len and Gail Buchannan both object, for different reasons. Gail, because Marie is essential a work slave that entertains her as she watch Marie and Len during sex. Len wants her to stay because she is so attractive. Marie is completely unmoved by this. She has no feeling for anything or anyone at this stage in her life, only the joy of leaving the ship and being, for the first time since arriving on Lalonde, truly free from everyone and on her own.
After finally making it back to Durringham, she finds employment in the Commercial Office, where she quickly catches on to the ins and outs of the cities economics. When Joshua arrives she sees this as an opportunity to negotiate her way into being the middleman on his mayope deal. She talks him into letting her secure the mayope he is seeking at a lower price. She ends up running in to Dexter Quinn (who has apparently made it to Durringham by stealing one of Laton’s landcruisers). She discovers that he wants off the planet and offers to introduce him to the Lady MacBeth for possible passage. She will do this for a finder’s fee, of course. Quinn agrees and, in the meantime, negotiates his way into having sex with the beautiful Marie.
In being exposed to Quinn, Kiera Salter, who takes full advantage of Marie’s beautiful body in spreading the possession of others, possesses her. She ends up leaving Lalonde, along with Laton, on the Yaku and traveling to Valsik. There, she seduces Horgan to come to bed with her. There he is tortured by Marie (Kiera) and three other possessors as Dariat takes poison and kills himself, so that he can enter Horgan’s body as a possessor, complete with all their powers and with full intent of reeking revenge upon Rubra.
She gets into an argument with Dariat in Tacoul Tavern over the purpose of their possessed group. She emerges as clearly in charge and possesses everyone in the tavern.
Quickly possession spreads through Valisk. Soon, Kiera is in control of the entire length of Valisk, though many non-possessed pockets remain. All total, about 900,000 people are possessed on Valisk. Not enough to take the habitat out of the universe. She plans to entice several million additional souls to the habitat for possession. That will serve two purposes. First, it will be enough to take the habitat out of the universe. Second, it will provide enough of a population to keep the society "alive and fresh" after the transfer. This second point is especially important to Kiera because, as she puts it, "the purpose of life is to experience. Experience whatever you can for as long as you can." With eternity facing them, a large population is essential from her point of view to make continued existence acceptable.
She makes a sensuous sensevised recording that is distributed throughout the nearby stellar systems tempting people (primarily teenagers and young adults) to come to Valisk. “Now we live as we please,” she tells her audience of millions. “Valisk has become a place where every wish is granted, however small, however grand.” She tells everyone she is going to take Valisk out of the universe to a place where everyone will have “energistic power.” She entices teenagers from other worlds to come along for the voyage. 15 hellhawks dispatch her sensevised message across the Oshanko sector of the Confederation with great effect. Deadnights begin flocking to Valisk any way they can.
A “Serpent” - an Edenist gone bad. A man of Asian-ethnic features with long black hair tied in a ponytail. A galactic outlaw and fugitive. No one is more feared throughout the Confederation because of his annihilation of the Edenist habitat Jantrit. Laton has fully developed mental and physical powers and has been secretively living in Schuster County for a number of years. He is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of several families in the area. He observes Quinn’s activities in the jungle via an affinity bond with a kestral, a predatory bird in the jungle. He is “vaguely disturbed” by the fact that Quinn knows of his observing presence, that he is responsible for the missing families and, far from being intimidated by Laton, actually wishes to meet him. Laton greatest fear, initially, is that the activities of the “devil worshippers” might bring more authorities to the area and foil his attempt to remain undetected on the planet.
Laton is responsible for all the missing families reported in Schuster County prior to the establishment of Aberdale. The captured bodies serve him in several ways. Adult males are “incorporated” to do manual labor, essentially Laton has sequestered their personalities, what remains is a zombie-like obedient servant. Young boys are stored and used for transplant material. Women have their ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed and stored as per the requirements of the next phase of Laton’s experiments. Young girls are left alone, for now. They serve Laton under his direct supervision...with intense fear.
Laton’s crime was that he greatly damaged his habitat personality through the release of a “proteanic virus” associated with an “irregularity” of antimatter. He escaped to Lalonde on a blackhawk in 2575, when the planet was uninhabited except for a handful of people guarding the land site of what would eventually become Durringham. There were 20 humans and 7 landcruisers accompanying him along with numerous luxuries, cybernetic manufacturing systems, and genetics equipment. Laton stored the blackhawk’s eggs and ovaries in zero-tau and sent the ship crashing into the star near Lalonde. Eventually he set up a settlement for himself and his experiments in the gigantea. These experiments are attempts to create multiple independent bodies joined together into a single entity through affinity. Such an approach would make immortality a reality of the entity involved. Laton is striving to develop a modified human brain bonded to cloned replicas of the same person.
Laton is saddened by the death of Camilla at Quinn’s sacrifice of Manani. He is puzzled by the strange energy force that seems to have been emitted by the ritual. Moreover, he is troubled by the swiftness at which the neighboring villages have fallen to the force. Jackson Gael and Ruth Hilton (now “sequestered”) capture his gigantea home along with all his other children. Laton deduces that the strange occurrences are due to “a self-determining viral program that can store itself in a non-physical lattice.”
After being possessed by Lewis Sinclar (and arriving on Atlantis by way of Vlasik on the Yaku), he arranges the destruction of his own body when a huge crane falls upon him, crushing him. This sets Lewis free, to be gathered up by the Pernik personality habitat. In the meantime, Laton uses his incredible powers of concentration and consciousness to trigger the proteanic virus infecting his former body. In an amazing event, Laton takes control of Lewis after the later has overtaken the Pernik personality. Laton’s proteanic virus infects the neural stratum of the habitat in such a way as to only accept his thoughts and impulses rather than Lewis’. Laton’s immediate action is revenge against the possessed for destroying his children on Lalonde and for taking such delight in attacking the sanity of the Pernik habitat, in doing harm of Laton’s fellow Edenists. (In spite of being a Serpent, Laton still feels a bound with his human lineage.) He frees Syrinx from being tortured. Assists the crew of the Oenone in her rescue. Then he says something that seems to strike at the core of Hamilton’s trilogy. As Syrinx is being whisked away on the Oenone, Laton says: “I will hold the possessed off until you leave Pernik. Then I will begin the long journey.” Finally, he tells the crew that “I do not ask for forgiveness, for it would not be in Edenism’s power to grant. But tell them also that I came good in the end.” At which point Laton uses his vast capacity for the control of energy on Pernik to produce a massive explosion which essentially ends all life on Pernik and sends numerous tsunami extending across Atlantis' watery surface.
Oenone presents his "precis" (his datavised message to the Atlantean Consensus) as it is stored in the voidhawk's neural strata. In this manner, Laton, after death, is able to communicate for a final time to the full Consensus of Edenism. He recommends that a research effort begin to determine what happened in the Satanic ritual on Lalonde that made it different from all the others that have occurred throughout history. "You must discover the root cause, close the dimensional rupture," he tells the Consensus.