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Laton

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.