Neville Latham -
Chief Inspector of Exnall. He considers his position a dead-end career-wise. But, he accepts this fact because he enjoys living in the town. The emergence of the Mortonridge Crisis gives him the opportunity to prove his worth as a ranking security officer. He is enraged to discover that the curfew notification is circumvented by Finnuala O'Meara creating a panic throughout the town just when order and calm is needed to control the outbreak of possession. He orders the entire communication network for the town shut down except for the police subsections. As a crowd of 600 people gather outside the police station, marines are ordered to form a secure perimeter around Exnall. Neville, realizing now that his career is probably over due to events, orders his police to open fire on the crowd with sonic weaponry in order to disburse them as quickly as possible. This is emitted by a couple of assault mechanoids, which malfunction and end up firing sense-overload ordinance directly into the heart of the crowd. The combination of harmfully bright light and acidic gas does great damage. Latham is quickly possessed, along with hundreds of others, at this time.
Annette Ekelund -
The possessor of Angeline Gallagher. The only one of the three possessed Lalonde embassy personnel that land on Ombey who manages to successfully inflict possession on the general population. She confronts Ralph Hiltch personally, telling him to call off his attempts to contain possession on Mortonridge. She is in full control of all four primary town on Mortonridge. She is willing to concede that possession might be confined on Ombey to Mortonridge, but she is defiant that the possessed will never lose control of the peninsula. She lectures Ralph when he tells her that God is not so cruel as to make death only an emptiness that the possessed describe. She tells him there is no God, that no xenoc civilization encountered in the Confederation form such beliefs. Annette sums up the motivation behind the possessed as follows: "God is merely the term an ignorant primitive uses when he wants to say quantum cosmology. The universe is an entirely natural structure, one which is exceptionally vicious in its attitude to life. And now we have an opportunity to leave it for good, a chance of salvation." Finally, she tells Ralph that she looks forward to the day he will join them. He promises her the fight is only beginning.
Celina Hewson -
Vouches for the Kavanagh sisters upon their arrival at Norwich in order to let them into Norwich, which is under tight security due to the fall of Kesteven to possession. She is the wife of the Earl of Luffenham and the eldest sister to the mother of the Kavanagh girls. Being married to the Earl, her word carries enough weight to see the girls and Fletcher Christian through the Confederation Navy Marines stationed at the Norwich airport.
Olton Haaker -
President of the Confederation General Assembly. An Arab and a staunch Muslim. He is a clever politician serving his second five-year term in office. Haaker is only the second of the last 15 Presidents to serve consecutive terms.
The Tyrathca ambassador to the Confederation General Assembly's and member of the polity council. The Tyrathca alternate their seat on the council every three years with the Kiint, though many in the Confederation feel that xenox cultures deserve regular seats on the council just like every human government is entitled to. She walks out of the council meeting regarding how to handle the possession crisis by declaring that the dead coming back is a threat to Tyrathcian culture and that all Tyrathca will withdraw from all contact among humans. When the council cannot tell her how to tell the difference between "elemental" humans and real ones, she leaves the Assembly altogether.
The Kiint ambassador to the Confederation General Assembly. After the Tyrathca ambassador withdraws from the polity council's special session of the possession crisis, President Haaker expresses his willingness to assist the Kiint's on Avon to safely return to their homeworld. In response, Rouler declares: "Being alive is a substantial risk, Mr. President. All sentient races eventually discover the truth of death." The council is shocked to hear that the Kiint have already faced this problem in their own way in the past. "We cannot help you in this struggle which you are facing, but we do sympathise," he offers.
Rocio Condra -
Possesses first Peran, captain of the blackhawk Mindor, then the blackhawk itself by sliding up the affinity link into the space ship's neural strata. He struggles to control the blackhawk, a difficult task since the ship is vastly more complex than a human body. Rocio is initially disoriented and exchanges information with the other four possessed blackhawks as the group tries to learn to control their new bodies.
As a hellhawk, he is sent to the Koblat asteroid, a defenseless inhabited piece of rock in the Toowoomba stellar system, and datavises Kiera Salter’s tempting message to its population. It successfully seduces many of the younger citizens and helps to create a mass exodus throughout the Confederation to Valisk.
Since possessing the blackhawk Mindor, he discovers that life as a hellhawk is in many ways superior to human experience. The only thing he misses is sex, but in talking with other hellhawks, he realizes that, in theory, the ships could grow genitalia. Such thinking leads to all the hellhawks thinking more independently of Kiera Salter, who originally brought them out of the beyond with the promise of eventually obtaining human bodies as long as the hellhawks did her bidding.
Mindor rendezvous’ with the Leonora Cephei, picks up Gerald Skkibow and the Deadnights and makes for Valisk with another load to grow the habitat’s population of possessed. While on board, Gerald innocently tells Beth that Kiera is the possessor of her daughter, Marie. Rocio overhears this comment. He isn’t quite sure what to do with the information, but his newfound rebellious thinking immediately considers the possibilities.
When Mindor arrives at Valisk, the hellhawk discovers that Rubra and Dariat have destroyed the habitat. Rocio’s initial reaction is shock when he realizes that his body was in the habitat, but he knows this is a knee-jerk reaction. He really doesn’t care anymore now that he prefers being a hellhawk to being human. When seven voidhawks swallow in to inform him of what has happened and to ask him to join them, he refuses and Mindor heads for New California to discuss the situation with other hellhawks he knows accompanied Kiera Salter there.
William Elphinstone -
A somewhat overweight youth who has desires for Luoise Kavanagh, though Louise constantly resists his advances. He is possessed, but during the possession twice assists Louise Kavanagh in escaping the clutches of Quinn Dexter by directing powerful bolts of fire at her would be captures. The first time, as the Kavanagh sisters escape Cricklade Manor. The second time, at a hangar at Bennett Field when Quinn tries to steal Louise's transport contract with the Far Realm. Mysteriously, his possessor leaves him at Bennett Field where he is picked up by authorities who refuse to believe his talk about being "captured" by "devils."
Roberto Hewson -
Louise Kavanagh's cousin. Son of Celina and the Earl of Luffenham. He hides in Louise's room and, upon her return from securing a berth on the Far Realm, attempts to rape her. Ultimately, Louise is able to retrieve a shotgun that Carmitha gave her for protection, which is hidden under the bed. She bludgeons him with it enabling her to escape.
Crewmember of the Far Realm that negotiates a berth price for Fletcher Christian and the Kavanagh sisters. He is the only memeber his vessel that is not a Martian. He is used to pilot the ship's spaceplane down to planetary surfaces that would otherwise be harmful to the other crew members.
Nicolai Penovich -
Offers to take Capone to the asteroid Idria where the organization can get some antimatter. He has the special training necessary to handle the confinement systems and drives necessary to manage the stuff. Capone takes a liking to Nicolai's clever, straightforward thinking. He turns the man over to Emmet Mordden to further evaluate his claims and determine if the organization has an interest in antimatter.
Mickey Pilleggi -
In charge of the military aspects of Capone's organization. His first priority, taking over all the asteroids orbiting New California along with the SD platform and supporting starships, is a huge success. He eliminates any serious possibility of an immediate military threat to the organization.
Roche Skark -
ESA director. He assists Ralph Hiltch in efforts to contain possession on Ombey by responding rapidly to Hiltch's requests and completely backing his subordinate's decisions in the field.
Admiral Farquar -
Commander of the Royal Kulu Navy stationed at Ombey.
The Far Realm's systems specialist also doubling as a medical officer. He attends to Louise Kavanagh when she becomes sick during the free-fall of spaceflight. He is a Martian. Due to the substandard atmospheric conditions on Mars following its terraforming, the population had to undergo expanded lung capacity. Being the only true Communist society in the Confederation, all Martians received the necessary adaptations to thrive in the thinner atmosphere. As a result, all Martians have very broad shoulders and a greatly expanded rib cage to accommodate the various implants required by their breathing systems.
His parting words for Louise as the trio leave for Earth is that Fletcher will never make it through Earth’s complex immigration inspection. This warning haunts Louise throughout the 70 million km journey from Phobos to humanity’s home planet.
Jed Hinton –
A restless teenager on Koblat’s asteroid that accesses Kiera Salter’s datavised message. Like so many others, he is immediately taken in by the sensuous nature of the transmission and by the promise of obtaining “energistic powers” if only he can make it to Valisk. He manages to reach that habitat by persuading the crew of the Rameses X to take him there.
He meets Gerald Skibbow in his friend Beth’s apartment. As it happens, Jed knows where and when a ship will be arriving to take Deadnights to Valisk. But Jed and Beth can’t afford inter-orbit passage to the ship. Gerald, having a Jovian credit disk, merely has to secure an inter-orbiter berth for the three of them and Jed will lead them to the appropriate starship.
Silvano Richmann –
Capone’s financial deputy. He comes up with the outlandish idea that “money” in the organization’s economy will be in the form of credits of services performed tracked by a computer. Each credit can be “cashed-in” to a possessed person for “magic” to be performed. Naturally, the greater the request, the more credits required. The plan has the advantage of establishing cohesion within the organization’s authority and makes that authority inseparable from the organization itself.
A cosmonik who was a friend of Warlow. He volunteers to take his place in the Lady MacBeth for their next mission, regardless of what it might be. Joshua initially hesitates to accept the offer but ends up taking him aboard.
Possessed by Demaris Coligan, a Capone lieutenant who gathers and preps an enormous armada of Adamist starships for the organization. Pryor was (is?) a Lieutenant Commander in the Confederation Navy with an exceptional record of service in the technical services division. Capone realizes that to make the most of his powerful fleet he needs the services of Pryor directly. So, he sends Coligan back to the beyond. Pryor undergoes the usual period of recuperation for anyone being released from possession. He is cared for and pampered so that he will serve the organization well.
He later becomes a liaison officer for Capone’s organization. He is assigned to the Villenevue’s Revenge for the resupply mission to Arnstadt. He informs Andre Duchamp and the rest of the crew that a nuclear explosive has been secretly placed upon the ship to guarantee its fulfillment of the mission. Should the ship attempt escape they will only be destroying themselves. Because of his knowledge of the Capone organization and of their next strategic objective, Andre Duchamp spares his life after the discovery of the hidden explosive imbedded in a hull plate of the Villeneuve’s Revenge. Instead, Duchamp agrees with Erick Thakrar that the best use of him is to hand him over to the Confederation in hopes of redeeming themselves for temporarily signing on as Capone mercenaries.
He is briefly imprisoned on Ethenthia after the Villeneuve’s Revenge docks there. But, as possession takes over the asteroid, he is released by possessors from his cell, whom he calmly commands knowing that they will respect him as a liaison officer of the Capone organization. He immediately approaches Andre Duchamp, whom he orders to reboard the vessel and transport him off the asteroid on an (as yet) unspecified mission.
Stephanie Ash and Moyo –
Two possessors on Mortonridge. Neither of them have the stomach for Annette Ekelund’s barbarity so they remain behind in Exnall and ponder what to do with themselves now that they are back from the beyond. Stephanie was murdered in her previous life. Moyo was accidentally hit by a bus. They want to make the most of their newly given lives. For the first time, Hamilton complicates the picture even more by giving us possessing characters with which we can actually empathize. These are not demonic souls filled with treachery for the non-possessed. Stephanie fantasizes about dancing in beautiful ballrooms. Moyo dreams of mountain gliding. For the moment, however, they are disenchanted with their situation. Ekelund’s tactics frighten them and their “hosts” are raging within all the time. “Everyone is making demands on us,” Stephanie complains. The couple eat chocolate in a café and decide to go for a walk to see the city.
Moyo discovers that his “energistic powers” have certain limits. They are effective as illusions, but they cannot actually transform something. He can make a lump of wood look and taste like a salmon, but It’s still just wood in his stomach. The idea of a potential food shortage on Mortonridge causes Stephanie to suggest that they consider moving out to the farms later. Moyo has always lived in cities, however, and doesn’t think much of the idea.
They attempt to find as many children as possible and free them from Mortonridge. They enlist the help of Cochrane, a possessor who has manifested himself as a vintage 1960’s hippie complete with spray painted psychedelic school bus to transport the children out of the possessed region.
Their efforts to find non-possessed children and transport them off Mortonridge result in bringing in six other possessed adults who want to help. Eventually, they gather up four school bus loads of kids. Moyo comments about the state of things on Mortonridge. It seems the possessed are generally forming two groups. Those that stay put and those that roam around. He feels that that is pretty much what eternity is going to be like. It sounds rather boring to everyone and Moyo admits that the possessed will most likely “always be frustrated.”
They successfully deliver 70 children from the possessed regions of Mortonridge to marines stationed to quarantine the peninsula. Afterwards, Stephanie and Moyo kiss affectionately. The fellow members of their small band wonder what to do next now that their little adventure is at an end. Stephanie doesn’t know, but realizes they must go back deeper into Mortonridge. They are not safe near the border. A military operation against the possessed seems about to be staged.
Dr. Gilmore –
Director of CNIS research. Based upon a report by Darcy and Lori that the possessed are adversely affected when subjected to electricity, he orders that a continuous current run through Jacqueline Couteur. This forces her to use her entire energistic ability to ward off the current, thus enabling CNIS personnel to study her without interference. Even the research equipment has recovered 85% of its original operating efficiency. He recommends that Confederation forces be armed with guns that fire small electrical darts to fire at the possessed, thus incapacitating them.
During a Confederation security council meeting he expresses interest in Laton’s comments that not every soul remains imprisoned in the beyond. He suggests that the statement implies that the ultimate solution with the reality dysfunction might rest with the souls in the beyond, rather than with the living. “…if souls can progress from the beyond to some other state of existence, then clearly it is up to them to do so,” he tells the council. Later, while interrogating Jacqueline Couteur, he learns that time passes in the beyond. He deduces from this that the beyond might be subject to entropy. Thus the souls there could be subject to decay and, more importantly, be killed in some fashion.
Founder of the T’Opingtu company in the Dorados and leader of the partisan movement against Omuta. He is a surviving member of the Dr. Mzu’s doomed mission to deploy the Neutronium Alchemist against the Omutans. He has become a wealthy man, investing money originally made from the sell of an quantity of antimatter left aboard the two surviving ships from the mission and forming a company with seventeen foundry stations. The company is being threatened economically by the Confederation quarantine. He is shocked to see Dr. Mzu suddenly reappear after so many years. He is also completely intimidated by her as she chastises him for not being prepared for the continuation of their mission.
He orders a meeting of the original five instigators of the Garissan partisan movement on short notice. Ikela himself was the original leader, but had drifted through the years as his wealth increased to filling the role of an executive member rather than leader. The leader on Ayacucho is now Dan Malindi. Kaliua Lamu, the third instigator, is a financier who is becoming increasingly benevolent toward the cause. Feira Ile and Cabral round out the five. The former is a former admiral in the Garissan navy and now chief of Ayacucho’s SD platform. The later is the head of the largest media group in the Darados. The group is shocked and dismayed at Dr. Mzu’s arrival. Only Ikela has actually ever met her before. There is furious debate over what to do about the Alchemist and the original mission now that all of them have settled into comfortable, successful lives. Dr. Mzu leaves the room, giving them 30 minutes to make up their minds. While in debate, the room is hit by ESA agents. Feira Ile shoots Ikela before the agents take control of the situation. Since Ikela was the only one of the five who knew the location of Alchemist and since Dr. Mzu left the room before the ESA arrived, no one can tell the agents either of the two things they most want to know. First, where is Dr. Mzu? Second, where is the Alchemist?
The Capone’s organization’s search for knowledge of Dr. Mzu and the Alchemist amongst the souls in the beyond pays off when Ikela returns. He knows the location of the Alchemist and promises to take the organization there.
Ikela’s daughter. A tall, thin girl with a stern personality. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the partisan movement and highly critical of her father’s lack of spirit for the cause. She tells Dr. Mzu that she and her friends are a group she can rely upon for help. Dr. Mzu is initially unimpressed by the inexperienced youngster.
She finally makes a favorable impression on Dr. Mzu by discovering that ESA agents have released hundreds of affinity-bonded spiders on Ayacucho to seek out Dr. Mzu. The doctor doesn’t believe her at first, but Voi is quick to point out that all the spiders are male and of a variety that has never been introduced before into the asteroid’s biosphere. The doctor compares her enthusiasm for the Alchemist project with the lackluster dedication of the original founders of the Garissan partisan movement. She decides to take Voi up on her offer for assistance.
She built an uncompromised rebel network within the old Garissan radical structure by using the wealth accumulated by Ikela and the other leaders to buy and bribe her way into whatever her new network wanted or needed. With her influence and connections, she secures a Dorados governing council flight authorization that, in turn, allows her to negotiate a berth on the Tekas for Dr. Mzu, herself and two other Garissan radicals to escape the asteroid system.
Marcus Calvert –
Father of Joshua and Liol Calvert. An adventurous space trader who was forced to leave Ayacucho prematurely due to Liol’s illegitimate conception, thereby leaving a basic docking and repairs fee of 72,000 fuseodollars on the books for over 25 years. This is “inherited” by Joshua when he returns to the asteroid in search of Dr. Mzu.
Liol Calvert –
Bastard son of Marcus Calvert. Brother of Joshua Calvert. Resident of Ayacucho. He has darker skin than his brother to reflect the mix of his father and his Kenyan-ethnic mother. Jet black hair. He has all of Joshua’s sensuousness and charm. As a child, his mother constantly assured him that, one day, his father would return to take him away to an adventurous life in space, away from the tragic world of the Dorados. But, it never happened. Until, he discovers his older brother on the asteroid and is allowed to join the crew of the Lady MacBeth in their search for Dr. Mzu.
Liol used his annual Garissian dividend payments to secure loans and build his own company, Quantum Serendipity, a starship electronics service provider. His company prospered, growing to the point where he owned two electronics stations, seven docking bays, employed about 70 people, and secured a service contract for Ayacucho’s SD platform communications network.
He threatens Joshua with legal action over ownership of the Lady MacBeth. He has 800,000 fuseodollars on his Jovian Bank credit disk, showing Joshua this as an offer to buy his way into sharing ownership with spaceship. He dismisses his legal representatives when Joshua agrees to have a DNA profile run on Liol to see is he is, in fact, the son of Marcus Calvert. The tests return positive and Joshua begrudgingly allows Liol aboard. Liol, in turn, immediately makes a contribution in the search for Dr. Mzu when he knows that Nyvan is the destination of the Tekas. Coincidentally, he is friends with Prince Lambert and he assisted Lambert in calculating the complex maneuver required to fly from Ayacucho to Nyvan without any knowledge of what (or who) the Tekas would be carrying.
Sarha reluctantly gives him the access codes to fly Lady MacBeth when the organization’s starships appear above Nyvan and approach the docking station for assault. Sarha really has no choice in the matter. There are simply not enough crew members remaining on board to operate the ship’s systems, monitor the electronic warfare battle escalating all around them and keep an eye on the threat from the organization’s frigates as well. Liol proves himself a worthy pilot, flying exceptionally well through difficult circumstances. It is his dream come true, to pilot the Lady MacBeth, the ship of his father.
Lodi Shalasha –
A Garissian radical specializing in electronics. He assists Voi in cleaning a room of all possible surveillance devices so that it is safe to temporarily hide Dr. Mzu. It was Lodi that discovered the Edenists were placing affinity-bonded spider spying mechanisms throughout Ayacucho in an attempt to locate Mzu.
He meets his demise when a gigantic serpent (a possessor in illusionary form) attacks him in the hotel suit where Dr. Mzu, Voi and the others were hiding out until they could secure a combat capable ship to retrieve the Neutronium Alchemist. He is possessed by the Capone organization, thereby revealing to them the exact whereabouts of Dr. Mzu.
Pauline Webb –
CNIS officer assigned to tracking Dr. Mzu. She confronts Joshua and his crew at Ayacucho, ordering to abandon his search for Mzu and to leave the asteroid.
King Alastair II –
A Saldana descendent and ruler of the Kulu Kingdom. His Privy Council on the activities of the Capone organization is concerned about the trend of events. The fall of Arnstadt troubles them. The possibility of further outbreaks of possession on other planets despite the Confederation quarantine is also of concern. It is believed that the organization will continue to expand because that seems to be its only purpose. A bracelet has been developed by the Kulu Corporation that serves as a personal monitor against possession. The bracelet works over the regular communications net and will notify authorities immediately if someone has taken theirs off or if someone becomes possessed. The King, in order to encourage the full cooperation of the Kulu Empire’s subjects, agrees to be the first to wear one.
Fearsome gang lord of New Georgia on Nyvan. Agrees to deal with Quinn Dexter. He arranges to obtain docking bay permission for the Tantu on the Jesup asteroid. In a week’s time, he puts together a slick operation that lands the Tantu on Jesup. But, when he actually encounters Quinn he learns that he is no match for the devil worshipper. Though Twelve-T is defiant, Quinn tortures him, breaks his spirit, and takes to top of Twelve-T’s skull off exposing his naked brain beneath.
Luca Comar –
A possessor who returns from the beyond just as Norfolk reaches the “critical mass” necessary to be taken out of the universe. He combines his energistic abilities with the entire population to cause the planet to vanish without a trace.
Cherrie Barnes –
Cargo officer of the Udat. Killed when Dr. Mzu’s explosive device destroys the ship. She returns from the beyond to report to the Capone organization that Dr. Mzu went to Ayacucho thus beginning the great race between the organization, various Confederation agencies and Joshua Calvert to locate Mzu before she can retrieve the Alchemist. She accompanies the Capone organization’s small flotilla to Nyvan in an attempt to locate and capture Dr. Mzu.
She returns from the beyond to serve as a crewmember on the Capone organization ship, the Urschel. She manages to communicate to Sarha on the Lady MacBeth that the organization plans to kill Dr. Mzu now that their spaceplanes have been destroyed by the Edenists. The frigates are targeting the foundry due to this. She also informs Sarha that Joshua must exit the planet as quickly as possible because Oscar Kearn has sent an ironberg hurling toward the foundry itself. By the time Kearn discovers what has happened, much to his consternation, Cherrie has relinquished her body and returned to the beyond.
Captain of the voidhawk Tsuga. He was involved with intelligence gathering around the Arnstadt sector when it was overtaken by the Capone organization. He brings news to Admiral Aleksandrovich that Kursk has also fallen to the organization. He recommends (based on consultation with the Yosemite Consensus) that the Confederation begin some form of harassing operations against Capone’s ships and industry stations at Arnstadt as a countermeasure to make the takeover of the stellar system more difficult.
Lord Kelman Mountjoy –
The Kulu Kingdom’s ambassador to the Jovian system (and thus to Edenism). It is he who officially requests Edenist assistance in the retaking of Mortonridge.
A Kiint that permits an audience with Syrinx on the xenoc’s homeworld of Jobis regarding the nature of the reality dysfunction. “Every race resolves this moment in its history,” Malva tells Syrinx. “There are only differing degrees of resolution. We cannot advise you because the nature of the universe is different for each sentient race,” Malva concludes much to Syrinx’s puzzlement.
Prince Lambert –
Captain of the Tekas. Voi’s commanding insistence along with the fact that the Dorados is falling to the possessed convinces him to take herself, Dr. Mzu and two other Garissan radicals out of the asteroid system. He is chosen by her because she knows he can fly the ship alone. He takes Voi, Dr, Mzu and the others to Nyvan on the Tekas. He is destroyed by another timed detonation device hidden on board his ship during its third ZTT jump away from Nyvan.
Mrs. Nateghi –
Representative of the Tayari, Usoro and Wang legal firm. She informs Joshua that his ownership of the Lady MacBeth is being challenged by his half brother, Liol Calvert.
Adok Dala –
Voi’s former boyfriend. Captured by a group of Edenist agents led by Monica Foulkes. He informs the Edenists what little he knows about Voi. It is through him that they learn of Prince Lambert and the Tekas making a jump out of the Dorados system bound for Nyvan.
Prince Lambert’s girlfriend. Taken aboard the Lady MacBeth by Joshua in a last minute rush against the possession of Ayacucho. It is through her that Joshua learns that the Tekas left Ayacucho, probably with Dr. Mzu on board.
Monica Foulkes –
She heads up a group of Edenist agents searching for Dr. Mzu on Ayacucho. Her team manages to capture Adok Dala and learn that Prince Lambert’s ship, the Tekas, jumped out of the asteroid system bound for one of three stellar systems, possible Nyvan.
She and other ESA agents follow Dr. Mzu to the ironberg foundry in order to capture her before she can rendezvous with the Capone organization. The organization’s spaceplanes are spotted as they descend to the foundry and are all destroyed by Edenist flyers in a brief but deadly dogfight. Soon, however, she and all others aboard Hoya are targeted directly by two of the organization’s frigates. The organization decides to kill Dr. Mzu because, without the spaceplanes, they have no way to take her off the planet. Since the frigates cannot locate Dr. Mzu, they are targeting everything near the foundry. But the initial blasts hit Tonala’s police car escorts instead, vaporizing them. She ultimately makes it to the ironberg foundry just as Joshua is taking in Dr. Mzu. Monica and her accompanying ESA agents capture both of them and their respective groups.
She and the ESA go after Baranovich and the other organization members in the foundry. A gigantic pendulum inside one of the foundry’s Disassembly Sheds almost decapitates Dr. Mzu, but Monica manages to get her out of harm’s way, becoming injured herself when the pendulum grazes her left leg. Gelai uses her energistic power, however, to heal the wound, much to Monica’s shock. It is the first time she encounters an act of compassion on the part of a possessor.
With the organization’s frigates blasting everything from orbit, the Tonala Police shooting things up, and the possessed launching white fire at every opportunity, the Disassembly Shed where Monica, Joshua and the others find themselves begins to fall apart. When Joshua begins to exit everyone follows him. She and her fellow agents barely escape from Nyvan in a spectacular rescue by the Lady MacBeth’s spaceplane.
Lieutenant Commander of the CNIS’s head of station on the Ethenthia asteroid. He meets with Erick Thakrar after the latter obtains information about the Capone organization’s next invasion target from Kingsley Pryor and the location of an antimatter station from Andre Duchamp. Verona immediately send for voidhawks orbiting the nearby gas giant Golmo to transport this vital information to Trafalgar.
A Deadnight who is rescued by Gerald Skibbow from being abused because Gerald mistakes her for his daughter. She takes him to her apartment where Gerald meets Jed Hinton, Beth's friend.
Prince Noton –
170 year old former head of the Kulu Corporation. He requests DNA sequences from Ione on her serjeants in order to clone the numbers necessary for the Mortonridge operation. Ione complies.
Bonney Lewin –
A possessor on Valisk with a particularly uncanny ability to track down non-possessed in spite of Rubra’s attempts to block her efforts. As she is stalking Tolton, Rubra communicates to her that he will lead her to Dariat if she will abandon her current pursuit. Bonney hesitantly accepts but soon becomes enthralled with the prospect of killing Dariat, someone who has fallen out of the good graces of Kiera Salter.
Out of frustration at repeated failure to locate Dariat, in Kiera’s absence, she gathers some 3,000 of Valisk’s possessed population for a final push to hunt him down. She threatens to use the habitat’s nuclear capability to destroy it. At the conclusion of the extended chase which ensues, Rubra destroys Bonney when he blows up a light tube in Valisk’s endcap while Bonney is suspended in flight. Here body disintegrates in the force of the plasma released by the explosion.
One of the last 80 non-possessed remaining on Valisk. As with all of them, Rubra devotes a portion of his vast neural strata to assisting him in detecting the presence of the possessed and in finding appropriate escape routes to avoid them.
Titiana Rigel –
Anastasia Rigel’s younger sister. Rubra directs Dariat to her in order to avoid Bonney Lewin’s manhunt for him.
Possessor of Lucky Vin’s body. One of Quinn Dexter’s new converts on the asteroid of Jesup. He was originally born to Venetian aristocrats and died in World War One. He contorts the body into a ghoulish monstrosity. He is ultimately killed by Quinn when the later is experimenting with his capabilities within the “ghost realm.” He is hit by a bolt of white fire Quinn is able to produce while remaining invisible, destroying the body Bonham possessed while sending both its original inhabitant and himself back to the beyond.
Patricia Mangano –
The representative of the Capone organization that travels to Valisk to negotiate with Kiera Salter terms of an agreement between the organization and Valisk’s possessed ruler. Some of the organization’s antimatter to Valisk in return for a fleet of hellhawks to assist the organization in dealing with the Confederation’s harassment operations at Arnstadt. She is appalled when she arrives at Valisk at how ravaged the bitek habitat has become due to Rubra’s constant battling of the possessed. “You’re living in the iron age, here,” she tells Kiera.
Possessor on Mortonridge that takes the form of a 1960’s hippie. He drives a psychedelic bus he calls “The Karmic Crusader.” He teams up with Stephanie Ash and Moyo to find non-possessed children on Mortonridge and return them safely to the mainland. He refers to himself not as a “possessor” but as being “dimensionally disadvantaged.”
Sarha Mitcham –
Systems specialist on the Lady MacBeth. Joshua leaves her in charge of the ship as he goes down to the surface of Nyvan to search for Dr. Mzu. When Capone’s organization frigates arrive above the planet and threaten the Spirit of Freedom spaceport, she reluctantly give Liol Calvert the access codes to fly the ship away from danger while she and the rest of crew monitor the escalating inter-orbit battle going on between Nyvan’s SD networks and the assault of the frigates themselves.
She keeps the Lady MacBeth in a low and inconspicuous orbit when Nyvan’s SD networks start blasting each other in the inter-orbit war that begins shortly after Tonala launches warships in response to the appearance of the Capone organization’s frigates. The all-out war that ensues threatens the ship’s ability to retrieve Joshua and (hopefully) Dr. Mzu from Nyvan’s surface. She receives an unauthorized communication from Cherri Barnes aboard one of the organization’s frigates are trying to kill Dr. Mzu since their spaceplanes have been destroyed by the Edenist flyers and that an ironberg has been hurled at the foundry. If Joshua does not exit the area soon he will be killed.
Faced with the battle unfolding around her and with the urgency to get above the Nyvan’s horizon to communicate with Joshua, Sarha orders Liol to take the Lady Mac down as she and the other crewmembers address fire control.
A disciple Quinn Dexter picks up during his black ceremonies on Jesup. He is also a systems specialist and is used by Quinn to refit the Mount’s Delta to transport the worshipper of the Light Brother from Nyvan to Earth. The body he possesses is destroyed by Quinn’s white fire as soon as the Delta’s Mount docks at Earth. He is sent back to beyond with the promise from Quinn that he will be used to serve him again because he is weak.
A leader of the troops sent by the Capone organization’s frigates down to Nyvan to capture Dr. Mzu. He uses the possessed Lodi to locate the doctor. He explains to Mzu that she can no longer hope to use the Alchemist for revenge against Omuta. That point is rendered irrelevant by the fact of the reality dysfunction itself. Omuta will soon be possessed. He promises that she has a future with the organization and that they only she has off the planet is to work with the organization to find the Alchemist. Reluctantly, Mzu agrees to come with him. Baranovich informs her that the organization’s spaceplanes will pick her and her companions up at the ironberg foundry.
Gelai and Ngong –
Garissan genocide victims who return from the dead to assist Dr. Mzu in retrieving the Neutronium Alchemist. Gelai, a former student of Dr. Mzu’s, informs her teacher that Capone knows of the existence of the Alchemist and that his organization is actively seeking assistance in the beyond from anyone who can help them find it.
Richard Keaton –
A physically strong and trim employee of Kilmartin and Elgant who agrees to assist Joshua Calvert in locating Dr. Mzu on Nyvan for a fee of a flight off the planet to anywhere.
Oscar Kearn –
Commander of the Capone organization ships sent to Nyvan to locate Dr. Mzu. He calls back into the beyond to get assistance from the tormented souls there as to Mzu’s whereabouts. As the flotilla reaches 500 klm orbit above the planet each releases a spaceplane filled with troops sent to Tonala to search for Dr. Mzu.
He plans the rendezvous of Baranovich and Dr. Mzu at the ironberg foundry precisely. To guarantee that if anything goes wrong Dr. Mzu will die (and thus be sent into the beyond where she can be used by the organization anyway), Kearn sends an ironberg slowly tumbling out of space on a trajectory to hit the ironberg within minutes of Dr. Mzu’s arrival. She will have time to exit the planet on an organization spaceplane, but should that fail, the ironberg will destroy the foundry completely before she can escape.
Admiral Motela Kolhammer –
Commander of the Confederation’s First Fleet. He is given the task by Admiral Aleksandrovich to amass an armada to intercept the Capone organization’s attack on Toi-Hoi. The Capone fleet strength is estimated at about 700 vessels, of which at least 320 are front-line warships armed with antimatter combat wasps. Against this, Kolhammer will have his own squadron of 200 ships augmented with 230 additional warships stationed at Avon, including some 80 voidhawks. The hope is that the Edenists will supply another 350 voidhawks to the task force. Since Capone’s ship crews are not highly motivated and many of his ships cannot function at maximum capacity it is hoped that this slightly better than 1 to 1 attack ratio will be sufficient to deal with the anticipated assault on Toi-Hoi.
Hugh Rosler –
One of the most enigmatic figures in Hamilton’s story. He is encountered by Moyo on Mortonridge and states that he used to live in Exnall. He is uniquely immune to the effects of the white fire. He tells Moyo that he is on “duty” to observe the Mortonridge crisis, that he is “ninety-nine per cent human,” and that he has been around for “eighteen centuries.” Further, he states, “I want to see what the outcome is for your entire race now that the beyond is revealed to you.” Rosler’s “designated goal” for all these centuries has been to observe how humanity handles this, apparently, inevitable encounter with the reality dysfunction. He is “excited by the prospect” of witnessing how the crisis will be managed. Later, Moyo refers to him as “Methuselah’s younger brother.”
Udo DiMarco –
The lawyer appointed to represent Jacqueline Couteur. He reluctantly accepts the unusual assignment of representing a possessor to the Magistrature Council.
Judge Roxanne Taynor –
The member of the Magistrature Council assigned to rule on the case of Jacqueline Couteur and three other possessors.
Murphy Hewlett –
A Confederation Marine Lieutenant that battles the possessed inside the Magistrature Council courtroom during the Jacqueline Couteur “civil rights” trial. In a vicious skirmish, Hewlett manages to blow apart one of the possessed bodies. He barely escapes the shootout with the possessed. He orders all doors to the courtroom sealed so the possessed cannot escape. Unfortunately, several non-possessed humans are trapped inside.
Pieri Bushay –
Pilot of the Jamrana. He is twenty years old and finds Louise Kavanagh rather attractive as he transports the sisters and Fletcher Christian to Earth. He is well versed with the hundreds of asteroids in the O’Neill Halo that surround Earth.
Meredith Saldana –
As his task force is still in the process of assembling at Tranquillity it comes under surprise attack by 180 starships from the Capone organization. Each organization ship fires over two dozen antimatter combat wasps at Meredith’s unprepared fleet and at Tranquillity itself.
Lieutenant Anver –
The marine officer who accepts the 70 non-possessed children picked up by Stephanie Ash, Moyo, Cochran and the other possessors who perform this mission of mercy on Mortonridge. Though somewhat confused by their compassion, he sincerely thanks them for their jester and warns them to stay away from the area as it is unsafe for the possessed no matter how good their intentions.
Kyle Prager –
Captain of the Beezling. When Joshua arrives with Dr. Mzu to secure the Alchemist, Prager initially refuses to allow them to dock with his ship. He doesn’t want to allow the Alchemist to be used by anyone except for its original purpose – the destruction of Omuta’s star. But, Joshua loses patience with him and threatens to blast the ship to pieces unless he cooperates. Prager reluctantly agrees to allow the Lady MacBeth to rendezvous with the understanding that the Beezling and the Alchemist will be scuttled after the crew are taken off.
Peter Adul –
Dr. Mzu’s lover and co-inventor of the Neutronium Alchemist. He is rescued from the Beezling after thirty years in a rendezvous with the Lady MacBeth. This also reunites him with Dr. Mzu.