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Captain of the Lady MacBeth, an Adamist Starship. He becomes entangled in the emregence of the reality dysfunction during an attempt to obtain a load of mayope to trade for Norfolk Tears. He is the lover of many women including Ione Saldana, Kelly Tirrel, and Louise Kavanaugh. Joshua is a superb astrogator and is believed to possess certain psychic abilities. For this he is chosen to track down Dr. Mzu and the Neutronium Alchemist. He enters into a deadly race to locate them before the possessed can find them.
Yep, that's right. THE Al Capone. He returns from "the beyond" and this time he's got more than running Chicago on his mind. He quickly puts together an cloely-knit organization that includes both possessed and non-possessed people. He realizes that he need the non-possessed to keep all essential electronic facilities running smoothly, something impossible for those with the energistic power that comes with possession. Soon, thatnks to the rapid spread of possession, he conrols his first planet. Now, he looks outward to further his empire ambitions.
The infamous mutineer returns from the dead, but he is a possessor of a different nature. One who actually helps the living as best he can. He assists Louise Kavanagh and her sister through a series of challenges to rescue them from the possession of the planet Norfolk. He encounters Dexter Quinn along the way and discovers that he can’t escape the feeling that Quinn is somehow his “nemesis” with whom he must eventually confront and do battle.
An eighth generation descendent of Rubra who dispises his ancestor. When Valisk is possessed he kills himself in order to come back with all the energistic powers of a possessor. His ultimate hopes are to use the possessed to take revenge upon Rubra, but that plan quickly backfires when he discovers the poessessed have other matters they want him to focus upon. As he becomes increasingly disenfranchised with the possessed, Rubra begins to make overtures toward him to unite with him against the invaders. Dariat considers the possibilities of aligning with his greatest enemy to work against the onslaught of possession.
A Satanic worshipper who is sent as an Ivet to Lalonde for criminal activity on Earth. He organizes his fellow Ivets into a Cult, performing santanic and sexual rituals while systematically murdering (sacrificing) settlers in and around Aberdale in order to steal their Jovian Credits. He uses special nanonic implants to steal the credits in hopes of escaping and buying his way off Lalonde. Before this happens, however, the reality dysfunction emerges quite by accident during a human sacrifice. He is one of the first humans to become possessed, but, unlike others he manages to use his amazing psychic strength and powers to fight off his possessor after a long struggle. Quinn takes control of his body again on the planet Norfolk. From there he leads others who are possessed in a rebellion and takes over the planet. But, taking over a backwards planet like Norfolk is not what he has in mind. He seeks to return to Earth and "bring down the Night of the Light Brother."
A robust French-ethnic ship captain with a flare for doing just about anything for a fuseodollar. Renown for his forcefulness and illusion of integrity. From pirating to mercenary work, when not in the middle of danger he manages to stay one step ahead of it. He survives the Battle for Lalonde only to end up through a strange set of circumstances in signing on with Al Capone’s organization as one of many ships Capone commandeers as a deterrent against attack upon New California, the organization’s home planet. But, things become complicated when he decides the organization is not to his liking.
Father Horst Elwes:
A priest of the Unified Christian Church with a drinking problem. Initially a weak character, caving in to the Satanism of the Ivets, his faith is renewed, his character strengthened by the emergence of the reality dysfunction. He escapes the possession of Aberdale with most of the community's children. With Jay Hilton, the oldest child, assisting him, Horst forms a community of his own in the savanna region outside Abderdale. He cares for the children until one day, while on routine foraging, he happens upon Reza Malin's mercenary team. Shortly afterward Jay, the children and himself are transported off Lalonde to the Lady MacBeth.
The ESA head of station on the planet Lalonde. He fights the outbreak of the reality dysfunction from the beginning. After losing Lalonde, he journeys to the planet Ombey, where he assists authorities with his knowledge of possession in battling the outbreak there. He is a grimly determined, logical individual who discovers the effects of zero-tau on the possessed and vows to stop this gastly galactic disaster without giving much thought to the magnitude of it or the odds against him.
A blossoming beauty of 16. Louise is the daughter of Grant Kavanagh, the head of the Cricklade Estate on Norfolk. Her family is a direct descendent of the British Windsor royal family. The Kavanagh's, like all the family estates on Norfolk, specialize in the production of Norfolk Tears, an infamous liqueur renowed throughout the Confederation. She is part of an world of aristocratic power and splendor, a world that is torn apart by two events. The first is her brief love affair with Joshua Calvert, by which she become pregnant. The second is the coming of the reality dysfunction to Norfolk. Along with her sister, Genevieve, she escapes from her home planet in search of Joshua.
A "Serpent" - an evil Edenist. About 1% of Edenists are serpents, but Laton surpasses them all in terms of fear generated within the Confederation. He caused the greatest single catastrophy in the history of Edenism when his experiments resulted in a rupture of the habitat Jantrit. From there he escaped to the then uninhabitated planet of Lalonde where his experiments on human immortality continued in secret until his discovery by Quinn Dexter. Fearing the devil worshippers will attract too much attention to the region, Laton cleverly arranges for the people of Abderdale to turn on the Ivets by mutilating a small boy and making it appear as if the Ivets were responsible. The plan succeeds to the extent that the locals all turn on the Ivets and begin killing them. It ultimately fails, however, when Laton falls into possession as a result of the reality dysfunction. His possessor travels to Pernik on the planet Atlantis. There Laton agains displays great cleverness in possessing his possessor and actually takes over the Pernik Habitat Personality. This places him in the position to save Syrinx from torture by the possessed and, in a final act of surprising heroism, destroys the Pernik personality (and himself) in order to allow Syrinx and the crew of Oneone to escape.
Dr. Alkad Mzu:
Creator of the dreaded Neutronium Alchemist, a weapon of unmatched destructive potential. The Alchemist is hidden in a location known only to her. She is a Garissian whose planet was destroyed in a war with neighboring Omuta. She has been banished to Tranquillity for "observation" by numerous security agencies to make sure she doesn't make good on a promise to retrieve the Alchemist and take revenge upon Omuta. She escapes thanks to a brilliant and daring flying maneuver by Captian Meyer of the Udat. Now her only thought is to recover the hidden Alchemist and take revenge on her lost planet’s enemy.
An Edenist who germinated the habitat Valisk. Through a “triumph of genetic retro-engineering” he copied voidhawk bitek sequencing to invent blackhawks, a specialized fleet of living spacecraft that make him unchallenged in the galactic transportation business. At his death, Rubra transferred his personality pattern into Valisk’s neural strata. He ends up in a fight for the survival of his personality, however, when the possessed take over Valisk and begin to invade the neural strata as well.
The third "Lord of Ruin" and the first to be female. She commands the Edenist Habitat of Tranquillity, the largest center of free trade and commerce in the Confederation and also home of the research effort on the infamous "Ruin Ring." She has a love affair with Joshua Calvert and concieves two children by him, one exowomb. As a Saldana, she is "geneered" to have superior intelligence and talents and an extended life expectancy beyond the human norm. Under her leadership the secrets of the "Ruin Ring" are revealed. Surprisingly, they might hold the key to the future of humankind.
A colonist seeking to forge a new life for his family on a frontier world only to have his daughter abandon him and his wife brutally murdered. Not a character of strength to begin with, Gerald is left traumatized by effects of the reality dysfunction. He gradually recovers thanks to psychotic treatment only to discover that he must become the unlikeliest of heroes. Somehow summon enough strength and courage to save his daughter from the clutches of possession on a distant habitat.
Marie Skibbow (Kiera Salter):
A gorgeous and sexually kinky girl who hates being brought to Lalonde by her parents. Upon turing 18, she secretly leaves Aberdale and makes her way back to Durringham. She finds employment in the city's Commercial Office. Her experience there enables her to negotiate a good mayope price for Joshua Calvert, cutting herself a percentage of the deal in the process. She accidentally happens upon Quinn Dexter in a Durringham bar and is possesssed by Kiera Salter. She secures Quinn a berth on the Lady MacBeth and leaves Lalonde herself on the Yaku, ultimately traveling to the Edenist Habitat of Valsik. There she vecomes the leader of the possessed in the effort to take over the habitat.
Captain of the voidhawk Oenone. After a stint in the Confederation Navy guarding against piracy, she becomes a trader. She makes a great deal of money delivering a load of Norfolk Tears across the galaxy. She then visits the planet Atlantis as it is, unbeknownst to her, being possessed as the reality dysfunction spreads. She is captured, tortured and would have died but for the timely intervention of Laton is taking over the Pernik Personality Habitat and assisting her escape back to Oenone. After a particularly difficult recovery, she is sent to uncover what secrets to battling possession might lie in an alien race.
A loyal secret agent for the Confederation who becomes literally entangled with the mission from hell. Unable to control the constantly shifting turn of events, he is caught up in an assignment which forces him to commit acts of debauchery against his will, almost leading to his own death twice. Yet, he preservers, discovering far more than was intended in his original orders and leading him into direct confrontation with forces that defy human comprehension.