Al Capone

The infamous gangster returns from the beyond to possess the beaten and bleeding body of Brad Lovegrove. Initially, Capone's mental insanity emerges into the body along with his soul. For two days, he floundered about in an uncontrollable madness. Gradually, however, Lovegrove's healthy neural housing and lack of alcoholic toxicology settled Capone into a coherent rational person. By this time, he was left behind as useless by the growing number of possessors.

Capone is first discovered by a realtor agent inside the shop where Lovegrove's body was abandoned. Old instincts kicked in. He materializes a Thompson submachine gun out of nowhere and blows the hapless realtor away.

Clad in a period double-breasted suit and patent leather shoes, he goes for a walk through San Angeles. He inquires as to how to call a cab from a young couple he happens upon. His abrasive manner, however, results in a fistfight that consists of one missed swing by the other man and one solid punch by Capone that tosses the man's body 15 feet in the air and kills him. The police and assault mechanoids are summoned, which Al narrowly manages to evade as they go haywire within range of his possessed energistic power. He is picked up in a car by Bernhard Allsop, another possessed person, who takes Al to a group of the possessed which Capone begins to organize.

Capone quickly realizes that, because possession is so much in conflict with the electronic infrastructure of human society, he will need non-possessed members of his "organization" to maintain basic functionality like utilities. Otherwise, the planet he his trying to rule will become a chaotic, unworkable mess. He starts by offering the Mayor of San Angeles (whom he calls "Avvy") a prominent position in the Organization without possessing him. The mayor refuses and subsequently undergoes a violently slow mental torture until he breaks down. This sets an example for others.

He plans to take out New California's Strategic Defense Network by use of synchronized flights to the asteroids orbiting the planet. This is accomplished under his leadership. He puts together a pyramid structured organization with all power naturally coming from the top (him). Capone turns the vast destructive power of the defense network upon the governmental buildings all the way down to individual town halls, as well as on military bases and police facilities on the planet. Effectively neutralizes all possible opposition to his organization. He then turns the possessed loose upon the population. Only 16 million essential personnel were protected from possession so they could operate the planet's electronics-based systems. In addition, each possessing soul was queried by the organization as to what he or she had been in their previous life to gauge their potential usefulness to the organization.

He enjoys Jezzibella so much that he prevents her possession. He finds her pushy and he likes it (in addition to her physical beauty). Capone is a sort of wildman when making love. He is constantly in control, handles Jezzibella roughly, and climaxes only when HE is ready, without regard for her. Otherwise, he treats her with respect.

As New California falls completely under his control, he learns about antimatter and the possibilities it holds for the future expansion of the organization. He is given a choice by his key advisors. Since the planet's quantity of He(3) will not last forever, he must either attack the Edenists at Yosemite and take over their helium mines or go for antimatter as a source of power. Either way, he will require the cooperation of many non-possessed to pull off the strategy. Capone decides to go the antimatter as an "insurance policy" against Confederation attack. Then, he will gather his armada of starships and attempt to capture the helium mines at Yosemite.

His forces are marshaled into three attack squadrons. The first two jump to Yosemite and are destroyed by thousands of deployed Edenists combat wasps and submunitions. But the third squadron puzzles the Yosemite Edenists for it jumps out of alignment with any known inhabited world.

Though he previously commented that “the beyond” wasn’t really all that bad, he later admits to reporters that “it’s worse than any fucking nightmare you can imagine; it shouldn’t happen to anyone.” He goes on to comment that he didn’t see any angels or demons in the beyond and that he has no idea why or how he came back. He makes it clear to reporters on New California that he intends to build an organization where possessed and non-possessed can live together.

Capone finds out through his lieutenants that a man named Ambar came back from the beyond who only died 30 years previously. Ambar knows about the Alchemist and about Dr. Mzu. Capone immediately orders the organization to search for Dr. Mzu.

Capone is given a blackhawk as a surprise by Jezzibella, Emmet Mordden, and Mickey Pileggi. Cameron Leung is the possessing soul. Jezzibella promised Leung a good body “when the universe calms down a little.” It is meant to be the flagship of the organization’s star fleet. It is described by Hamilton as “a beautiful scarlet torpedo with yellow fins sprouting from the side, and a cluster of copper rocket engine tubes at the rear.” The ship’s interior is completely 1930’s décor and styling. Capone feels more at home here than at anytime since he returned from the beyond. He is very pleased with the way the ship maneuvers. Its counter-acceleration technology allows passengers to travel without the experience of free-fall, something Capone always detested up to this point.

From the vantage point of the blackhawk, Capone watches as the first of his more than 700 assembled space vessels makes a ZTT jump for Arnstadt. The Edenist voidhawk, hovering above New California’s North Pole alerts the Yosemite Consensus to the jump coordinate alignment. The Consensus, in turn, alerts the Arnstadt government, for whatever good that does.

Troubles begin to mount up within Capone’s organization even as Arnstadt and Kursk fall to his makeshift space navy. Representatives of a group of the possessed on Toma ask that the organization supply vessels to move the population to the much larger planet of Kolomna, which has yet to fall to possession. The possessed on Toma, while in sufficient numbers to take the small planet out of the universe, don’t want to spend eternity with a small population of which one-third are from pre-industrial times. In exchange, Toma’s possessed promise to offer every assistance toward Kolomna’s possession, to turn every industrial station and every starship in the system over to the organization. Unfortunately, Kolomna is Confederation First Admiral Aleksandrovich’s homeworld, which makes the matter a bit more complicated.

What’s more, the Confederation’s use of stealth bombs dropped from voidhawks at Arnstadt is taking a tremendous toll on that planet’s SD platform system. The system is vital not only to the planet’s defense, but, more importantly, to the perceived authority of the Capone lieutenants on Arnstadt. The result is that the population on Arnstadt is becoming harder to control. These guerilla tactics are highly effective and Capone’s principal lieutenants predict that the Confederation will soon use the same tactics to harass New California.

On top of all this, the possessed asteroid population above New California are starting to use inter-orbit spacecraft to land on the planet out of fear of being left behind when the planet is taken out of the universe. Asteroids have the same problem as the Toma population, too small to sustain civilization for eternity. Capone realizes he needs the factories on the asteroids to maintain the economic infrastructure of New California. He orders any possessed attempting to land on the planet from the asteroids be sent back. He also decides to abandon Kursk in order to shore up the defenses of New California, Arnstadt and free up enough starships for the invasion of Toi-Hoi.

Later, Jezzibella tries to sooth her lover’s troubled mind. She tells him that Kiera Salter has taken over Valisk’s blackhawks and turned them via possession into hellhawks. She says the hellhawks are the secret to stopping the Confederation’s stealth attacks on Arnstadt’s SD system. A deal could be worked out, she suggests. The organization could provide Kiera with rapid transport of sufficient Deadnights to Valisk in exchange for some of her hellhawks. Capone cheers up, thinking his lover’s idea is brilliant.

He is very impressed with the capabilities of Kiera Salter’s hellhawks. Capone asks for two squadrons. Kiera agrees but at a hard bargain. It will cost Capone antimatter combat wasps in return. Those are in short supply for the planned Toi-Hoi operation. But, as soon as Kiera leaves, Capone is presented with Perez, the possessor of Maynard Khanna. Perez (as Khanna) was executed by Jacqueline Couteur in the courtroom massacre on Trafalgar. But he returned in another body and got to Capone with the information that the Confederation is planning to ambush Capone’s forces at Toi-Hoi. This changes everything.

Learning of the Confederation’s planned ambush of his forces at Toi-Hoi, he orders a preemptive attack on Meredith Saldana’s assembling and unprepared task force at Tranquillity. The attack is lead by Capone lieutenant Luigi Balsmao and achieves total surprise with 180 organization ships firing 25 antimatter combat wasps apiece at Meredith’s fleet and at Tranquillity itself.