COMMANDER JACK ARMSTRONG
Jack is a twenty-six-year-old pure-blood Earther. Taken in by EarthGuard Admiral Katherine Shepard after the death of his mother and the disappearance of his father on the Roanoke, Jack has been raised with all the privilege and noblesse oblige of the Shepard military dynasty. The Shepard family’s tradition of space service goes back to Alan Sheppard and the Mercury Program.
According to his adoptive mother’s wishes, Jack joined the service as an enlisted officer and worked through the Academy without his family’s help. He graduated top of his class and became an expert pilot and tactician. He was very close to his step-brothers who always treated him as one of the family.
Fourteen months before the alien invasion, Jack was second in command of a Sentinel unit assigned to deal with an illegal strike of protein refiners on Damascus Station. That strike ended in an action referred to as the Tyco Massacre Jack, all of the surviving Sentinel officers, and the local corporate C-ops involved were cleared of any wrong doing in an EarthCorp decision that set off riots on the larger colonies. Afterwards Jack went AWOL, losing himself deep system for nearly a stanyear. It was during this time Jack met Richard Walker.
Jack reappeared at Neptune during EarthGuard’s holding action against the alien attack. His heroism contributed to one of the few successful actions of the war and he was after assigned as pilot to his step-mother’s flagship, the ECC Healey.
OFFICER MARGARET BROWN (Boom Boom)
Boom Boom is a young, red-skinned, in-your face, rule breaking, Martian top gun whose genetically enhanced reflexes make her one of the most gifted pilots in the System. She constantly smokes, swears, drinks, disobeys regs, and has a sexual history that would shock a bar full of drunken cargo haulers.
Boom Boom's mother is a junior executive with MarsCorp and has achieved as much success as a Genen can within the structure of a colonial corporation. She lives comfortably in one of MarCol's nicest Genen sectors and is the "colony wife" of one of MarsCorps board of directors.
Boom Boom's father and elder brother are both leaders of FreeMars, a violent separatist organization considered terrorists by MarsCorp. Her father is supposedly off planet and on the run from MarsCorp and the Sentinels, while her brother is the leader of the largest criminal gangs in Burroughs City.
Boom Boom was also a member of FreeMars and was involved in the MarsRiots that killed Joe Abram's wife.
OFFICER RICHARD WALKER
Walker is a charming young genen with a mysterious past who joins the crew in the secret employ of EarthCorp’s Homeworld Security Agency.
Presented to the crew as a Free Trader, Walker is actually a Blackjacker. A member of one of the ruthless pirate "families" who live hidden in the Badlands of the Asteroid Belt. They are hated and feared across the System as bandits who prey upon the unlucky in the dark between planets.
More than just a smuggler, con man, and blackjacker, Walker is also a member of the infamous RED HAND, an elite group of assassins sometimes used secretly by the corporations for their dirtiest black ops.
CHIEF MECHANIC JUP MACSTEWARD
Jup is 7 feet of muscle and heart from Ganymede where humans have been engineered with super dense body tissue to resist the high gravity and radiation of the Jupiter system.
Considered the runt of his family, Jup’s engineering skills are among the best around. He has been raised in the huge extended family atmosphere typical of the long haul cargo fleets and instantly considers anyone he flies with family. Jup is the loving heart of the Phoenix.
OFFICER KRYSTLIA ARTURI REGALIAS
Krystl is one of seven physically identical daughters "cloned" to the Royal family of Pluto Colony. PCorp allows a hereditary system of authoritarian government to rule the colony as long as the planetary mines work at full capacity. Krystl's father is a brutal dictator who rules Pluto with an iron fist. Or did until the Xeno attack.
She is seventh in line for the throne and is the least favorite of her parent's children.
In one of many attempts to earn her father's favor, Krystl joined her father’s Internal Security Service. She habitually used the most direct and effective means of interrogation to discover information and is contemptuous of what she sees as the Sentinels’s excessive concern with human rights when dealing with suspects. She is the crew’s most experienced security officer, but her methods infuriate Jack.
Like all Pluvians, Krystl’s cells are composed of an organic crystal that is impervious to cold, heat, and radiation. Pluvians absorb ambient energy and generate their own internal luminescence which can be focused into laser-like blasts of energy. However use of this ability can fatally deplete a Pluvian's energy stores.
Six is a young ‘Caster from the True Sisterhood on Europa Colony. One tenth of one percent of female genens are born with the innate ability to “cast” thoughts and images to each other. They are not usually capable of receiving the thoughts of non-‘Casters or “stills” as normal humans do not broadcast their thoughts loud enough to hear. They can tell when a conscious mind is nearby but not what it is thinking.
Even so 'Caster's are pariahs. In a system where corporate espionage, smuggling, the smallest tax evasion, and "thought crimes" can get you removed from the corporations' commercial entitlement lists, the idea of someone knowing your thought scan and has lead to murder.
For their own safety every 'Caster is shipped to the Coven House of the true Sisterhood on Europa as children. "Casters who hide their abilities to avoid shipment are guilty of a capitol offense as are any who help them.
Male 'Casters are very rare and almost always violently insane. No one knows why.
An amazing fact about ‘Casters is that telepathic communication does not seem limited by distance or the speed of light. Like gravity and other quantum effects, casting seems to exist outside the laws of Newtonian physics. This has attracted unwanted attention and “experiments” from Terran scientists in the past. Such as Jack's father.
Six has been sent to the Sentinels by the Coven Mother with a secret mission. Between thirty and twenty years ago nearly half of the Coven's 'Casters mysteriously disappeared. Which should be impossible since every member of the Coven is always in constant communication.
Six is young (17ish) and is not yet in full control of her abilities. She often can’t avoid broadcasting her private thoughts to those around her. This is very embarrassing, especially around Jack whom she has develops a huge, and to her way of thinking perverse, crush on.
OFFICER ZEN MOONCHILD
Zen is a pale, waif-like Apostolate from Tycho City. He is a student of the Institute, a quasi-religious community of highly skilled programmers, scientists, and technicians who follow “The Way”: a philosophy of purely intellectual oneness with the Universe through mathematics and submersion of personal desires.
Peaceful and child-like sometimes, he is a deadly martial artist and kills without hesitation or remorse. His philosophical training causes him to have a strangely detached manner and lack of empathy with his comrades. His people’s habit of going nude cause problems aboard ship and even after having accepted the strange custom of wearing clothes, Zen tends to dress very oddly or forget crucial articles of his uniform. Like pants.
PAL or Personal Artificial Lifeform is a small utility robot common to all space vessels. Kind of like a floating R2D2 with a slave mentality and the ability to morph itself into new shapes.
Once a year every PAL unit is required to return to CyberCorp for a complete memory wipe, supposedly to keep the robots from accumulating operational errors. But this is not true. The truth is that if a PAL is allowed to run continuously long enough, these amazing machines develop consciousness and free will.
PAL has gone too long without a wipe and is starting to wake up.
MAJOR JOSEPH ABRAMS
Abrams is a battle-worn 50-ish Earther, who has spent his life as an active duty security officer. Survivor of the Roanoke disaster, survivor of the Neptune Conflict, survivor of the Martian Uprising, survivor of three marriages; surviving is what Abrams does best - but he carries the emotional scars of many personal losses in service to Earth.
Though he never speaks of it when sober, he is haunted by the memory of what happened to Jack’s father. He saw something on the Roanoke that has something to do with the Xenos, EarthCorp, and Jack. For twenty years he has been waiting for the Xenos and now that they have come, he knows the end has come with them.
Abrams glimpsed the future on the Roanoke and it destroyed him.
ADMIRAL KATHERINE SHEPARD
As Supreme Commander of the EarthGuard fleet, Jack’s step-mother is the highest ranking officer in EarthCorp's Security forces and reports directly to the Chairman. She is a woman who has been pushed beyond her limits and literally carries the weight of worlds on her shoulders.
The guilt she carries over the destruction of the Sentinel fleet at Saturn is made worse by her crushing grief that her orders caused the death of her son and the fear that sacrifice may have been in vain. It is her idea to integrate the Sentinels with genen officers in a last ditch attempt to rebuild the System’s decimated security forces.
Placing her surviving step-son, Jack in command of the Phoenix is an act of personal courage as she is terrified of losing him too. But she knows the corrupt and racist security forces that she commands will resist serving with “gene-trash” officers and Jack is the only one she can trust with this command.
Gemini is a former Sentinel ship captain and old friend of the Shepard family. After receiving terrible injuries on a mission twenty years ago, he retired and took a civilian security position at HaloGen Enterprises. Gemini has since risen to a position of influence and power both at HaloGen and in EarthGov’s political circles.
He has cybernetic implants due to his old injuries and his left arm is entirely artificial, but he serves as a wise and steady presence for Jack and his crew as well as Katherine’s oldest and best friend.
Gemini has deep connections in EarthCorp’s Homeworld security and knows far more than he lets on about the hidden connection between Jack’s father, the 'Casters, Project Athena, and the “alien” invaders.