Ava Nagoya is an orphan. An officer in the Guard, an archeologist and a workaholic, she is highly altruistic and will help everyone but herself. Her unbalanced life style catches up with her as an experience on an alien planet lands her PTSD. Add to that losing a beloved family member, Ava doesn’t fully recover and becomes addicted to a phenomenal futuristic (totally sci-fi!) equivalent to drugs. When reading ‘In Defiance,’ you’ll learn that Ava is more than just a pretty face.
Ian Vanderbilt is an Aspie, highly intelligent, socially challenged, individualistic, fanatically devoted to his intellectual pursuits, often at the expense of his friends. He has his own vision of how things should be done. A downside of his demanding nature is his inability to keep friendships, yet, he manages to have a buddy who accepts him for who he is. Ian has a difficult relationship with his father. Aaron Vanderbilt might have autistic traits and a mild non-confronting character, which Ian gladly uses to his advantage. Unresolved family issues haunt Ian in his adult life. He subconsciously projects his brotherly feelings onto Ava. After a few stirs during his service in the Guard, Ian rebels against a commonly accepted authority and breaks away from their military grip, subsequently turning into a bounty hunter. This is where his real path begins. He becomes aware of his higher purpose as he is led on a journey of self-discovery that he needs to complete if he is ever to defeat the ultimate enemy. In the end, all Ian wants is to do the right thing.
Mbwana Luo Akamba is Ian’s best friend and pilot extraordinaire. Highly charismatic, independent and self-absorbed, he is a techie, a genius. He often compromises his own conscience, has generally flexible values and is nomadic. Sometimes he surprises people who know him with unexpectedly humane gestures, although he never truly cared about anyone but himself. This, however, changes when he meets Ava. Mbwana has a hobby that the rest of the trio finds reckless and irresponsible – he regularly goes on Moon jumping trips. Moon jumpers get thrown into space just off the Moon’s surface, by ways of an anti-gravity catapult. Risks include concussion and vacuum exposure, should anything go wrong during the jump and damage the spacesuit. Mbwana likes action. He’s straight forward, but knows when to bite his tongue. He’s smooth as silk, until he tries to communicate with Ava on a personal level. In ‘Hour One’ look for an act of bravery that sets in motion a chain of events that just may result in saving the world.
Dr. Anton Teig has a complicated personality. He first appears in the story as an MD, but it becomes clear as the plot progresses that he has much more in store. He is ambitious and nothing can hold him back from advancing his career as the Guard’s chief medical expert in clinical psychiatry. We never really learn what exactly he is testing in his private lab, behind those closed doors. What we do know is that he spent a long time a long way from home – on Andromeda – working on another of his inventions. There, he married a local alien female, and the result of their union is his daughter, an exotic, striking young woman. The doctor seems to have a good relationship with his offspring. Anton Teig is helpful – to a degree – compassionate, shows a genuine dedication to his profession, but remains somewhat mysterious. What are his true motives? Who is he deep inside? Perhaps, this is something to look for in a future tale…
The Overseer is an alien monk. A very quiet, little old man. It is speculated that he has lived a long and fruitful life—so long that nobody knows his exact age. The Overseer has his own logic for explanations of events and people’s behavior. He has a firm belief in the values of his order. They call themselves Free Walkers. They are quiet rivals to the Guard’s dominion in space; they are non-violent and condone only self-defense, at which they are quite adept. Over millennia, the Free Walker creed somewhat changed, which is why they’d taken a bystander position in the affairs of the Galaxy. Once the Overseer recognizes Ian’s potential, he commits himself to teaching him the path – which mainly consists of a nearly mute guidance and endless sessions in the convent’s library. Ian bonds with the Overseer as this relationship defines Ian’s destiny.
Aaron Vanderbilt, Ian’s father
Mia Vanderbilt, Ian’s sister
Jade, Patrol Officer 1
Li Chen, Patrol Officer 2
Karo Teig, medical examiner
Shakespeare, the robot
Camilla Stein ©2011. All rights reserved. Images courtesy Stock.XCHNG