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Introduced in Little Brother
Marcus Yallow/w1n5t0n/m1k3yThe star of the story, which is told from his perspective. He is a teenager attending Cesar Chavez High School, in San Francisco, California. In his spare time, he enjoys creating gadgets and hacking computers. However, after a terrorist attack destroys the Bay Bridge, he and his friends are caught by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for suspicious behaviour. Refusing to give up his rights, Marcus is subjected to mild torture before being released back into society, which now regards stopping terrorism to be more important than one's well-being. Angered by their blatant disregard for civil liberties, Marcus establishes a vendetta against the DHS. Taking on the alias of M1k3y, he uses his knowledge to reveal and abuse all of the loopholes that show the flaws of the system.
- The Hero: The protagonist of both books.
- L33t L1ng0: Marcus's nicknames (w1n5t0n and m1k3y).
- Precision F-Strike: In Homeland, after deciding to let Darryl choose what to do, and letting him decide on releasing all of the Darknet docs to the public.Marcus: Yeah... Yeah, that sounds about right. Let's fucking do it.
- Revenge: His main motive for taking down the DHS in Little Brother is getting revenge for Darryl's disappearance, probable torture and possible death.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Basically the entirety of Little Brother.
Darryl GloverMarcus' best friend. Is harbouring a long-term crush on Vanessa. During the frenzy following a terrorist attack, he is stabbed in the chest. Marcus and his other comrades try to get help, but are mistaken for terrorists and captured by the DHS. For almost the entirety of Little Brother, it is unknown not only where Darryl is, but if he's even still alive. He is, and Marcus and Barbara find and rescue him near the end of Little Brother. He returns in Homeland, developing his relationship with Van, and convinces Marcus to release the Darknet Docs.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After he is tortured by the DHS in Little Brother.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Homeland reveals that he really wants to be actively involved in Marcus's efforts to fight the DHS, and he wants to be the protagonist for once.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Van at the end of Little Brother.
- Madness Mantra: "I'm Sorry."
- Plot Triggering Disappearance: His disappearance spurs most of the events of Little Brother.
- Walking Spoiler: His appearance in Homeland spoils the majority of Little Brother, just knowing that he is actually alive is a huge twist for the first book.
Jose Luis Torrez, AKA JoluOne of Marcus' original three friends. Although he never took a major role in the group before the terrorism attack, his programming skills and access to the technology at a company called Pigspleen are vital when Marcus is first establishing his plans. He eventually leaves Marcus's efforts to ensure his safety. He and Marcus remain good friends, and he reappears in Homeland, where he helps Marcus with the Darknet Docs and gives him advice at the end of the story. He is pursuing a relationship with Kylie.
Vanessa "Van" PakOne of Marcus' friends before the bombing of the Bay Bridge, who gets caught and imprisoned alongside Marcus, Darryl and Jolu. Her parents are Korean immigrants. She decides not to follow Marcus' anti-DHS movement, for fear that it'll only make things worse in the long run. The end of Little Brother reveals that she has had a crush on Marcus all along. However, she suppresses these feelings and ends up in a relationship with Darryl.
- Forceful Kiss: To Marcus in Little Brother.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Darryl at the end of Little Brother.
Angela "Ange" CarvelliAn attractive, blonde-haired friend of Jolu's that attends the same school as Van. Marcus meets her during his campaign to show that the DHS has taken security measures too far. She is supportive of Marcus' actions against the DHS, and the two begin dating soon after they meet.
Frederick BensonOne of the three vice-principals of Cesar Chavez High School. Dislikes Marcus due to his history of finding ways to get around the school rules, and supports the security measures the DHS enforce after the terrorist attack. He returns briefly in Homeland, when the Darknet Docs reveal that he was spying on his students.
- Dirty Old Man: See The Peeping Tom.
- Hopeless with Tech: Seems to be this. Marcus wonders whether or not he has even worked out that the numbers in his nickname "w1n5t0n" represent letters or not. He seems to understand enough to be able to use LaptopLock, though.
- The Peeping Tom: Spies on his students through abusing a program called LaptopLock, which allows him to, among other things, access the students' webcams.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate is never revealed, although presumably it wasn't pretty, considering the docs relating to his usage of LaptopLock were leaked onto Reddit.
Ms. GalvezMarcus's Social Studies teacher. Marcus likes her because she allows her students to have discussions about current events in her class. She eventually gets fired after a discussion involving the DHS gets out-of-hand.
- Politically Motivated Teacher
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unknown what happened to her after she was fired and replaced by Mrs. Andersen.
Mrs. AndersenMarcus's second Social Studies teacher. She appears after a heated in-class discussion about the DHS leads to Ms. Galvez's early dismissal. She supports the belief that one's happiness and freedoms should be supressed if it means liberty can be enforced.
Charles WalkerA student in Marcus' Social Studies class that supports the rules that the DHS are enforcing. He is a football player, a bully, and a snitch.
Lillian YallowMarcus' mother. She views the DHS's methods of terrorist locating and preventing to be extreme and against the rights of civillans, but does not go as far as Marcus does to protest against their actions.
Mr. YallowMarcus' father. Although he supported free rights, Marcus' sudden disappearance led to him thinking the worst, and he began blindly supporting the DHS. He eventually comes round to Marcus' side after he explains to him what really happened on the day of the terrorist attack. He kicks off the rest of the book by sending Marcus to Barbara Stratford.
- Blind Obedience: To the DHS throughout Little Brother. Subverted after his Heel–Face Turn.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Gets several, one after another following his Heel–Face Turn.
- Heel–Face Turn: When he learns that the DHS aren't the good guys, and the Xnetters aren't the bad guys.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He is shocked to learn that the DHS are every bit as evil as the Xnetters have said they are, and that he has been backing them instead of his own son this whole time.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Marcus explains what the DHS did to them to him.
Major General Graeme SutherlandThe commanding officer for Northern California DHS operations. After Marcus' first attempts to sabotage the DHS, he announces that they will increase its staffing and analyst levels. When he later calls Trudy Doo's illegal concert to a show of support for terrorism, it is revealed that he had a hand in capturing and imprisoning Marcus' friends after the terrorist attack.
Trudy DooThe singer/front-woman of the anarcho-feminist band 'Speedwhores'. She is also the founder of Pigspleen, a company that creates programs for use on the internet. She employs Jolu and Marcus while they are establishing the Xnet, which is a government-interference-free method of online communication accessed through Microsoft Xboxes. Later on, her band holds an illegal concert that supports M1k3y's beliefs. She re-appears in Homeland, attending a protest alongside Marcus and Liam, and pushes Marcus into his People's Mic speech relating to the Darknet Docs.
Barbara StratfordAn investigative reporter working for the "Bay Guardian" newsletter. She is also a friend of Marcus' mother, who decides to report his story once he reveals how he was detained by the DHS. She is a crucial part of the climax of the story, when she leads a team of police into the prison on Treasure Island and begins to arrest the members of the DHS.
- Adults Are Useless: Completely subverted; her actions are basically what end up saving Marcus in the final chapters of Little Brother.
- Deus ex Machina: Shows up to save Marcus and arrest the staff of Gitmo-By-The-Bay prison at the very last minute in Little Brother.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She is only mentioned a couple of times in Homeland.
Ron GloverDarryl's father. A retired Navy radio operator, he enters a period of despair after Darryl fails to return home.
NOTE: All spoilers for Little Brother will remain unmarked in this section. All spoilers for Homeland, however, will be marked.
ZebA homeless man Marcus runs into on the streets, Zeb shared a cell with Darryl after the DHS took them both away under false pretences. He slips Marcus a note that lets him know what happened to his best friend and it is later used to back up Barabra Stratford's story. Marcus ends up living with him (during which time he finds out that Zeb is a freegan – he only eats food that has been thrown away by somebody else) until he is kidnapped again by the DHS. He returns in Homeland as Masha's love interest, although they are revealed to be having relationship issues in the book's final chapter. He is thought to have been kidnapped (by Zyz) throughout the book.
- Accidental Hero: He never actually intended for his note to be released to the public, but he wasn't upset with Marcus for doing it.
- Distressed Dude: In Homeland.
- Homeless Hero: He puts a lot on the line to help Marcus's cause.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Masha at the end of Little Brother.
- Walking Spoiler: Anything about him spoils his appearance late into Little Brother.
MashaA girl who, while working for the DHS, IMs Marcus with the offer of protection from the DHS. She meets up with him at the VampMob, and is revealed to be the pink-haired girl who photographed Marcus and his friends during the game of Harajuku Fun Madness at the beginning of the story. She eventually kidnaps him when he tries to resist. He escapes from her, with her phone, and on it the picture that proves Darryl's existence and disappearance at the hands of the DHS. She returns in Homeland, at Burning Man, and gives Marcus a USB containing the torrent for the Darknet Docs. She is kidnapped along with Zeb by Carrie Johnstone shortly after.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She's actually the pink-haired Harajuku Fun Madness player from Chapter 2.
- Damsel in Distress: In Homeland.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Can never seem to make up whether she's on the side of Marcus and the other Xnetters, or the DHS. She's a protagonist in Homeland.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Zeb at the end of Little Brother.
- The Mole: For the DHS in the Xnetters' Web of Trust, and for Marcus in the DHS.
- Walking Spoiler: She only shows up late into Little Brother, and almost anything about her – including her true identity – is a spoiler.
Liam and NateLiam and Nate are two amateur jammers that show up at the end of Little Brother to help Marcus, who they recognize as m1k3y, and give him temporary shelter from the DHS. They idolize m1k3y and look up to him in every way. They appear again in Homeland, where Liam is now working for Joseph Noss's campaign alongside Marcus, and Nate shows up for a brief scene. Liam still idolizes m1k3y, and when Marcus is fired/forced to quit at the end of the book, Liam says that he is going to quit afterwards.
- Ascended Extra: Liam gets a much larger role in Homeland.
- Blind Obedience: Both of them towards Marcus/m1k3y.
- Walking Spoiler: They only show up at the end of Little Brother.
Severe Haircut Woman/Carrie JohnstoneThe true Big Bad of the story, Carrie Johnstone (known for most of Little Brother as "Severe Haircut Woman") is a war criminal working for the DHS. She is present at both of Marcus's kidnappings, and constantly interrogates and tortures him, going as far as waterboarding him in the climax of Little Brother. She is trialled for her crimes after being caught by Barbara Stratford, but gets off free. She returns in Homeland, where she kidnaps Masha and Zeb at Burning Man, and is now working as the head of security for Zyz. Marcus eventually releases the d0x on her prepared for him by members of Anonymous, which is implied to be the start of her downfall. Her fate is unconfirmed though.
- Big Bad: She is the most specific antagonist Little Brother has, with the entirety of the DHS also counting. She is also this in Homeland, alongside Zyz this time.
- Karma Houdini: At the end of Little Brother, despite her story being revealed to the public, she gets off scott-free. She may or may not have gotten this treatment in Homeland too, depending on whether or not Joe's lawyer released the d0x or not.
- No Name Given: Subverted, her name is revealed in Little Brother's Epilogue.
- Walking Spoiler: Her name, her status as the Big Bad of both stories and her reappearance at the end of Little Brother are all major spoilers.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't actually know exactly what happened to her after the events of Homeland, just that Marcus and his friends never heard from her again, meaning that the d0x probably hit her hard.
- Would Hurt a Child: Is perfectly fine waterboarding Marcus in the climax of Little Brother.