- Anyone Can Die: They are fighting a multifront war on a Death World. It's gonna happen.
- Schizo Tech: Two WWI-era Wickes-class destroyers, a WWI-era S-class submarine, an old tramp freighter converted into a warship, and WWII-vintage airplanes, plus a fleet of wooden sailing ships armed with muzzle-loading cannons, with multiple all-wood aircraft carriers. All of those wooden sailing ships have radios, active sonar, and depth charges. Most of them also have oil-fired engines. Many carry a spotter plane. They've recently added some PT boats. Later on, they start churning out more Wickes-class destroyers and even produce a light cruiser (basically, a scaled-up version of the Walker).
- Vehicular Turnabout:
- The Alliance makes extensive use of captured Grik ships, converting their Indiamen into "razeed" destroyer escorts or auxiliaries. Later on, they even capture several Grik/Kurokawa ironclad dreadnoughts and cruisers.
- In "Devil's Due", the Alliance captures the League battleship Savoie more-or-less intact, and fully intends to make use of her against her former masters.
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy USNR
Captain of USS Walker (DD-163). Reddy was born and raised in Texas and graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Although he wanted to make the Navy his career, he was squeezed out in the mid-1930s as part of a peacetime Reduction In Force due to budget cuts forced by the Great Depression. With war looming in 1939, he was recalled to the Active Reserve, and within two years had been sent to to the Asiatic Fleet to command one of their old destroyers. Though initially disappointed, he soon grew to love his ship and crew, and the feeling is mutual.
- Action Survivor: Matt sometimes wades into hand-to-hand combat in boarding actions and on land with an M1911 .45 and his ceremonial Naval Academy sword on his belt. It's regularly mentioned that he never thought he'd actually have to fight with his sword when he bought it, and has no idea how to use it other than, "stab the other guy with the pointy end." He knows exactly what he's doing in ship-to-ship actions, though.
- His swordsmanship gets a little better after Jenks starts giving him lessons on Respite Island. This later comes in handy against Reed's assassin.
- A Father to His Men: Matt's crew will follow him to Hell and back, because they know he will deprive himself to take care of them.
- Berserk Button: Suggest that his Lemurian crew members are in any way inferior to humans, and if you're lucky you'll get away with most of your teeth. Do something to really piss him off, like kill one of his men and try to sink his ship in a sneak attack, like Rasik did, and he will hunt you to the ends of the Earth.
- Blood Brothers: With Keje.
- The Captain: At the beginning, his rank is Lieutenant Commander (O-4), which is normal for a destroyer skipper not Captain (O-6), but as commanding officer of a ship in the United States Navy, he holds the official title of "Captain," regardless of his actual rank.
- He finally agrees to take the rank of Captain (O-6) after Keje, Adar, and his own officers won't leave him alone about it. Still refuses to take Flag rank (that would be "admiral" to landlubbers). In any case, he's now Supreme Commander of All Allied Forces by acclamation.
- The Hero: One of many.
- Military Brat: It is revealed at his wedding to Sandra Tucker that Matt's father was a Chief Quartermaster's Mate who earned the Medal of Honor, and this status allowed Matt to enter the Naval Academy via Presidential Appointment. Truth in Television, as Presidential Appointment to Annapolis or West Point is reserved solely for the sons of Medal of Honor recipients.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Reassigned to Antarctica: How he initially felt about being given command of a Wickes-class destroyer in the Asiatic Fleet before the war started. He changed his mind pretty quick, though.
- Try To Fit THAT On A Business Card: Captain Matthew Patrick Reddy, United States Navy (Reserve), High Chief of the Amer-i-caan Clan, Commander-in-Chief (By Acclamation) of All Allied Forces United Beneath (or Beside) the Banner of the Trees, and Commanding Officer of USS Walker DD-163.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives out quite a lot of these, to other Alliance leaders more often than not.
Lieutenant Sandra Tucker USNNC
- Happily Married: She and Matt get married in Iron Gray Sea.
- Hospital Hottie: She's easy on the eyes, but not to a ridiculous extent. She's not even the prettiest of the nurses.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: She chooses to go aboard Walker to care for the wounded while the destroyer is aground and about to be boarded by a hoard of Grik, just a few days after telling Matt that she's pregnant. He's not happy about this.
- Southern Belle: Of the "Bonne Belle" variety. Sandra is an attractive woman from rural Virginia with an accent to match, but she's also tough, dedicated, competent, and generally a nice girl.
- You Are in Command Now: After escaping from Ajax, she takes command of the small party of American and Imperial survivors, with Silva as her ramrod. At one point, she threatens to shoot Captain Rajendra for insubordination. Nobody doubts that she would do it if he pushed her.
Lieutenant Brad "Spanky" Mc Farlane USN
- All Love Is Unrequited: He spurns Tabby's advances, partly because she's a 'Cat, but also because he sees her as more of a surrogate daughter than a romatic or sexual partner.
- Guns Akimbo: When Billingsly abducts Princess Rebecca, Spanky responds to the alarm clad only in his underwear and officer's hat with a 1911 in each hand. He doesn't actually do any shooting, though he does give the order to fire to two men with rifles. He was almost certainly hungover at the time.
- The Engineer: Spanky is the Chief Engineering Officer of USS Walker. He commands the "snipes" of the Engineering Division and oversees the maintenance and operation of her engines and boilers. He's also the go-to guy when damage needs to be repaired below the waterline.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Even though he's not attracted to 'Cats, he's thrown completely off his footing whenever Tabby works topless in the engineering spaces.
- You Are in Command Now: When the Battle Off Scapa Flow begins, Reddy is ashore and Walker has to sortie without him. The XO, Lieutenant Commander Frankie Steele, is mortally wounded when Walker takes a full broadside at close range from a Dominion ship of the line. Out of necessity, Spanky has to leave Tabby in charge of the entire Engineering Division while he goes to the bridge and takes command for the remainder of the engagement. Everybody agrees that he did a great job and kicked Dom ass.
Chief Bosun's Mate Fitzhugh Gray USN
- All Love Is Unrequited: He has feelings for Diania, and she feels the same for him, but he refuses to do anything about it because she's so much younger than him.
- Da Chief: Sort of. He yells a lot, and he is a Chief. As the senior enlisted man aboard, he holds the official title of "Bosun," and he's also in charge of the "deck apes" of the ship's Deck Division. It's occasionally mentioned that while Walker has several CPO's, he's the only one known universally as "The Chief."
- Father Neptune: Minus the beard.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Walker runs aground in Grik City's harbor and gets boarded, he saves Matt Reddy's life at the cost of his own.
- If Jesus, Then Aliens: After hearing Bradford's Multiverse theory, Gray wonders (only half-joking) if that means there's a universe where the Earth has been conquered by Martians.
- Sergeant Rock: He's the ship's senior enlisted man and often acts as Captain Reddy's right hand in some matters. He also handles smaller problems so the Captain won't have to.
- You Killed My Father: Chief Gray's son was a Machinist's Mate on the battleship USS Oklahoma. Before passing through the Squall, Gray had been notified that his son was one of the men trapped in Oklahoma's engineering spaces when she capsized after being hit by Japanese torpedoes at Pearl Harbor. Understandably, he hates the Japanese, even Shinya.
Gunner's Mate Dennis Silva USN
- Boisterous Bruiser: Silva likes to fight and enjoys the hell out of combat. He doesn't like it when his own people (human or 'cat) get hurt, though.
- Buffy Speak: Does this a lot.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: After Gravois hands Sandra, Adar, and a bunch of hostages over to Kurokawa, Silva vows that if any of them are harmed, he'll rip the Frenchman's spine out through his asshole and beat him to death with it. Bradford breaks the ensuing Stunned Silence by informing Gravois that, Artistic License Biology or not, Silva will keep his word.
- Disney Death: While assaulting the Celestial Palace, Silva is badly wounded and collapses alongside Horn and a Cat Marine known as "Not-Dewey," leaving Lawrence, Isak, and Laumer to press on by themselves. We later find out that Not-Dewey regained consciousness and saved them both.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Silva is pretty much the Patron Saint of this trope. Prank him into chewing "tobacco" that's actually a powerful laxative? He will scandalize your sister (with her willing assistance). Break his favorite gun? He will beat you to death with it. Kidnap Princess Rebecca? You and everyone you know are going to die.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": Freaks out when Shinya tries to make him an officer, to the point of being openly, ridiculously, and self-consciously insubordinate. Basically, he tries to piss off Shinya enough to make him withdraw the promotion. It doesn't entirely work, as Shinya is at least as stubborn as Silva could ever be, but Lieutenant Tucker is able to mediate a solution.
- Strangely enough, Silva's reaction to Shinya's attempt to promote him indicates that Silva fully accepts the Japanese officer as his superior in the Allied chain of command and respects his authority.
- Silva is aware of his own ruthlessly-pragmatic Sociopathic Hero nature and believes its better for everyone if he carries no more authority and responsibility than a Petty Officer. His greatest value is as an instrument at the direction of officers he respects.
- Eyepatch of Power: Gets one after losing his left eye to a piece of shrapnel. It doesn't slow him down too much, as he's right-handed, right-eye-dominant, and aims with his right eye anyway. He openly acknowledges that he doesn't see as well with a single eye and his depth perception is gone. While they are marooned on Yap Island, he relies on Lawrence to scout for predators, especially the color-changing shiksaks.
- Freudian Excuse: Silva was raised by his uncle, a violent, abusive drunk, until he was 12. As a grown man, he has no qualms about killing anyone he feels has it coming, and if he thinks someone "needs to be taught a lesson," he'll deal with that, too. At the same time, if someone actually earns his loyalty, he will move heaven and earth for them. To Silva, Chief Gray and Captain Reddy (especially the Captain) are the surrogate parental figures he never had, and he will gladly dive face-first into Hell itself for them. He also has a soft spot for kids, and, having grown up without anyone looking out for him, is fiercely protective of children.
- Gun Nut: Before lying about his age to enlist in the Navy, Silva spent some of his early teenage years apprenticed to a gunsmith. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms, how to use them, how to fix them, and (most importantly) how to make them. He can MacGyver his "superlizard gun" out of a wrecked Japanese antiaircraft mount or hand-machine a Civil War-vintage Allin Breechloading Conversion for a musket (essentially making it a reproduction "Trapdoor" Springfield) from memory. And did we mention that he's an artist with a BAR?
- Hidden Depths: Silva is a lot smarter than he lets on.
- Implacable Man: Silva won't move mountains...because it's usually easier to just blow them the hell up.
- Insane Troll Logic: Whenever Silva comes up with a batshit-crazy solution to the problem at hand, he will offer up a comically ridiculous justification for it.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Silva adores Princess Rebecca as his adopted little sister. Threatening her is a very bad idea.
- Mission from God: According to Sister Audrey, it's as good an explanation as any for Silva's combination of near-indestructibility, strong sense of duty, penchant for turning up where he's needed most, and uncanny ability to kill just about anything that walks the Earth.
- Non Sequitur, *Thud*: He gets one while working underwater in a diving suit, with nobody to hear it. A sail has been rigged to protect him from the voracious "flashies" while mounting a replacement propeller on Walker, but the predatory fish keep hitting him through the canvas. Just as he finishes, a flashy gets inside and rams him like a sledgehammer. Luckily, Silva recovers first, grabs the fish, and pulls it up on deck with him, where he beats it to death against the three-inch gun. His initial reaction to the impact: "Shit! I think it was a Buick, Officer!"
- He then tosses it to Laney, who was beaten nearly to death by the flashies before Silva relieved him, saying, "Here, Laney! I brung ya a present!"
- Odd Friendship: With Lawrence, as described below. Also with Sister Audrey, after he kept her and number of other castaways alive on a Death Island for several weeks.
- Self-Made Orphan: Zigzagged. Silva's parents died in the Spanish Flu pandemic when he was an infant, leaving him in the care of his abusive alcoholic uncle. His uncle was the first man Dennis Silva ever killed—at the age of eleven, no less—though it was self-defense. Afterwards, young Silva wandered the South, apprenticing to a gunsmith for a while before lying about his age to enlist in the Navy.
- Serious Business: Silva's One True Love is undoubtedly his homemade "Doom Whomper" rifle, to the point that he sheds tears whenever it gets so much as scratched. After the Doom Whomper is ruined, his most emotional moment is when Sandison gifts him a new breech-loading replacement, which Silva promptly christens the "Doom Stomper."
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Captain Rajendra tries to chew him out for blowing up his ship, HIMS Ajax, in order to get Princess Rebecca to safety, Silva snaps that he's one to talk after he let Billingsly intimidate him into destroying two helpless Alliance ships.Silva: "It wadn't your ship no more, genius! You were in the same fix we were. Don't you dare stand there an' act all sancti-fidious at me when you wouldn't even rear up on your hind legs an' try to take your ship back! When you blew Cap'n Lelaa's ship outa the water with all her people on it! You coulda saved your ship then, if you'd pulled your pistol an' shot Billingsly square betwixt his eyes! That prob'ly woulda been the end of it right there, because whatever else you are, or your crew was, you were the goddamn captain! Instead, you said, 'Yes, sir! You're the boss!' an' killed two hundred of our folks! Then you slunk around whinin' how it wadn't your fault!"
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Laney, though it becomes less of a thing when they get assigned to different ships.
- Southern-Fried Private: He's from Alabama, and his Rebel accent practically drips from his dialogue. He's also a Petty Officer (exact rank varies, he gets promoted, then busted, then promoted again frequently) with the rating of Gunner's Mate, and is initially a Gun Captain. He eventually gets promoted to Chief Gunner's Mate (E-7).
- The Big Guy: Man-Mountain.
- Those Two Guys: With both Lawrence and Gunny Horn
- Vitriolic Best Buds: with Lawrence. Silva actually shot him the first time they met. In fairness, he thought Lawrence was a Grik, and Lawrence lived. They've been pretty tight ever since.
- At the end of Iron Gray Sea, we find out that he has a similar friendship with Gunnery Sergeant Horn that goes back to some legendary event in pre-war China in which the big Marine NCO allegedly saved Silva's life by knocking one of his teeth out.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Gives one in Storm Surge.Silva: "This war, what I do - in spite of how I do it - is the best thing I ever did. I expect to burn in hell for how, but good folks, folks like you, will maybe have a chance. To make sure o' that, an' to make sure all the folks I care about have the same chance, I'm in this war to the bitter end, an' I don't see that comin' anytime soon."
Machinist's Mate Dean Laney USN
- Everyone Has Standards: Laney is uncharacteristically subdued when Chief Gray and Chief Donaghey hold an informal trial for the scumbag who raped Blas-Ma-Ar. He recognizes the necessity of what's going on, and agrees that the bastard deserves it, but doesn't relish the thought of doing it himself. He points out that he will do it if necessary, but won't like it. He quietly admits to Silva that, "I'm just not the killer you are, Dennis." Silva's reply is, "Yeah, well, few men are."
- Jerkass: Laney is promoted to Chief Machinist's Mate after the death of Chief Donaghey. He (usually) means well, but his leadership skills are nonexistent, so he mostly acts like an asshole. Lemurian Sailors consider it a punishment to be assigned to Laney's division. He gets better in River of Bones, after realizing that his "baby" Santa Catalina is likely never coming back from the raid on the Zambezi. Not only does he start treating people better, but he nearly dies staying behind, keeping the boilers running, as the ship is filling with water. He survives, and Russ asks him to join him on the Savoie to run the battleship's engines.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Everybody thinks Laney is a prick. He does absolutely nothing to prove them wrong.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Chief Donaghey was able to focus Laney's Jerkass behavior to make him the snipes' answer to Dennis Silva in terms of pranks and fistfights. Their rivalry continues, but since their new assignments tend to keep them separated by several thousand miles, it's no longer at the forefront.
The MiceFiremen Isak Rueben and Gilbert Yeager are a pair of young, uneducated former roughnecks from Oklahoma who tend Walker's boilers. They are later joined by "Tabby" Tab-At.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Everyone finds them weird and Spanky considers them a pain in the ass, but they're very good at their job. Their experience as roughnecks proves invaluable when they design a primitive drill rig and jury-rigged refinery to pump oil and make fuel.
- The Gadfly: A Running Gag in the first few books is that Tabby refuses to wear a shirt while working around the boilers, ostensibly because it's too hot but really because she gets a kick out of Spanky's reaction to seeing her topless. She stops doing it when she realizes she actually has feelings for him.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gilbert and Isak are practically inseparable. Nobody knows the real reason why: they had the same mother.
- Punctuated Pounding: Isak shouting, "Why don't people understand that SOMETIMES! YOU JUST! GOTTA! KILL! SHIT! while bayoneting the Celestial Mother.
- Secret Siblings: Other destroyermen frequently note that the Mice look and act like they could be brothers. That's because, unbeknownst to anybody else, they are half-brothers born to the same mother.
- Those Two Guys: Gilbert and Isak.
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Even after accepting that Spanky doesn't have the same feelings her her that she does for him, she never really moves on. Probably because they've been serving on the same ship all this time.
- Wrench Wench: Tabby works the boilers and is a ('cat) girl. She's also cute by 'cat standards.
Cook 1st Class Earl Lanier USN
- Agony of the Feet: During the Battle of Guadalupe Island, Dominion "dragons" attack Walker. Some of them drop cannonballs, one of which crushes two of his toes. Afterwards, Lanier hobbles around on a single crutch yelling at the "deck apes" to clear the carcasses away from the galley if they ever want to eat again.
- Annoying Arrows: He freaks out after taking one to the gut in "Crusade", to which Chief Donaghey snarks that he's fat enough the arrow couldn't have done that much damage.
- Badass Normal: It's often joked that his normal "battle station" is the ship's head. That doesn't stop him from hosing down a Grikbird with a Thompson submachine gun when a bunch of them swarm the ship in Firestorm. He takes up arms a lot more often afterwards, surprising everyone with his effectiveness in combat. He fights like a maniac to keep the Grik away from the Coke machine when Walker runs aground and gets boarded at Grik City, and later volunteers as a machine gunner at the Wall of Trees.
- Camp Cook: Ship's Cook, actually. He's actually dedicated to his job, but damned if he'll admit it.
- Fat Bastard: Very obese, and a Jerkass by anyone's definition.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lanier is acerbic, grouchy, and abrasive to everybody, but it's all an act. He believes that as long as the crew is bitching about what an asshole the ship's cook is, they won't spend so much time worrying about the very real danger they face and will be able to focus on their jobs more easily. He makes the crew hate him to keep them all alive.
- Reliably Unreliable Guns: Has this problem with a .30-cal machine gun on the Wall of Trees at the Second Battle of Grik City. His reaction brings some badly-needed comic relief to a dire situation.
- Serious Business: The ship's Coke machine. Never mind that Walker ran out of Cokes long ago, he will keep that thing running as long as he draws breath.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Juan Marcos, to the point where he supplies Lanier's cooks with laxatives to get back at him for being such a Jerkass.
- Stout Strength: Few expect Lanier to be as strong or as quick as he is. Silva observes that as heavy as he is, Lanier would have to be strong to get around at all.
Bosun's Mate 2nd Class Chack-Sab-At USN/Colonel Chack-Sab-At USMC
- Berserk Button: Chack dearly loves his sister, Risa-Sab-At. He first discovered that he was a badass when Risa was wounded in the Grik attack on Salissa. Chack, who had never been much of a fighter, started mowing down Grik with a battleaxe to rescue her, and doing it so well and so violently some of the other Lemurians found it scary. And then there was the whole thing with Risa and Silva...
- Colonel Badass: As the war progresses, Chack spends more and more time in his Marine officer billet, and he's damn good at it, too.
- Hopeless Suitor: He was originally this to Keje's daughter Selass-Fris-Ar. She cruelly strung him along to get the guy she thought she really wanted, Saak-Fas. Saak-Fas was captured by the Grik, Selass realized she loved Chack and repented for her cruel treatment of him, Saak-Fas turned up alive, Saak-Fas said his "mission" was the only thing that mattered anymore, Chack met Queen Saafir Maraan...it's complicated. Now the tables are turned; Chack is happily betrothed to and madly in love with Saafir Maraan, while the now-widowed Selass pines for him in shame.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Chack decides to prank Silva in the first book. Silva gets back at him by declaring himself "mated" to Chack's sister Risa (who happily runs with it). Cue Chack's comically futile attempt to beat Silva to death in front of everybody, with Silva effortlessly holding him off and laughing his ass off, while Risa licks Silva's face and declares herself mated, and four other guys try in vain to break it up. He and Silva become good friends in spite of this.
- Reluctant Warrior: He used to be an Actual Pacifist. Then six Grik troop ships beseiged Salissa, and he had to adapt or die. He's gotten pretty good at fighting in — and planning — battles.
- Semper Fi: One of several 'Cats who have both a Navy and a Marine billet.
- Token Non-Human: The first 'Cat to join Walkers crew, and for a while he was one of the only Lemurian "regulars" on the ship.
Mess Steward 1st Class Juan Marcos USN
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: When he gets really pissed at someone (Lanier, for example), he will rip them a new ass in Tagalog. Anderson avoids any problems with Filipino readers by describing Juan as "swearing in Tagalog," rather than quoting specific words.
- Handicapped Badass: He loses a leg protecting the Captain from Dominion musket fire on New Scotland. Despite his obvious pain, Juan just states that now he's pissed and continues killing bad guys with his rifle.
- He loses his prosthetic while fighting off Grik boarders at Grik City. He still fights his way, one-legged, to Reddys side and continues to defend his Captain.
- Heroic Sacrifice: After getting his leg mangled at the Battle of the Dueling Grounds, he tells the Captain to leave him, knowing that they'll never escape while dragging a non-ambulatory casualty. Reddy, Gray, Stites, and Jenks refuse to abandon him. Luckily, Chack and Blair show up with two-hundred Marines a few minutes later. Juan loses the leg, but not his life.
- Hidden Depths: Juan's official US Navy billet is Officer's Steward. Once the Alliance is established, he assumes the role of Captain Reddy's personal steward/secretary in his own, just as Bosun Gray becomes his bodyguard and "Chief Armsman," and also like the Bosun, he quietly handles many smaller administrative matters to ease the Captain's workload. Think of him as Alfred to Matt Reddy's Batman.
- Old Retainer: Sort of, albeit to the ship herself rather than any officer. It's mentioned in Into The Storm that Juan was the only Filipino sailor who refused to jump ship during the evacuation from Cavite. Marcos is dedicated to Walker and to Matt Reddy personally, perhaps even more than the rest of the crew. His devotion to the Captain is not servile, it's based on his great respect for Matt and the fact that Juan is a damn good guy.
- When Captain Reddy has to face Reed's assassin in a formal duel, Marcos acts as his "Second" without ever being officially appointed as such.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Earl Lanier, to the point where he supplies Lanier's cooks with laxatives to get back at him for being such a Jerkass.
- Token Minority: He's the only Filipino. Walker's crew used to include several other Filipino sailors, but they all left the ship at Cavite in the hope of saving their families (and those of their American shipmates with Filipina wives) from the Japanese. Unlike the Chinese who would occasionally come aboard at Shanghai, the Filipinos were actually enlisted in the Navy and trusted as members of the crew.
Chief Electrician's Mate Rolando "Ronson" Rodriguez USN
- Badass Mustache
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe. His nickname refers to a cigarette lighter, due to an incident in which his hair caught fire during combat. Ever since then, he's shaved his head bald and cultivated a Pancho Villa mustache.
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Alan LettsFormerly Walker's supply officer, now promoted to the rank of Commander and serving as senior logistics officer and the Alliance's Minister of Industry.
- Happily Married: He marries Ensign Karen Theimer.
- Took a Level in Badass: Letts used to be a slacker. Now he's a self-made whirlwind of productivity.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: He gives a great one to some former POWs who crossed over in the hold of a Japanese "hell ship" when they express racism towards the Lemurians. It climaxes with this:As for the 'cats, we never would've made it without them, and, of course, all the ones here at least would be dead by now if we hadn't become friends. We've been through a hell of a lot together, side by side, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm sort of fond of the little guys. These 'cats...we just like each other. It's hard to explain. They had their ways and we had ours, but now compared to the fix we were all in together, the differences that cause separate drinking fountains back home just never mattered, see?
Ensign Irvin Laumer USNThe only surviving officer of the submarine USS S-19.
- Determinator: In Distant Thunders, Reddy orders Laumer to lead the expedition to Talaud Island to recover S-19. Laumer will be damned if he's gonna let trivial little things like mountain fish, giant man-eating lobsters, tsunamis, or a freaking volcano stand in his way.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Courtesy of one of the Celestial Mother's bodyguards in Deadly Shores.
- New Meat: Ensign Laumer was a brand-new officer on S-19 when the war started. After passing through the Squall and getting stranded on Talaud Island, he was the only officer who survived the island's predators. Laumer was smart enough to know he was out of his depth, and deferred to the Chief of The Boat, CPO Billy Flynn. The submariners respect Laumer's humility and agree that he's learned a lot.
Captain "Tikker" Jis-Tikkar USN
- Ace Pilot: The best and most experienced 'cat pilot, and an expert in every plane in the Allied inventory.
- Giving Radio to the Romans: Tikker was the first 'cat to ever set foot in an airplane, having started as Ben Mallory's observer in the PBY. His first attempts at flying the plane were rather exciting. Since then, he's become an excellent pilot and mechanic, been commissioned as a Captain in the US Navy, and given command of Salissa's air group.
Captain Lelaa-Tal-Claraan USNCaptains the USS Simms, a corvette captured from the Grik during the Battle of Baalkpan. She later takes command of the new aircraft carrier USS Maaka-Kakja, and is soon promoted to Admiral.
- Accomplice by Inaction: She hates Captain Rajendra because he didn't do anything to stop Billingsly from destroying Simms. She eventually lets it go because it likely wouldn't have made a difference in the end, though they never really make proper peace.
- The Captain: Lelaa grew up sailing feluccas from Baalkpan all over the southwest Pacific and was quickly commissioned as a Captain when she joined the US Navy. Her first naval command was the razeed corvette USS Simms, which was sunk by the HIMS Ajax on Billingsly's orders. She's later given command of the USS Maaka-Kakja, the Alliance's first purpose-built aircraft carrier. Lelaa's skill and authority are unquestioned and several human Americans are under her command. Silva himself addresses her as "Cap'n Lelaa" from the first time he meets her and obeys her orders instantly and without question.
- Gunship Rescue: She takes a page out of Kejes playbook at the Battle of Malpelo, driving her carrier right through the Dom fleet, guns blazing, while her remaining planes hammer every ship with red sails. Maaka-Kakja is a bit banged up, but turns the tide, allowing Jenkss battle line to rout the rest of the Dominion fleet.
- Rank Up: Eventually makes Admiral and is given command of 2nd Fleet, also becoming Jenks's Number Two.
- Sole Survivor: Billingsly has her ship destroyed to send a message to the Alliance leaders. She survived because she was aboard his ship for negotiations at the time.
Chief Torpedoman Billy FlynnFormerly the COB (Chief of the Boat—submariner's version of a bosun) of USS S-19. Chief Flynn decides he wants nothing to do with this world's sea monsters and chooses to transfer to the Army, where he is commissioned as a colonel and given command of a regiment.
- Colonel Badass: Chief Flynn was in the Army in WWI and fought at Chateau-Thierry. He joined the Navy after the war and became a submariner. He goes back to the Army in this war, where his infantry experience is invaluable.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He calls his regiment Flynn's Rangers and trains them as elite unconventional fighters.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He and most of his surviving Rangers go down fighting while the 6th Maa-Ni-Laa Cavalry evacuate their wounded from North Hill. Lt. Leedom last sees him bayoneting a Grik berserker while shouting at them to get out while they can.
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Fred Reynolds USN
- Ace Pilot: He mastered the learning curve pretty well and knows the PB-1 Nancy inside and out.
- Captain Crash: He's totaled three PB-1 Nancys so far, though none were really his fault.
- One at the Battle of Scapa Flow, when he's brought down by Dom musket fire while trying to bomb their troop transports. He manages to land close enough to Walker to get himself and Kari-Faask to safety before the plane burns to the waterline.
- Another during a scout north of St. Francis, where he and Kari are attacked by "Grikbirds" and crash in the surf before being captured by the Dominion.
- And one more is shot down at the Battle of Malpelo, which earns a Lampshade Hanging as he tries to land close to USS Simms.
- Field Promotion: Originally Seaman Fred Reynolds, a bridge talker (listens to the intercom and relays messages between the Captain and the rest of the ship). Now Lieutenant JG Reynolds, naval aviator.
- Heroic Willpower: He's able to successfully resist Don Hernan's "cleansing", and it's hinted that he was the first person in history to do so. Even better, he manages to fake being indoctrinated for long enough to get himself and Kari-Faask to relative safety, eventually making it all the way back to Second Fleet.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe, his first action as a pilot was against Company ships west of Respite. Since his plane was unarmed, he gave it his best shot by firing his .45 from the cockpit, until his last bullet punched a hole through his plane's nose. Afterwards, Jeek and the rest of the deck crew circled his bullet hole and painted a big NO next to it, where he can clearly see it from the cockpit. After that plane is lost, every other plane Reynolds so much as looks at gets the same message painted in the same spot.
- True Companions: With Kari-Faask. They bicker Like an Old Married Couple, but it's obvious they care deeply for each other.
Chief Aviation Bosun's Mate Jeek USN
- Deadpan Snarker
- Tragic Keepsake: After Chief Gray's death in Deadly Shores, Jeek succeeds him as Bosun and reveals that he has learned how to blow a Bosun's Pipe properly (thought to be impossible for Lemurians due to their felinoid cleft lip). Matt knows he should be impressed, but hearing it reminds him too much of Gray. Matt later notices that Jeek carries Grays Thompson into battle, and stays at his side whenever there is danger, just as Gray would have.
- You No Take Candle: Jeek doesn't bother to learn English any better, but he's a hell of a mechanic, and a very good CPO. What he lacks in grammar he more than makes up for in volume and profanity.
Ensign Kari-Faask USN
- Despair Event Horizon: After spending weeks in a tiny cage, being gawked at and periodically tortured by the Dominion, she finally loses all hope after seeing that the Dominion has converted Fred Reynolds. Luckily, it turned out to be an act, and she got better after they escaped.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Doms rip out her canines and claws after she's captured at St. Francis, presumably to make her safer to handle.
- True Companions: With Fred Reynolds. They bicker Like an Old Married Couple, but it's obvious they care deeply for each other.
Commander Simon Herring USNOne of the few surviving Allied prisoners from the "hell ship" Mizuki Maru, Herring is an officer from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
- Fantastic Racism: When he's first introduced, Herring doesn't think much of Lemurians and is uncomfortable with the fact that the men of Walker, Mahan, and S-19 regard them as equals. He soon gets over it, though.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: At first, but he gets better.
- Redemption Equals Death: He eventually learns to trust Captain Reddy, but takes a spear to the gut on Madagascar and dies right before he can finish conveying crucial information about the kudzu weapon.
Lieutenant Ruik-Sor-Laa USNCaptain of the second USS Simms, a steam frigate DD named in honor of Lelaas ship.
- An Arm and a Leg: One of his hands is shot off at Malpelo. He accepts only basic first aid for the traumatic amputation and continues to fight his ship. He only submits to proper care after the battle is won, and even then Admiral Hibbs has to order him to do so.
- The Captain: Of USS Simms.
- The Chains of Commanding: Ruik exposes himself to enemy fire to inspire his crewas the Captain must never show fear. When Simms can finally take no more, he seizes a surrendered Dominion ship of the line to continue the fight, but is clearly heartbroken at the loss of his ship and so many of his crew. It is quite heartwarming when a cat Sailor risks his life to save the ships Colors, presenting them to Ruik to fly from their prizes mast.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Risks his ship to rescue Fred Reynolds and Kari-Faask when they are forced to ditch their damaged plane at Malpelo. When HIMS Icarus is dismasted and disables later in the battle, he takes the Imperial frigate in tow rather than leave them at the Dominions mercy.
Sergeant Pete Alden USMCAlden was part of the Marine Detachment of the doomed cruiser USS Houston but was sent ashore at Surabaya to be treated for a shrapnel wound. He was picked up from there by Walker before she passed through the squall.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Alden takes this role early on with a cadre of Lemurian warriors, but is soon promoted past it.
- Field Promotion: When the Alliance is formed, Reddy gives Alden a brevet promotion to Captain (Marine O-3, not Navy O-6). Within a few months, he is also appointed General of the Armies of the Alliance with Reddy's approval.
- Four-Star Badass: Alden possesses a fine tactical mind.
- Innocently Insensitive: When Hij Geerki surrenders at Rangoon, Alden is startled by his written message and quickly asks Lord Rolak if he can read before handing it off. Rolak is mildly annoyed, but recognizes that Alden means no offense, and snarkily replies, "Yes, I can read English."
- Odd Friendship: He is initially assigned to guard captured Japanese Lt. Shinya, and soon befriends the prisoner once Shinya formally gives his parole. He is the first American to do so, or even to call Shinya anything besides "the Jap."
- Semper Fi: Alden is a Marine's Marine.
- Sergeant Rock: Alden lives by the creed of "Every Marine a Rifleman," and he is highly skilled with his rifle and bayonet. With Lt. Shinya, Alden trains the newly-commissioned Lemurian Marines and often leads them in battle.
- Those Two Guys: Alden and Rolak.
Captain Bekiaa-Sab-At USMCChack's cousin.
- Action Girl: A skilled combatant and gifted leader.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: The siege of North Hill leaves her deeply traumatized. When she rejoins Donaghey's Marine Detachment for the assault on Madagascar, Captain Greg Garrett openly worries about her.
- Tragic Keepsake: Billy Flynn's M1903 rifle.
Captain Blas-Ma-Ar "Blossom" USMC
- Action Girl: Starts off as an enlisted Marine, but rises rapidly through the ranks by personal courage and fighting prowess.
- Like a Daughter to Me: Chief Gray looks out for her after she gets raped in Crusade (he, Donaghey, and Silva killed the rapist for her). He's the one who nicknames her "blossom," and everyone else is not so much surprised by his soft spot for her as they are that he even has any soft spots at all.
- Rape Is A Special Evil: A self-proclaimed "Kard-Karrying-Klansman" from Mahan's crew forced himself on her. He got sentenced to death in an informal trial held by Chiefs Gray and Donaghey, with Silva on hand to carry out the sentence.
Gunnery Sergeant Arnold Horn USMCAn Old China Marine of the 4th Marine Regiment (which was deployed to Shanghai from 1920 to 1941 and was the Marine counterpart to the Navys Asiatic Fleet). Horn was captured by the Japanese at Bataan and was aboard the Hell ship SS Mizuki Maru when she passed through the Squall. Horn was among the few POWs to be rescued by Okada and his lemurian Samurai.
- Disney Death: While assaulting the Celestial Palace, Horn is badly wounded and collapses alongside Silva and a Cat Marine known as "Not-Dewey," leaving Lawrence, Isak, and Laumer to press on by themselves. We later find out that Not-Dewey regained consciousness and saved them both.
- Noodle Incident: He and Silva only hint at the event in China that started their friendship, but apparently Horn is responsible for Silva's missing tooth, and somehow it saved Silva's life.
- Those Two Guys: With Silva
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Silva, going back several years to pre-war Shanghai.
Corporal Ian Miles USMCAnother former POW rescued by Okada from captivity aboard Mizuki Maru.
- It's All About Me: Miles looks out for Number One, period, and has no loyalty to anything beyond his own survival. He later admits that his experience in Japanese captivity made him that way, and deeply regrets it.
- Jerkass: Silva is quite forthright about the fact that hes considering killing Miles, telling him so to his face. That nobody raises any objections is a great indicator of his behavior towards others.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Miles was captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March. That atrocity was only the beginning of the hellish and inhuman treatment suffered by American and Filipino prisoners in Japanese hands, and it affected Miles very deeply.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Fighting alongside Silva, Chack, Bradford, and the Shee-Ree tribeand seeing what the Grik have done to their prisonerscauses him to finally admit what an asshole hes been. He commits to the Allied cause and volunteers to stay with the Shee-Ree to help lead their guerilla campaign while also building a forward airbase for the Allies.
Courtney BradfordOriginally an oil drilling engineer for Royal Dutch Shell, this eccentric Australian is now officially the Grand Alliance's Plenipotentiary-At-Large and Minister of Sciences.
- The Alcoholic: Goes through a period of this in Crusade, once it sets in that he'll never see his son again, or even know whether or not he survived the war. Matt helps him get past the alcoholism, but he still tends to overdo it during social occasions.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's weird, talks like he went to school at Oxford (probably because he did), and wants to study everything in sight. But they need him, and he wants to help. Sometimes he even exaggerates his weirdness, because he knows some of the guys find it entertaining.
- Deer in the Headlights: On the expedition to kill the superlizard believed to have eaten Tony Scott, Bradford is the only one who didn't fire a shot. The others, including Silva, don't blame him, though. Bradford is no coward, but the superlizard was goddamn terrifying.
- Later reversed at the Battle of Baalkpan. Bradford is brave enough and knows how to use his rifle, but is not a trained fighting man and is too valuable to risk in close combat. He is assigned to "guard" Sandra Tucker's hospital, where he constantly fidgets with his rifle and clearly feels like he's not pulling his weight, but he maintains his post and helps out with the wounded. When the ramparts are breached, he stands ready to fight, but Alden's troops recover before any Grik reach the hospital. When Sandra finally leaves the hospital to see the returning Walker, Bradford doesn't let her out of his sight, just in case.
- Nice Hat: Wears a homemade wide-brimmed hat to protect himself from the heat in the jungles of Borneo. It resembles a sombrero and looks ridiculous.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Bradford is an intellectual who is a "naturalist" as a hobby. He also was an oil engineer for Royal Dutch Shell. By his own admission, he's not an expert on anything, but "knows a little about quite a lot." He's also willing to admit what he doesn't know, and wants to study everything he sees. His professional and extracurricular knowledge make him indispensable to the destroyermen, even if he is a little weird.
- The Xenophile: It's often joked that everything that's happened since the Squall has been God trying to overwhelm Bradford's curiosity. So far, it hasn't worked.
Lieutenant Tamatsu Shinya IJNThe only survivor from a Japanese destroyer sunk by Walker immediately before entering The Squall, Shinya gave Captain Reddy his official parole and now helps his friend Sergeant Alden train and lead the Lemurian Marines. He graduated UC Berkely before the war and speaks fluent English.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Shinya learns very quickly, never makes the same mistake twice, recovers quickly in the rare event that he does make a tactical error, and is able to read his opponents like a book. Sharply demonstrated at Guayak, where he kicks the absolute dogshit out of a Dom force that significantly outnumbers his own (though having air support certainly didnt hurt).
- A Father to His Men: Shinya would gladly lay down his life for any of his Lemurian troops.
- Four-Star Badass: Shinya proves to be a remarkably talented commander on land, and is eventually made a General and placed in command of Allied ground forces in the east, reporting directly to CINCEAST Lord High Admiral Jenks.
- Good Is Not Soft: He's not afraid to use distasteful tactics — sacrificing Blass Marines in a defensive feint at Fort Defiance, using the Pegadores as Cannon Fodder to protect his more valuable troops, etc — to give his forces an edge against the legions of the Dominion, though doing so clearly takes a toll on him.
- Master Swordsman: Played with. To everyone's surprise, he's not very skilled with a katana. However, he was the captain of the Berkely fencing team and is an expert with a rapier. His weapon of choice is a specially-modified US Navy M1916 cutlass, a gift from Ensign Sandison.
- Noble Demon: The Americans tend to view him this way early on, at least after they stop thinking of him as "the Goddamn Jap." As time passes, he becomes more and more "one of us." Although the terms of his parole stipulated that he would not act against the Japanese military, he is thoroughly committed to the Allied cause and fought valiantly against Amagi. Though he agonized over the decision, he concluded that as an officer of the Emperor's Navy, he is obligated to fight against any and all who would aid the Grik or anybody like them. Later, he is utterly disgusted by the atrocities committed by Hidoiame and wants that ship exterminated as much as anyone.
- Surprisingly Good English: Has only a hint of a Japanese accent.
1st Lieutenant Ben Mallory USAAFAn Army P-40 pilot who was being transported to Java aboard the USS Langley when she was torpedoed, Lieutenant Mallory boarded Walker at Surabaya with Bradford, Alden, and the nurses. His skills as an aviator are invaluable.
- Ace Pilot: Mallory is trained to fly P-40 Warhawk fighters. In Books 1-3, though, the only plane in this world is a derelict PBY Catalina seaplane bomber. Despite having never flown one, he is (barely) able to get her airborne, and becomes much more familiar with her through extensive practice.
- Field Promotion: With the 'cats building their own planes and the Alliance establishing an Air Corps, he gets promoted to Colonel (O-6).
- Heroic Sacrifice: Narrowly averted. During the Battle of Baalkpan, Mallory and his PBY crew make a near-suicidal attack on Amagi using depth charges. They barely make it out, and the tired, shot-up PBY finally crashes into the harbor. Mallory, his 'cat copilot, and his 'cat gunners survive.
2nd Lieutenant Orrin Reddy USAAFMatt Reddy's younger cousin, an Army P-40 pilot who was forced to surrender in the Philippines. He was among the POWs aboard the "hell ship" Mizuki Maru when she crossed over.
- Ace Pilot
- A Father to His Men: Very protective of his aviators, and serious about ensuring they have the best possible chance of survival.
- American Accents: Keeps his Texas accent, even though his family moved to the West Coast.
- In the Blood: Orrin is a lot like Matt in many ways, especially in his devotion to the men and cats he commands.
Sister AudryA young Dutch Benedictine nun from Java who was one of the refugees aboard the USS S-19.
- Badass Pacifist: She leads Los Vengadores de Dios, but leaves military decisions to Sergeant Koratin and Colonel Garcia, as she knows practically nothing about warfighting and doesnt claim otherwise. Nevertheless, she insists on accompanying them into battle. Garcia thus insists that she carry a sword and a sidearm for personal defense, while each Redentore soldier of Los Vengadores is sworn to make sure she never has to use them.
- Good Shepherd: She occasionally butts heads with Bradford over the question of evolution, but is nonetheless a selfless woman of God. Her example inspires the mass-conversion of Dominion POWs, who call her Santa MadreHoly Motherto Roman Catholicism.
- Messianic Archetype: Inadvertently becomes one, of a sort, to the captured Dominion soldiers. Having been indoctrinated since childhood in the Holy Dominions twisted and cruel pseudo-Catholic religion, the POWs not only adopt actual Catholicism, but volunteer to join the fight against the Dominion and its church as Los Vengadores de Dios The Avengers of God. As far as the Vengadores are concerned, they owe her their very souls for turning them away from the Dom church.
- A Mother to Her Men: Her spiritual leadership and insistence on sharing the risks they take in battle (and as a Badass Pacifist at that) earn the Undying Loyalty of Los Vengadores de Dios. There is nothing they wont do for La Santa Madre.
LawrenceA Tagrenesi/Saaran from the South Pacific. Lawrence was shipwrecked and wound up on an island with Princess Rebecca, O'Casey, and the crew of the USS S-19. His people are physically very similar to Grik, but have formed a peaceful society.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Like his buddy Silva, Lawrence adores Princess Rebecca. While he's normally a pretty nice guy, he will do terrible things to anybody who tries to hurt her.
- Sssnake Talk: Lawrence speaks English very well, but can't pronounce sounds that require human lips (mostly letters B, F, M, P, V, and W).
- Surprisingly Good English
- Those Two Guys: With Silva
- Vitriolic Best Buds: with Silva.
Colonel Dalibor Svec
- Colonel Badass
- The Remnant: Svec and his men were members of the Czech Legion, who fought for Tsar Nikolai II against the Germans, were betrayed by Trotsky and the Bolsheviks, and had to fight their way out of Russia to get home. His contingent was on their way to join the rest of the Czech Legion at Vladivostok in 1918 when they crossed over. They eventually teamed up with a band of Lemurians and formed the Brotherhood of Volunteers, waging a guerilla war against the Grik (who didn't even know they existed).
Hij GeerkiA civilian Hij who surrenders to the Allies at Rangoon, becoming Lord Rolaks pet Grik.
- Catchphrase: I ser you, Lord!
- Defector from Decadence: Initially surrenders for sake of self-preservation, but becomes genuinely loyal and committed to the Allied cause.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: His English gets better with practice, but his negotiation with other Grik in later books reveals that hes quite well-spoken in their language.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: By Straits of Hell, Geerki reflects on how disgusted he is to be a member of the same species as the old Grik he negotiates with.
- Sssnake Talk: Like Lawrence, he cant pronounce letters that require lips.
High Chief Keje-Fris-Ar/Admiral Keje-Fris-Ar USNR
High Chief of the enormous home ship Salissa (or Big Sal). He and Sky Priest Adar are close friends and allies of Captain Reddy and Walker, and were in fact the first 'Cats to encounter them.
- A Father to His Men
- The Big Guy: Keje is of average height (about 5'7") for a lemurian, but is built like a tank. According to his good friend Matt Reddy, Keje is more like a bear than a cat.
- Blood Brothers: With Captain Reddy and his crew, ever since Walker came to Salissa's aid against a squadron of Grik Indiamen. He and Matt have since become good friends, and Keje openly calls Matt "Brother." Keje will sail his giant wooden ship straight into Hell to aid Walker.
- Four-Star Badass: Whether he's fighting off a Grik boarding party or directing Salissa Home's new cannons, Keje leads from the front, sword in hand. He's also the first Lemurian to officially become an admiral.
- Gunship Rescue: At the Battle of Aryaal, he nearly ran Salissa aground to give fire support with his cannons to the Alliance Army, helping turn the tide at a crucial moment. His fire support, along with the timely arrival of Queen Maraan's Six-Hundred and Lord Rolak's forces, saved Matt's life and won the battle.
- MayDecember Romance: He strikes up a relationship with Tassanna-Ay-Arracca, who's far younger than him, about halfway through the series.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- You Are Worth Hell: While praying before the Battle of Baalkpan, Adar offers to give up his soul in exchange for the safety of the defenders. Keje immediate makes the same pledge.Keje: "Idiot. Do you think I would be separated from you in this life or the next, brother? The boredom would destroy me."
Sky Priest Adar
The Sky Priest of Salissa Home, lifelong friend of Keje, and a good friend to Matt and his crew. After the deaths of Naga and Nakja-Mur, he becomes High Chief of Baalkpan and chairman of the Alliance as a whole.
- Good Shepherd: Adar is a genuinely good priest by anybody's standards. He's secure enough in his core beliefs to accept that some details of his dogma may need to be adjusted based on scientific discoveries, respect the beliefs of others, and theologically regards Christianity as "sailing a different course to the same destination." His only reservation about the spread of Christianity among Lemurians is that some may not be as tolerant and open-minded as he is.
- Like a Son to Me: Adar has never taken a mate and has no living relatives, but loves Alan Letts, Karen Theimer Letts, and their baby daughter as his surrogate children.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: For the most part, although...
- Revenge Before Reason: ...His single-minded obsession with destroying the Grik has bitten the Alliance in the ass a few times, as demonstrated in the above quote.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Upon discovering the true nature of the Grik and what happened to those unfortunate enough to be captured by them, he swore an oath to exterminate them and ensure that no more Mi-Anakka would suffer that fate ever again.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: At Herring's recommendation, he ordered the creation of a biological weapon based on a deadly kudzu species found on Yap Island, to be used in the event that the fight against the Grik turns into a Hopeless War. If deployed, the weapon has the potential to render entire continents uninhabitable.
Lord Muln-RolakLord Protector of the city-state of Aryaal and commander of its army. He is a legendary warrior in Jaava (Java).
- Four-Star Badass: Rolak is a general from Aryaal's warlike culture. He became a general by leading warriors armed with swords and axes. From the front. He's a guy you really want on your side.
- Honor Before Reason: He frequently makes trips to the front lines, despite Alden's insistence that he remain farther back to get a better perspective of the battle.
- I Owe You My Life: Pledged Aryaal's support for the Alliance at the Battle of Aryaal. Was ordered by his king to go back on his word and withhold Aryaalan reinforcements. Led his loyal troops in a revolt against the king to fight their way out of the city and keep his word. Offered his life to Matt Reddy as reparation for his king's betrayal. Has since become one of the Alliance's top generals. Frequently has to be talked out of volunteering for suicide missions.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: In spades.
- Those Two Guys: Generals Rolak and Alden. Both are excellent commanders in their own right. Together, they are truly exceptional.
- Weapon of Choice: Rolak really likes his blades. He likes the M1911 pistol Alden gave him even more.
- Worthy Opponent: In Aryaal's many wars with neighboring B'mbaado, he often fought his counterpart, General Haakar-Faask. He remembers Faask fondly, saying that they gave eachother plenty of scars over the years, and was proud to fight alongside him against the Grik. Since Faask was killed, Rolak has taken his place as Queen Saafir Maraan's surrogate father figure.
- He's come to regard General Halik this way.
Queen Protector Safir MaraanThe Orphan Queen of B'mbaado.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Though she's mostly grown up now, she's called The Orphan Queen for a reason.
- Action Girl
- Battle Couple: With Chack.
- Eye Scream: She loses her right eye defending the new Celestial Mother from General Esshk's Dorrighsti in "Pass of Fire".
- Lady of War: She's renowned for her prowess in both personal combat and field command.
- Like a Son to Me: Orphaned at a young age, she was raised by the legendary B'mbaadan General Haakar-Faask. Since his death, she has developed the same relationship with Faask's lifelong Aryaalan opponent-turned-ally, Lord Protector Muln-Rolak.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Girl, in this case.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Her people were at war with Aryaal when the Grik besieged the latter city. Recognizing the greater threat, she personally led her elite troops to assist her former enemy. She also wastes no time evacuating her city and burning it to the ground upon learning the Grik Grand Swarm is on its way.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Her personal guard, "The Queen's Six-Hundred," are an elite fighting force. She usually leads them personally.
Sergeant KoratinFormerly Lord Koratin, an Aryaalan noble and courtier of King Fet-Alcas. Now an enlisted Marine.
- The Atoner: Koratin used to be neck-deep in the petty intrigues of the Aryaalan royal court, but he always hoped his children would grow up to be better people than he was. He tried to warn the Allied Expeditionary Force about King Rasik-Alcas's plot to sink Walker, but his messengers were all killed along with most of Koratin's retainers when the royal troops came for his head. He left Aryaal with his mate and children aboard Neracca Home when the city was evacuated. A few days later, he saw his family incinerated when Neracca fell under Amagi's guns. Broken with grief, he abandoned his noble titles and enlisted as a Private, fighting with distinction at the Battle of Baalkpan. Now a well-regarded NCO, he has devoted his life to being a better role model to his slain children.
- HeelFaith Turn: He was one of the first 'Cats to adopt Christianity.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He and a few other Marines from Aryaal deliver some of this to Rasik-Alcas after the son of a bitch is found alive in the ruins of Aryaal. Not right away, of course. Koratin is living proof of the old maxim "Beware the wrath of a patient man." Koratin makes it very clear that everyone in Aryaal could have been saved if not for Rasik's scheming.
- Morality Chain: Koratin loves children, and his HeelFace Turn is directly tied to his desire to make the world a safer place for them.
- You Are Worth Hell: In "Pass of Fire", the Doms are sending hundreds of Child Soldiers at the advancing allies, and none of the commanders can bring themselves to fire. Koratin, realizing that the entire eastern theatre is at stake, and that he can't allow Blas or Sister Audry to have the blood of children on their hands, fires the cannons himself before charging the Dom lines, effectively damning his soul to the blackest pit of hell.He usually hid it well, beneath his gruff facade, but his blinking now betrayed an anguish even deeper than Blas could fathom. She saw him look at Sister Audry, now screaming hysterically for the children to stop, disperse — even as those same children started chanting "Matarlos! Matarlos!" with every step. Koratin's blinking came so fast, Blas caught only impressions of tenderness, appreciation, even sympathy. Then Koratin looked at her and very distinctly blinked protective love — from a doomed spirit that would never touch the heavens.
Since their arrival on this world, they have independently developed steam engines for their ships and percussion caps for their firearms. The Imperial Navy favors side-paddlewheel propulsion on their otherwise full-rigged sailing ships, but have experimented with screw propellers.
Her Highness Princess Rebecca Anne McDonald
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Becomes the Governor-Empress after her parents are assassinated.
- Friend to All Living Things: First O'Casey, then Lawrence, then the submariners, the destroyermen, the lemurians, and now Petey, the little lizard-bird-thing that's clung to her shoulder since her party was marooned on Yap Island.
- Princess Classic: Despite being the only child of the royal family, she is neither spoiled nor bratty. She is genuinely friendly, kind, caring, and loyal. Almost everybody who meets her adores her, especially Silva and Lawrence. Even when events force her to toughen up, she maintains a heart of pure gold underneath.
- She gave Lawrence his English Christian name because his Tagranesi given name is unpronounceable to humans. When they meet more of his people, she asks if he would like to go back to his original name. Lawrence refuses, both out of pride for everything he's accomplished as "Lawrence" and out of his genuine affection for "'Rincess 'Ecky."
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She may be only ten years old, but Princess Becky is very smart and mature beyond her years, and she tries hard to be useful.
Commodore Harvey JenksAn Imperial officer commanding the frigate HIMS Achilles. Becomes the Lord High Admiral after McClain betrays the Empire to the Dominion.
- Badass Mustache: So badass he braids the tips.
- Bold Explorer: Jenks is a living legend in the Empire for this.
- A Father to His Men: Refuses to land a single man or 'cat in Dominion territory unless he has the ability to pull them out if things go sideways.
- Four-Star Badass: After being promoted to Lord High Admiral and appointed CINCEAST.
- Happily Married: We first meet Mrs. Jenks in New Scotland in Rising Tides. Despite his previous Jerkass behavior, it turns out that he's a very loving and devoted husband. In the Empire's notoriously sexist society, this says a great deal about the man's character.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jenks is not a nice man, but he is a good and honorable man.
- Chief Gray says he's an asshole. Matt agrees, but qualifies that he's a good asshole.
- Jenks and Gray have buried the hatchet by the time they reach Respite. The fact that Walker and Achilles fought a major action together against a Company fleet on the way doesn't hurt.
- Chief Gray says he's an asshole. Matt agrees, but qualifies that he's a good asshole.
- Master Swordsman: As would be expected of a classical British (or New British) naval officer in the Age of Sail. While ashore on Respite Island in Rising Tides, he takes it upon himself to give fencing lessons to Captain Reddy, who admittedly needs them.
- Smug Snake: His conduct during his first two meetings with Alliance personnel was ... less than polite. He softens up pretty quickly once he gets a close-up look at the Grik and how the Alliance fights them.
- Undying Loyalty: To his lifelong friend Gerald McDonald, and to his new friend Matt Reddy. In Rising Tides, Jenks willingly enters a Duel to the Death against Reed's representative over an insult to Reddy.
- After her father is assassinated, he displays the same level of devotion to Governor-Empress Rebecca.
Governor-Emperor Gerald McDonald
- The Emperor: He rules the Empire of The New Britain Isles in the name of the King of England. He's also a good guy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- We Hardly Knew Ye
Sean "O'Casey" Bates
- Handicapped Badass: Lost his left arm saving Princess Rebecca from a mountain fish. Still not a man to fuck with.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: The official story is that Bates was a childhood friend of the Governor-Emperor who wickedly turned against him in rebellion. In truth, his rebellion was against the Company and its subversion of the Imperial government. He always served his country and the Governor-Emperor. With Reeds treason exposed, the truth finally gets publicized.
- Old Retainer: O'Casey is a lifelong friend of Gerald McDonald and Harvey Jenks. He led a failed rebellion against the New Britain Company's influence over the Imperial government. When her parents are killed, Governor-Empress Rebecca Ann McDonald appoints him Prime Factor of the Empire.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Royal Family. He serves as Princess Rebecca's protector and bodyguard out of loyalty to her father and genuine affection for her.
Commander Walter BillingslyOfficially, he's Jenks' first officer aboard Achilles during her mission to rescue Princess Rebecca. Unofficially, he's a Political Officer whose mission is to acquire her for the Honorable New Britain Company to use against the legitimate government.
Captain Lelaa: What! Wait! You said 'the next time', damn you!
Billingsly: When you had the insolence, the gall to raise your speaking trumpet and answer back at me ... at me! You who are not only a lesser species, but a female! That was the next time.
- Unwitting Pawn: He would have been horrified if he knew that the Company was conspiring with the Dominion against the Empire.
- You Are Already Dead: Silva tells him this before the two part company. Billingsly's ship explodes five minutes later, killing him and everyone aboard.
Sir Harrison ReedHead of the Honorable New Britain Company and senior member of the Court of Proprietors.
- Dirty Coward: Sets up a formal duel between his assassin and Captain Reddy, not wanting to take the risk himself or get his hands dirty in public. When Jenks calls him on it and challenges him to a duel, Reed accepts, then promptly hires a professional swordsman to face Jenks in his place. Once the invasion starts, Reed is found hiding in the Dominion embassy, hoping to escape with Don Hernán.
- The Dragon: To Don Hernán in the invasion of New Ireland.
- The Mole: Reed has expanded the Honourable New Britain Company's influence to the point that they practically own the Imperial government, have Company reps like Billingsley on most Imperial warships, have their own army and navy, and can even legally impress Imperial Navy vessels into Company service on the spot. Very few Company men know that Reed follows the Dominion's religion and is actively assisting their invasion.
- Smug Snake
Colonel James Blair
- Number Two: To Shinya.
Major Alistair Jindal
- Giving Radio to the Romans: Literally. Their government and military are heavily influenced by the Romans. Their leader's title is Caesar, their soldiers are Legionaries, their uniform is a modernized form of lorica segmentata, and they have radios, steam engines, and bolt-action centerfire rifles.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The Gentaa, who are supposedly descended from Chinese castaways and Lemurians inhabiting southern Africa. Although Bradford suggests in Blood in the Water that they are really just a separate species (possibly from yet another alternate world), believing that humans and Lemurians are simply not capable of producing offspring.
- The Multiverse: Their human members come from multiple societies, including Germans, Britons, Koreans, and Romans. The Brits and Germans are confirmed to be from another alternate universe. The Romans were a Legion who appeared in South Africa in the 11th Century, 600 years after the empire fell and 3000 miles south of the deepest part of Africa any Roman ever laid eyes on. It's safe to say they didn't come from our world.
- The Emperor: Albeit a benevolent one.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Wants to aid the Allies, but is mindful of the Leagues threat to his own people.
Kapitan Zur See Adler von Melhausen
- A Father to His Men: The old man has a kindly disposition that has always endeared him to his crew, and was also unfailingly chivalrous to British sailors his ship captured in the Great War, with some of them now serving in his crew. And, kind old man that he is, if you threaten his ship, his crew, or his passengers, he will either kill you or spend his last breath going for your throat. The men and cats of Amerika adore him for it.
- The Captain: Commanding officer of SMS Amerika. Now a trusted advisor of Kaiser Nig-Taak.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: When Savoie intercepts Amerika and takes Sandra, Adar, Lange, Horn, and Diana hostage, Von Melhausen utterly snaps. Slipping into an episode of dementia, apparently coupled with a stroke, he mentally reverts back to 1915. He takes the helm, orders his gun crews to engage the French battleship, and tries to ram it with his armed passenger liner. He almost succeeds before Savoie's 13.5-inch guns find their mark. Unfortunately, Amerika is also carrying 3,000 wounded men and cats from the Battle of Grik City, most of whom go down with the ship.
- Exact Words: He assures a worried Lange, Dont worry about me, Becker. I will live as long as this ship lives! Actually, his ship outlives him by about a minute.
- Father Neptune: Old man: check. Spent most of his life on the water: check. Badass beard: check.
- Scatterbrained Senior: Von Melhausen is a professional officer who was already well-respected in Kaiser Wilhelm's navy before he came to this world. Since then, he has earned the Undying Loyalty of not only his German crew, but also the captured British sailors who crossed over with them. Unfortunately, he has also lost a step or two in his old age. Kapitanluetnant Becker Lange repeatedly states that Von Melhausen is truly a great man, even as he has to pick up the elderly captain's slack.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: In Blood in the Water, he pits Amerika against a League battleship. It goes about as well as you'd expect. In fairness, he clearly wasnt in his right mind at the time.
Kapitanleutnant Becker Lange
- The Multiverse: Crossed over during WWI aboard the SMS Amerika, from another universe besides the one the Americans and Japanese came from.
- Undying Loyalty: He ends up having to compensate for his captain's increasingly-frequent bouts of senility, and sounds genuinely heartbroken when he insists that Von Melhausen is still a great man in spite of it.
General Marcus Kim
- Non-Answer: His default response to any question. Greg Garrett and Bekiaa-Sab-At discuss whether or not this behavior is deliberate or just a habit he picked up from his career.
- The Spymaster: Head of the Republic's intelligence service.
Lieutenant "Doocy" Meek
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Fomerly a junior officer on a British ship sunk by the SMS Amerika in WWI, captured by the Germans. Now a line officer of the Republic under Kapitan Von Melhausen, loyal to Kaiser Nig-Taak.
Captain Hisashi Kurokawa IJNCaptain of the battlecruiser HIMS Amagi.
- Axe-Crazy: There's nothing he won't do to achieve his goals. Murdering civilians by the thousands, handing his own men over to the Grik butchers to save his own hide, and performing brutal experiments on Grik "volunteers" are just means to an end for him.
- Big Bad: Of the Grik front, if not the whole series.
- The Caligula: He flies off the handle at the slightest criticism, to the point where few dare to question his plans even when said plans are fundamentally flawed and/or directly set up to improve his own status at the cost of his own people. Pretty much all of his men hate his guts, but they're too afraid of him to do anything about it.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He has no qualms with inflicting this on his test subjects and "traitors" among his crew.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: His ultimate goal is to supplant the Celestial Mother and seize control of the Grik Empire (and by extension, the whole alternate Earth). All in the name of His Majesty, Emperor Hirohito, of course.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Also the The Strategist: Actually, he is clearly more competent strategist than his opponents, and his plans rarely fail because of his mistakes. All his most crushing defeats are caused by lack of correct information about the enemy capabilities.
- Evil Genius: Very much of this, considering how much he was able to accomplish in short time with very limited resources.
- Heel Realization: By Devil's Due he's finally begun to recognize what a piece of work he is, and even muses that he probably should have teamed up with Reddy against the Grik from the beginning. By that point, though, Reddy's fleet is practically knocking on his door so he resolves to see his war through to the end.
- I Have Your Wife: The League turns Sandra and a few other prisoners over to Kurokawa in Blood in the Water, which he initially plans to use to lure Reddy to a final, decisive battle at Zanzibar. It's heavily subverted, though: Sandra knowns Reddy's been hardened enough not to come until he's ready, and convinces Kurokawa as much. And when the battle for Zanzibar is all but over, Kurokawa actually plans to return her to her husband, unharmed, in return for amnesty.
- It's All About Me: As noted above, he's only interested in gaining power for himself.
- Jerkass: He's pretty much the boss from Hell.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: He's very much a sadist, and had to make a conscious effort not to burst out laughing during Tsalka's torturous execution. General Esshk picks up on this and is very disturbed by it.
- Mad Scientist: He performed a number of excruciating experiments on Grik "volunteers" in an attempt to make them better fighters.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Regards his crew with utter disdain, frequently calls them traitors and cowards, and considers them expendable. Detests his Grik allies and considers them disposable. Hates Americans and holds a personal grudge against Walker. Hates the Lemurians because they're allied with the Americans.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He blames Walker and Mahan for stranding him in the alternate world, and has every intention of making them pay for it.
- The Starscream: Constantly to his Grik "superiors". Even in his dying thoughts he expects Reddy to rescue him and take him prisoner, and plans to prove just how loyal and useful he can be... until the right time.
- We Have Reserves: He doesn't usually have a lot of assets at his disposal, but when he does he's perfectly willing to use up as many of them as he needs to achieve his immediate goals. The attack on Task Force Alden, for example, costs him two of his three brand-new aircraft carriers (and several of his most experienced officers), but he still views the operation as a success because he's proven the Alliance has lost its air superiority.
- Worthy Opponent: He start to grudgingly respect Reddy as time goes on, eventually prompting a brief Heel Realization in Devil's Due.
Commander Sato Okada IJNExecutive Officer of the HIMS Amagi.
- Defector from Decadence: He can't stomach the thought of genuinely aiding the Grik as his captain is willing to do (even if it's just for his own interests).
- Honor Before Reason: While he's more than willing to tell the Alliance all he knows about Kurokawa and the Grik, he refuses to join the Alliance outright because technically, America and Japan are still at war. He has a change of heart after a new Japanese destroyer crosses over and he discovers what that war is turning his people into.
- Master Swordsman: After being captured at Baalkpan, Okada settles down in Japan with a handful of other Amagi survivors and a large population of nonaligned Lemurians, establishing the neutral Shogunate of Yokohama. He establishes a Samurai class among his followers and trains them in the use of the sword. Sadly, it doesn't do his Lemurian Samurai much good when HIMS Hidoiame shows up with automatic weapons.
- Only Sane Man: While certainly not the only one who despises working with the Grik, most of the other crewmen are convinced Kurokawa knows what he's doing (despite clear evidence to the contrary).
- Token Good Teammate: He's the only Amagi crew member who's willing to go behind his captain's back to do the right thing, even though Kurokawa would kill him (at best) if he ever found out.
General Orochi NiwaOriginally the officer in charge of Amagi's detachment of the Special Naval Landing Force (commonly known then and now as the "Imperial Marines"). After Amagi is sunk, he is made a general and tasked with helping train a new Grik army capable of defense as well as offense.
- Anti-Villain: Has become this, along with Halik, in Blood In the Water. Niwa leads Halik to understand (though Halik was already well on his way already) that Haliks Hatchling Host army is not just an expendable tool for Esshk and/or Kurokawa to use and discard, but the future of the Grik race and the proof that they can be so much more than they have been.
- Death Equals Redemption: After being mortally wounded by a sniper, he warns Halik that Kurokawa is plotting to overthrow the Celestial Mother. He's saved by Alliance field medics, however, and he ends up returning to the Grik simply because he has nowhere else to go.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He hates Kurokawa and the Grik, but still feels obligated to obey his captain.
Lieutenant Hideki Muriname IJNFormerly Amagi's senior scout plane pilot, Kurokawa has tasked him with building an air force to match the Allies.
- Beleaguered Assistant: To Kurokawa
- Enemy Mine: With Kurokawa dead, he realizes he can't serve the Grik anymore, as they are likely to get rid of him when he's no longer necessary to their "Great Hunt". He opts to try to contact the Alliance and offer his services (and his bombers) to them.
- The Smart Guy: While all of the surviving Japanese personnel have helped drive the Griks technological advancement (as their American counterparts have for the Lemurians), Muriname has been handed the most difficult problem requiring the most innovation, and he delivers.
- Balkanize Me: As of "Pass of Fire", they've split into two blocs: the loyalists led by Jash and the new Celestial Mother, who have joined the Alliance, and General Esshk's Dorrighsti, who have retreated to the north of Africa following the fall of Sofesshk to continue the fight.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Regent-Consorts, the Lord Chooser, the First General, and other top Hij constantly vie for favor and influence with the Celestial Mother, and First General Esshk has risen handily to the top of the pile.
- The Dreaded: They've been the Lemuriens' boogeymen for generations, and it isn't until Walker starts teaching them how to fight that this changes.
- Eaten Alive: How they prefer to eat their captives.
- Fantastic Caste System: The Uul are workers and cannon fodder, while the Hij are rulers, officers, technicians, shipwrights, etc. Uul are barely sentient, though they gain intelligence and awareness with age, with the lucky ones being elevated to Hij status once they are deemed ready (most are instead fed to younger Uul). Many lower-level Hij, including industrial professionals, are elevated Uul. Others are selected for immediate elevation when they are hatched, including nearly all rulers and senior officers.
- Have You Seen My God?: They believe that their gods once ruled the world before vanishing, and will return once the world has been cleansed of all Worthy Prey.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: How the Hij see themselves.
- Raptor Attack: Heavily implied to be descended from one of the various raptor species.
- Space-Filling Empire: Spans the East African coast all the way to Mozambique, Arabia, Persia, Madagascar, India, and are pushing through Southeast Asia by the time the series starts.
- War for Fun and Profit: When not engaged in genocidal expansionist invasions, or "hunts," Grik regencies will often fight eachother to satisfy their Uul's aggression and as a means of population control. These "wars of sport" are considered friendly affairs and are arranged by the Regent-Consorts of the involved regencies.
- We Have Reserves: Their military doctrine, if you can call it that, emphasizes numbers and spectacle over precision and efficiency. They can always make more Uul, after all.
- Eats Babies: Grik babies. Apparently that's a thing for the Hij ruling class.
- Ironic Death: He's executed via the "Traitor's Death": tied down and eaten alive by Grik hatchlings.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He can't stand the thought of losing his regency to "prey", and constantly urges the Celestial Mother to divert more forces to defend India. When he finally convinces her to do so, and it not only fails miserably but exposes Kurokawa's zeppelin program to the Alliance, he's put to death.
First General Esshk
- The Chessmaster: He's very good at manipulating friend and foe against each other within the Grik power structure. Especially good at manipulating Kurokawa, who knows it and freaking hates it.
- Functional Genre Savvy: Recognizes that the old ways dont work anymore and innovation is the key to victory.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Considered Kurokawa to be an asshole from day one. Esshk now adds "sick, twisted bastard" to his assessment of the Japanese captain.
- One of Kurokawa's experiments involved testing whether Grik "prey" hatchlings would defend their mother from their more aggressive siblings. While the experiment is successful, the Grik female is horribly mauled. A sickened Esshk notes that her fate is alarmingly similar to the "Traitor's Death" and points out that she has done nothing to deserve it. It seems as if he's trying not to puke.
- The Man Behind the Man: Sets himself up to be this with the new Celestial Mother.
- Uriah Gambit: When Regent-Consort Ragak opposes his reforms (and his influence over the new Celestial Mother), Esshk sends him to lead an army of "old" Grik against the Allies in Madagascar both to rid himself of an opponent and to wear down Reddys forces.
General HalikA recently-elevated Hij general, charged with raising the new Grik army with the help of General Niwa.
- A Father to His Men: The Grik equivalent. He's much more careful with his troops than usual, if only because they're much more valuable than the typical Uul warrior.
- He has explicitly become this as of Blood in the Water, to the point where he goes to war with a Grik Regent to protect their right to exist.
- Anti-Villain: In Blood In the Water, Halik not only starts a civil war to save his veteran army from traditionalist Grik leaders who believe they must have turned prey, but cuts ties with Kurokawa and Esshk in the hope that he, his army, and the Grik refugees with them can create a new, more advanced, more civilized society.
- Character Development: From mere gladiator to dangerous enemy leader to Worthy Opponent to Anti-Villain.
- Token Heroic Orc: The closest thing to this the Grik are capable of producing.
- Would Hurt a Child: Before his elevation to Hij status, Halik was a gladiator. He knows that two of the opponents he slaughtered in "sport fights" were his own sons. He was barely aware of it at the time, and it doesn't seem to bother him much now. The very concept of parenthood barely exists in Grik culture.
The Celestial MotherThe Grik Empress, revered as a god-like figure.
- Adipose Rex: She's so fat she can't leave her throne.
- A God Am I: The Grik revere her as a god-empress, and though quite intelligent, she lets it go to her head.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Refuses to believe the Alliance poses a real threat to the Grik, despite constantly losing ground to them. When Laumer's team storms her throne room in Deadly Shores, she calmly orders them to kneel before her, not understanding they aren't interested in worshiping her. Isak shoots her in the face.
- Corrupt Church: Even the most lapsed Catholic among the Americans considers them heretics. Actual Catholics on New Ireland suffer horribly under Dom occupation.
- Enemy Civil War: It turns out that some of the Dominion's population are "Jaguar cultists" who keep their forefathers' animistic beliefs. They are persecuted by the Dom church, and at any given time are about a heartbeat away from open rebellion, but can't hope to match the might of the Dominion military. Even so, a low-level insurgency is active in Nueva Grenada, with covert assistance from the New United States of America. Upon seeing Lemurians for the first time, they consider them to be some kind of divine messengers or angels.
- Blood In the Water reveals that there is also an underground movement of Catholics in northern Colombia who fight alongside the Jaguar cultists.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Imagine the worst, most exaggerated horror stories about the Spanish Inquisition. Yeah, the Doms are worse. And that's on a good day.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Doms consider Lemurians animals, and refuse to even acknowledge that they are at least as intelligent as the average human.
Don Hernan DeDivino DichaA Blood Cardinal and the Dominion ambassador to the Empire of the New Britain Isles.
- Big Bad: Of the eastern front.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good
- Expy: He's pretty much the R-rated version of Judge Claude Frollo.
- Faux Affably Evil
- For the Evulz: His only apparent motivation for torturing Kari-Faask during her captivity. He didn't ask her any questions, and wouldn't even acknowledge that she clearly speaks English.
- The Man Behind the Man: He was responsible for everything the Honorable New Britain Company was doing, even if most of its members didn't know it.
- Never My Fault: He has General Nerino Impaled with Extreme Prejudice for failing to take Fort Defiance in Straits of Hell, the fact that said failure was largely due to his own Glory Hounding notwithstanding.
- Overly Long Spanish Name: It partially translates as "divine happiness".
- Pedophile Priest: Keeps multiple young teenage girls as slaves. Constantly naked slaves. Do the math.
- Sinister Minister: Smugly insists that everything he does is God's will. Even the most lapsed Catholics aboard Walker call him a sick heretic.
- We Can Rule Together: Makes this offer to Fred Reynolds after capturing him at St. Francis. When Fred refuses, Don Hernan tries to forcibly convert him to the "true faith" via Cold-Blooded Torture.
- Would Hurt a Child: Sexually assaults his slave girls (average age: 14), and personally murders them before fleeing the New Britain Isles.
His Supreme Holiness, Messiah of Mexico, and, by the Grace of God, Emperor of the WorldThe Dominion's pope. Worshipped as a God-Emperor.
- The Alcoholic: Subverted. Dominion Popes are kept in a perpetual state of drunkenness to keep them tied to the mortal world. The current pope, however, is capable of making rational decisions in spite of his stupor.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Lampshaded by Courtney Bradford.Bradford: "The whole world? How impressive!"
General Ghanan NerinoA "hereditary commander" who has been in charge of the Dominion's Army of the South since he was twelve years old. Despite over four decades of command experience, he has never fought a real battle against a real army.
- A Father to His Men: After a peasant girl in Chimborazo nurses his burns, he becomes much more compassionate towards his men and doesnt want to see them slaughtered in pointless human-wave attacks or tortured to death for retreating.
- General Failure: At the Battle of Guayak, his army outnumbers Shinya's mixed American-Lemurians-Imperial-Dominion rebel force by at least four to one. Shinya hands him his ass. It happens again at Fort Defiance, but that one may have been Don Hernan's fault.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Throughout Straits of Hell it's made clear that he's reconsidering the Dominion's religion (or at least, Don Hernan's extra-sadistic interpretation of it). This is rendered moot when Don Hernan has him Impaled with Extreme Prejudice for his failure to take Fort Defiance.
- Ignored Expert: Don Hernan ignores his best advice, which results in defeat.
- Taught by Experience: Nerino is very intelligent and learns from his mistakes almost as well as Shinya.
- Evil Is Sterile: Of a sort. Since their conquest of the Mediterranean was largely unopposed due to their technological superiority, most League capital ships are in a state of disrepair due to lack of maintenance, and they've made little attempt to build more.
- French Jerk: Many of their leaders are French, and theyre all pricks.
- Greater-Scope Villain: They're shaping up to be the Alliance's biggest threat, even if they haven't actually declared war yet.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Their modus operandi. They aren't (yet) willing to actually fight the Alliance or the Grik, so they instead conspire to ensure the war between them is mutually destructive.
- Putting on the Reich: In their universe, the rise of Bolshevism was quickly stamped out by aggressive fascist/nazi movements in continental Europe, who seized power and formed an alliance against the remaining free powers: the UK, the United States, and Russia (which never became the Soviet Union). Ironically, Nazi Germany is a lesser player in the club, subject to the whims of Paris, Rome, and Madrid, which irks the Germans to no end.
Contre Admiral Raoul LabordeCommanding officer of the battleship Savoie.
Capitaine de Fregate Victor GravoisThe Leagues envoy to Kurokawa, and later to Don Hernan.
- Ambition Is Evil: He secretly wants to take control of the League for himself, believing the Triumvate that runs it is inefficient and cannot rule effectively.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Makes a show of smoking cigarettes made of real tobacco (nonexistent in this world) to show off the Leagues superiority.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He finds the Dominion and its practices absolutely horrifying, even as he grudgingly negotiates a treaty with them.
- French Jerk: He's very sarcastic and condescending to Reddy and the rest of the Alliance, and only slightly less so to prospective allies such as Kurokawa.
Warning: Due to the Anyone Can Die nature of the series, some of the ship names may spoil character deaths.
USS Walker, DD-163A Wickes-class destroyer launched in 1918. In the real world she never saw action and eventually became a damage-control hulk, scuttled in December 1941, but in the series she was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet and participated in the Battle of the Java Sea before being swept to the alternate Earth by the Squall.
- Cool Ship
- Back from the Dead: The ship is sunk during her final battle with Amagi, but eventually raised and repaired.
- Dented Iron: The ship keeps going despite severe damage. She even gets sunk at the end of the third book, but is refloated and put back in service. Baalkpan Navy Yard soon develops the capacity to fix just about anything (they actually start building new Wickes-class destroyers!), but Walker is usually far, far away from those facilities when she needs them most.
- The Dreaded: Has become this to the Grik by Straits of Hell. The captain of the Grik flagship is driven into a panic when the destroyer shows up to intercept his hundred-ship task force.Shipmasters and their officers, as a separate class of Hij and as required by their trade, were particularly social creatures. Other Hij—generals, engineers, artisans of every sort, even choosers—jealously guarded their methods and thoughts to promote their own value, but shipmasters had to share their knowledge of the sea, the weather, and the meticulously crafted charts they were taught to make. They also shared tales of places they'd been, shores they'd seen—and enemies they'd fought. That information spread much more widely than any passed by comparatively insular regency generals, and the one ship that had entered the collective nightmares of Grik shipmasters everywhere, particularly those still commanding the hopelessly outdated "Indiamen", was USS Walker.
- Heroic RRoD: As the Battle of the Go Away Strait develops, Walker is hundreds of miles to the north. Tabby finds a serious problem with one of the steam condensers that threatens to ruin the three remainingnote boilers unless they are taken offline to fix the condenser. With Jarrik-Fas' task force heavily engaged and badly outnumbered, Reddy decides that theres no time. Furthermore, high-speed maneuvering in heavy seas causes the steering engine to break down, crippling the destroyers handling. When the battle is over, one of the boilers is ruined, another only narrowly saved but taken offline for repairs, severely limiting her speed. The boiler can be replaced at Baalkpan, but thats unfortunately 4,000 miles away, and theres plenty of enemies in between...
- What a Piece of Junk: Woefully outdated by WWII standards, but kicks ass against the primitive sailing ships of the Grik and the Dominion. After a few refits, she's even a match for modern warships like Hidoiame.
- Worf Effect: She's more powerful than anything the Lemurians ever imagined, but she gets mauled every time she engages Amagi.
USS Mahan, DD-102Another Wickes-class destroyer that entered the Squall alongside Walker.
- Back from the Dead: Twice.
- In "Maelstrom" she blows herself up to destroy Amagi during the Battle of Baalkpan and what's left of her stern sinks in the bay. The hulk is eventually raised, and the ship rebuilt.
- After losing her bow (see below) she's towed back to Madras for repairs, but work on her is suspended indefinitely due to more pressing concerns. Then, in "River of Bones", she turns up out of the blue to aid Reddy's strike on the Zambezi river. Turns out repairs had been largely completed for a while now, but an Obstructive Beauracrat who opposed the war had been holding her back and sending false reports. Mahan had ultimately been commandeered by loyal officers who brought her down to join First Fleet, where she contributes greatly to the campaign down there.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Like Walker, she existed in the real world but was decommissioned long before WWII.
- Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Non-fatally. After the Second Battle of Madras, Walker and Mahan race off in pursuit of Kurokawa and his remaining battleships. They successfully sink all enemy ships while suffering only minor damage ... and then Mahan loses her bow to a misguided torpedo from Walker (or, Reddy theorizes, perhaps it was an accurate torpedo from a League submarine).
USS S-19, SS-124An S-Class submarine built in 1921. S-19 passed through the same Squall as Walker, Mahan, and Amagi while sitting on the bottom, trying to repair damage inflicted by depth charges from Shinya's destroyer. She had no torpedoes, but was carrying women and children (including Sister Audrey) from Surabaya hoping to reach Australia.
- Glass Cannon: After being rebuilt as a torpedo boat.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: The real ''S-19'' was decommissioned and sunk as a target in 1938. Many of her sisters remained in service throughout the war, though, mostly fighting with the Asiatic Fleet.
- Not Quite Dead: Happens at least four times: nearly sunk by Japanese depth charges in the Java Sea; beached and abandoned on Talaud Island; caught in the first major eruption of the Talaud volcano, and nearly sunk by a tsunami caused by a bigger eruption. Seriously, it's hard to tell if this sub is lucky or really, really unlucky.
- What a Piece of Junk: Like all the S-boats, she was already obsolete and broke-down before the war even started. Her class was commonly nicknamed "Pig Boats" and "Sewer Pipes" in 1941.
Salissa Home/USNRS Salissa/USS Salissa, CV-1Keje's ship, and the first Lemurian vessel encountered by Walker. Salissa, or "Big Sal," is a Lemurian "sea home," over 1,000 feet long, 250 feet at the beam, drawing almost 40 feet of water, with 100 feet of freeboard. She's built entirely of wood and is estimated to displace around 20,000 tons.
- Back from the Dead
- The Battlestar: By Iron Gray Sea, Salissa has steam engines, a huge broadside battery of heavy muzzleloading cannons down each side of her hull, a pair of 5.5-inch guns salvaged from the secondary battery of Amagi, and the "great gun," a monstrous breechloading piece built from the tube of one of Amagi's 10-inch guns. On top of all that are a flight deck and hangar deck accommodating sixty planes.
- The "great gun" was removed after the First Battle of Madras, mainly because the allies didn't want Keje to fight his carrier like a battleship anymore.
- Colony Ship: Like all Lemurian "sea homes" (before her reconstruction as an aircraft carrier), she is a self-sufficient city at sea with thousands of inhabitants in four different clans. Her superstructure is topped with gardens, and various industries are contained in her hull.
- Gunship Rescue
- Mighty Glacier: She's big and slow. Even after getting engines installed, the best she can do is about 8 knots on a good day. But after her reconstruction, Salissa can lay down some serious hate.
- Took a Level in Badass
HIMS AmagiA Japanese Imperial Navy battlecruiser that fought Walker and Mahan shortly before the two destroyers entered the Squall. Like her American opponents, Amagi was a real ship.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Three torpedoes, intense shelling, and a dive-bomber colliding with her bow weren't enough to sink her. Even Mahan's suicidal charge didn't pull it off, and only a lucky forgotten mine let Walker claim victory in the end.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Her final battle with Walker took place in book three, not even a quarter of the way into the series.
- Evil Counterpart: To Walker.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Amagi was a battlecruiser that was still under construction when the Washington Naval Treaty rendered her illegal. While her more famous sister Akagi was rebuilt as an aircraft carrier, Amagi was badly damaged in an earthquake and later sunk as a target. In-Universe, she was completed as planned, but had her main battery downgraded from the original battleship-caliber 15-inch guns to intermediate-level 10-inchers (still much bigger and more powerful than any cruiser's guns) to exploit a loophole in the treaty.
- The Juggernaut: She is probably the most powerful ship in the alternate world (until the League of Tripoli showed up with Savoie). Only Walker and Mahan come close to being a threat to it, and even they are hopelessly outclassed in a straight-up fight.
- Never Found the Body: Amagi was nowhere to be seen after the first encounter, and the destroyermen assumed she'd either sank or returned to her task force. Turns out she was swept through the Squall right behind them, and ended up joining the Grik after limping to Singapore for repairs and discovering what had happened to them.
- Vehicular Turnabout: Not exactly, but close enough. With the ship sunk in the shallow waters of Baalkpan Bay at the end of Maelstrom, the lemurians decide theres no good reason to let all that good steel (35,000 tons of it) and ordnance go to waste. A salvage operation is immediately set up, and every functional radio, gun mount, fire control director, or other usable device is removed and put on an Allied vessel (Walker herself gets a pair of 25mm antiaircraft mounts). With that done, the wreck is broken up and the steel recycled into new guns and new ships to carry them.
USS DonagheyThe first dedicated warship build by the Lemurians. Named for Chief Machinist's Mate Harvey Donaghey, who died saving ''Walker'' in "Crusade".
- Bold Explorer: She's relegated to this task after it's decided she's no longer capable of serving as a front-line warship in the face of new Grik ironclads. The ship and her crew are tasked with probing the coast of Africa to see what's out there.
- First Day from Hell: Her first action goes horribly wrong when it turns out the three Grik ships she's engaging are armed with cannons. Though Donaghey is still victorious, she's badly mauled when one of the ships explodes and blows half her stern off.
- Super Prototype: Donaghey is still going fairly strong despite being completely obsolete, while the other two ships of her class, USS Kas-Ra-Ar and USS Tolson, were destroyed in the third and sixth books, respectively. In Devil's Due, with a little help from a captured Dominion frigate, she even manages to sink a League destroyer equivalent to Walker by luring it in close and then delivering a full broadside.
HIMS HidoiameA brand-new, state-of-the-art Kagero-class destroyer of the Japanese Imperial Navy that crosses over in the western Pacific south of Japan in late 1943.
- Artistic License History: Hidoiame is decribed as the twentieth ship of her class. In the real world, only nineteen ships of the type were ever built. Three additional Kagero's were authorized on the books in 1939-40, but they were only a bureaucratic ruse to hide funding for the Yamato-class superbattleships then under construction.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Her crew were willing to eat the prisoners on Mizuki Maru after discovering they'd been swept to the other world. Fortunately, Okada prevented that from happening.
- Karmic Death: After her fight with Walker, Hidoiame captures Fristar Home and enslaves her people. When the Corps of Discovery (including Silva, of course) assist the Khonashi in attacking the Japanese encampment and anchorage, a few unforeseen variables and an inconvenient tide push the enormous sea home into the side of Hidoiame. The much smaller Japanese destroyer is partially crushed and rolled onto the beach, a total loss.
- Never Found the Body: After Spanky takes command of Walker during the battle with Hidoiame, he decides to break off the fight because both ships are critically damaged and the Japanese ship doesn't have a chance of survival without a tanker to replenish her fuel stores. Hidoiame is later found at Borneo, her crew forcing the people of Fristar Home to drill for oil at gunpoint.
- The Remnant: Like Amagi, her crew still considers themselves at war with America.
SS Santa Catalina/USS Santa Catalina CAP-1An American merchant ship that was carrying crated P-40 Warhawk fighters, spare parts, and ammunition to Java in February of 1942 when she entered the Squall to escape Japanese dive bombers south of Tjilatjap.
- Took a Level in Badass: After being recovered from Java, she's taken to Baalkpan and turned into a protected cruiser that serves as Commodore Jim Ellis' flagship during the Second Battle of Madras.
- Uncertain Doom: The ship's original crew and embarked USAAF personnel left the ship in the swamp north of Chil-Chaap, but no trace of them has been found.
- You Shall Not Pass!: She almost single-handedly blockades the Zambezi river to prevent the Grik "Final Swarm" from attacking Madagascar. It works, but Santy Cat is blown into a smoldering, irreparable hulk before it's over.
SS Mizuki MaruA Japanese freighter that crossed over with Hidoiame in 1943. She was a "hell ship" that carried a large "cargo" of Allied prisoners of war in unspeakably horrific conditions.
- Redemption Equals Death: The ship is destroyed with all hands fighting Hidoiame.
- Took a Level in Badass: After limping to Baalkpan under the command of Sato Okada, the ship is refitted and turned into a warship.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Introduced in "Firestorm" and sunk at the beginning of the next book, "Iron Gray Sea".
SMS AmerikaOriginally a German high-speed passenger liner for the Hamburg America Line, SS Amerika was launched at the turn of the century and was a contemporary of RMS Titanic (in fact, she was even built at the same yard, Harland & Wolff of Belfast, and transmitted ice warnings to Titanic, only to be told, "Shut up, I'm busy," by Titanic's radioman; she was too far away to assist after the iceberg collision). This ship, however, comes from a different universe than ours. This one was appropriated by the Deutsch Kaiserliche Reichsmarine (German Imperial Navy) and given her "SMS"note designation at the start of WWI and converted to an armed merchant cruiser.
- Colony Ship: Ever since crossing over and joining the Republic of Real People, Amerika has become the Kaiser's floating mobile capital and is often referred to as the War Palace. Though badly in need of a drydock, her machinery and guns are still in good shape. Her crew (including British sailors she had captured) are all loyal to the Kaiser.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The abduction of Sandra, Adar, and their entourage by Admiral Laborde and Savoie drives Kapitan Zur See Von Melhausen over the edge. Wracked by dementia and utterly furious, Von Melhausen charges the League battleship in a ballsy but suicidal Roaring Rampage of Revenge, attempting to ram the hostile ship, but not quite making it. Amerika goes down with her guns blazing. Savoie needs some touch-up paint.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Averted. In our universe, Amerika remained a civilian vessel until 1917, when she was seized by the US Navy, renamed USS America, and served as a troop transport for three decades. This Amerika was converted to an armed merchant cruiser (sometimes called a Q-ship) by the Imperial German Navy.
- Worthy Opponent: Had one in RMS/HMS Mauritania, sister ship of the ill-fated Lusitania. Like Amerika, she was originally a civilian passenger liner, and competed for the prestigious Blue Riband award for high-speed Atlantic crossings. In their universe, Mauritania was then used as an auxiliary warship by the British. The two peacetime rivals fought an inconclusive battle right before Amerika crossed over. Becher Lange says that while the engagement was brutal, he honestly hopes that Mauritania survived.
USS James Ellis, DD-21The first Walker-class destroyer built by the Lemurians. Named for Commodore Jim Ellis, who died shortly after the Second Battle of Madras.
- Flawed Prototype: Being the first of her kind (other than Walker and Mahan), the relatively inexperienced Lemurians ran into a lot of issues getting her up and running and Captain Perry Brister admits that her sister, USS Geran-Eras, is probably a Superior Successor since the lessons learned building Ellie were applied to her. Although that's rendered moot when Geran-Eras is sunk at Mahe just weeks after launch.
USS SavoieA French Bretagne-class battleship from an alternate reality in which France turned fascist and joined the Axis powers. The vessel was part of a fleet sent to invade Egypt, but was caught in a Squall and wound up in the Lemurian world instead. The fleet ultimately formed the League of Tripoli, with Savoie serving as Admiral Laborde's flagship.
- Artistic License History: While justifiable due to her alternate-universe origins, the vessel's counterpart was apparently known to Greg Garrett from before crossing the Squall. In the real world, the closest match would be Lorraine or the fourth unfinished Bretagne-class battleship, which was originally ordered by the Greek Navy and was to be christened Vasilefs Konstantinos. After World War I, the French considered finishing her under the name Savoie but ultimately scrapped her. Savoie's description in the book matches the post-refit design of the Lorraine.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In "Blood in the Water", Kapitan Zur See Von Melhausen of SMS Amerika charges the League battleship in a ballsy but suicidal Roaring Rampage of Revenge, attempting to ram the hostile ship, but not quite making it. Amerika goes down with her guns blazing. Savoie needs some touch-up paint.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Attacked by SMS Amerika receiving very little damage in Blood in the Water. Torpedoed later on in Devil's Due, damaging her rudder which completely jams it and forces her into a left turn with no way of correcting causing her to run aground, once again with minor damage more or less (from colliding with the shore line, along with one of her guns getting blasted courtesy to Horn and Lange and the deck near her stern being burned from an earlier attack) which not only renders her harmless but convinces Reddy to launch an attempt to capture her (which succeeds) and use her in the future rather than outright destroying her..
- The Dreaded Dreadnought: A literal example. A super dreadnought to be precise
- The Juggernaut: Holds the Republic of Real People at gun point (along with USS Donaghey when she arrives to check on the Republic) to prevent them from mobilizing against the Grik with the Republic having no way of fighting back. Easily sinks SMS Amerika in Blood in the Water, and completely destroys a Grik battleship (along with one of her own guns) thanks to Gunnery Sergeant Arnold Horn and Kapitanleutnant Becker Lange hijacking one of her turrets in Devil's Due. She is easily one of the most powerful ships to appear in the series so far.
- Vehicular Turnabout: After the incident mentioned above, the League turn the ship over to Kurokawa in the hopes that his and Reddy's forces will wipe each other out and leave the League's supremacy uncontested. In "Devil's Due", not only does the Alliance decisively win, they manage to capture Savoie intact and plan to use her against her original masters.
USS Fitzhugh Gray, CL-1A light cruiser, and first of her class, built by the Allies in late 1944. Named for Chief Bosun's Mate Fitzhugh Gray, who died at the First Battle of Grik City.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Gray is certainly more powerful than anything the Grik or Dominion possess, but against the might of the League she's already obsolete, and Henry Stokes grumbles that they might have been better off building four more Walker-class destroyers, which are flimsier but more versatile, instead.
- Flawed Prototype: Her shakedown cruise goes badly: while testing her engines at full astern, her steering gear is damaged and her rudder shaft torn out of alignment, forcing a month-long retrofit at a time the Allies really can't afford it.