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    The Alphas as a Group 
The Alpha group of students, including Otto, Laura, Wing, Shelby, Franz, Nigel, Lucy, Tom, and Penny.

  • Almighty Janitor: Have been called on in emergency to complete tasks or protect the school. Turns out this is the real purpose of the Alpha program: to feed into Zero Hour, an army that can be called in an emergency in case a G.L.O.V.E. council member goes truly evil.
  • Anti-Hero Team: if any of them haven't committed at least one felony by the time they joined the cast, they committed one soon after joining.
  • Berserk Button: they will each defend the others with their lives if you so much as insult another.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Otto, Franz, Wing, and Shelby save the entire Alpha stream. Along with many other occasions.

  • Character-Magnetic Team
  • Determinator: all of them so far, except Penny, who pretty much gives up after Tom's death.
  • [[Doomed Moral Victor: At the end, he realizes he can't defeat Anna without using a powerup in the form of Animus residue collected from the site of Lucy and Overlord's death by nuclear bomb. He knows using it will kill him, so he waits until it's apparent he'd otherwise die, and after that, well, he does.]]
  • I Have Your Wife: all of them are pretty pathetically manipulated by putting each other in danger.
  • Multinational Team: Otto, Penny, and Tom are from England. Laura is Scottish, Shelby is American, and Wing is Chinese raised in Japan. Franz is German, Raven is Russian, Lucy is Italian, and Nigel's nationality isn't mentioned.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Most of the girls refer to everyone else on the team by their last name. If they call anyone by a first name, it's usually a dire or emotionally-charged situation.

    Otto Malpense 
The main character, an Alpha in the same year as many of the other characters.

  • Act of True Love: After Laura's betrayal in Aftershock, he gets himself expelled and spends the next several months trying to find her.
  • Anticipatory Breath Spray: before entering Laura's room in the Glasshouse, he takes off his helmet and straightens his hair. It seems he was anticipating a much... happier reunion than the one he got.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: The reason he and Laura aren't thrown out by Nero in Deadlock.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Attempts one to look intimidating after he accidentally knocks Wing out when fighting Block and Tackle in book one. It doesn't work.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Can watch a bullet fly by and know where the shooter is.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite trying to escape the Island in book one, he ultimately decides that the H.I.V.E. is his home.
  • Berserk Button: Harming any of his friends. The biggest immediately following Lucy's death.
    • And again after the Alphas are taken to the Glasshouse. He kills Matt Rodney without remorse, and then shows a terrifying side when he kills Zero, his clone.
    • More and more, his Berserk Button seems to be messing with Laura. He threatens Cole, Block, and Tackle, and kills Matt Rodney and Zero after going on a several month long mission to find the Glasshouse.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The speech to Block in Deadlock.
    Otto: And if you ever touch me, or Laura, or any of my friends again, it won't be Nero you have to worry about. I'll reach inside that thick skull of yours and just switch you off. I'm not even sure I could really do it; maybe I'll just put you in a vegetative state. Maybe you'll be just conscious enough to feel the nurse shoving pudding into your stupid fat face. I don't know what would happen. But I'm willing to find out.
  • Birds of a Feather: With both of his love interests. He and Lucy both have superpowers, and he and Laura are both Smart Guy types with similar personalities. Averted with Wing, whom he shares little in common with despite the two being inseparable.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: at the climax of Bloodline, H.I.V.E.mind forceably removes Otto from his Animus-infested, irradiated body and sends him to a cloning vat in the Cradle, which is in Siberia. As the school explodes, and the rest of the cast watches it fall into the sea, the cloning vat begins to fill with liquid and count down until his rebirth.
  • Black Eyesof Crazy: in Rogue, and again later at the end of Bloodline, when he uses irradiated Animus residue for a Deadly Upgrade.
  • Blessed with Suck: He has pretty awesome super powers, but they put everyone he loves at risk and he'd much rather be normal.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: in Aftershock, he spends half of a page trying to confess his love to Laura.
  • Teen Genius: The series starts on his thirteenth birthday, just pushing him into this territory.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: until Zero Hour. He isn't much to look at, but the fact that he's nice to everyone who's nice to him gets him pretty far.
  • Crush Blush: Does quite his share of blushing in Laura's presence. His wikia page even notes that the amount of blushing he does may be harmful to his cardiovascular system.
  • Determinator: after Laura, Nigel, Tom, and Penny are taken to the Glasshouse, Otto gets himself expelled and spends the next several months in the outside world with Raven, H.I.V.E.mind, and Diabolus searching for them. Ultimately, he uses his abilities to try to break through the encryption on Gretchen's transmitter, which he knows has a such a high chance of killing him that he doesn't let Wing or Shelby even be in the room.
    • During book five, he spends several months trapped inside his own head, locked in a struggle for his own body with Overlord despite being explicitly designed to be taken over by him. He eventually overcomes it, but Overlord takes over after Otto passes out. Laura ends up shooting him to evict Overlord from the device.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: at the end of Zero Hour, due to Lucy's death.
  • The Dividual: many of their friends see Otto and Laura as this, but when they are alone things are much less synergistic.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Promises to help Laura get off the Island during their very first one-on-one conversation.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Averted with a Not Quite Dead in Rogue, but he still confesses his love to Laura immediately before falling unconscious.
    • And again in Bloodline, when he's actually dying, except that he and Laura have been dating for some time.
Otto: Love you Laura, love you all.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how. After Growing up with a Friendless Background in an orphanage run by a woman who is clearly Fostering for Profit, he finally finds true happiness and companionship at H.I.V.E., only to find out he's only there to be a spare body for an AIIsACrapshoot omnicidal AI, and intended to die at the age of roughly 15. He saves the United States from the eruption of Yellowstone, and is rewarded by being taken into custody by a government organization that is really a front for the same evil A.I., and has his body taken over. For several months, he's forced to kill people for this organization while being a prisoner in his own body, all while Overlord grows and tries to kill him in his head. He's rescued by his friends after this, but suffers from post-traumatic stress for the rest of the series. Things start to look up for him when teammate Lucy takes a romantic interest in him, but she sacrifices herself for him roughly 36 hours later in the final fight with Overlord. This gives Otto a bit of a complex about romance and people sacrificing themselves for him, so he pulls away from Laura in the following book, only to realize he missed the fact that she was being blackmailed into betraying H.I.V.E. right under his nose. She is captured by Anastasia Furan, so he drops out of school and spends the next several months trying to find her. When they are finally reunited, he finds out that someone has been cloning him to try to make their own army of people with his unique abilities, except far more powerful. He gets to relax and be happy with Laura for what looks like roughly a year before the final volume, but once the next clone breaks loose, it's clear they're in a losing battle, and the only way for them to win is if he uses a Deadly Upgrade that will give him the power to kill both himself and the clone. This is only achieved after she has killed hordes of people and rendered the island uninhabitable. So, right as the island is about to be nuked to contain the clone, Otto lies dying in the data room, and H,I.V.E.mind pulls his consciousness from his body, sending it to a cloning vat where he can be regrown over the course of a year. After a year passes, and almost everyone has moved on with their lives in various ways, Otto wakes up and goes to find Laura in Scotland so he can finally live in peace. In the final sentence of the entire series.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: At least once per volume except Zero Hour he must spend at least a few sentences describing how Laura looks, either at that time or when he is imagining her.
  • Fatal Attractor: His first girlfriend dies 36 hours after getting together with him, his second girlfriend is kidnapped and taken to the Glasshouse only a few minutes after their first kiss..... poor guy.
  • First Kiss: with either Laura or Lucy. It's unclear because he seemed to kiss Laura in Escape Velocity, but this is never mentioned again. He later kisses Lucy, and then Laura in Aftershock, but that's never mentioned again either. He kisses Laura yet again in Deadlock. It sticks.
  • Grand Theft Me: Not only does Overlord/Number One want to do this to Otto, but he does get taken over by the Animus at the end of Dreadnought. It's the entire purpose of his poweret.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Laura has red hair, and he develops a crush on her during their first real conversation.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Shelby. They bicker, they argue, and she's the first to run to him when he returns from expulsion.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sort of. He's actually Number One's clone.
  • Magikarp Power: His abilities were mostly useless at first and only really allowed him to type and really really quickly while getting awful nosebleeds and/or passing out, but he eventually uses them to control computers, then entire networks, then hold AI in his head, and then control people's actual muscles.
  • Meaningful Name: People try to kill, stop or derail Malpense, but he keeps turning up. Like a bad penny.
  • Morally Superior Copy: While he never becomes truly heroic, or lawful good, or anything like that, he's miles more morally righteous than Overlord/Number One.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: He and Laura go through hell several times over, including more than six captures of Laura, Otto finding out he is only somewhat human, Otto's brief almost-relationship with Lucy Dexter, Laura's betrayal of the H.I.V.E. and subsequent stay at the Glasshouse for several months, and then her torture and Mind Rape by Otto's clone before they finally get together at the end of book eight.
  • Pursued Protagonist: books three, four, six, seven, and eight.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: he and H.I.V.E.mind go on one to save Laura, Nigel, Tom, and Penny from the end of Aftershock to the end of Deadlock.
  • Sibling Team: depending on whether H.I.V.E.mind would be considered his brother or his uncle, the two share a body for most of the second half of the series, are close friends, and work together to accomplish most everything they achieve.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: when Zero tries to get him to shoot Laura, he turns the gun on him.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: His social awkwardness is directly proportional to the attractiveness of the girl he is talking to.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: due to his knack with computers, Otto believes he can pilot anything if he can get his hands on it. Despite his teammates' wariness, the entire escape plan in book one hinges on this to escape via submarine(and later, a helicopter, after a change of plans). In Aftershock, it's revealed that he is actually really, really bad at flying helicopters. Comically so.
    Laura: The instructor said something about a fiery ball of exploding death.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: the Sorcerer to Wing's Sword.
  • The Power of Friendship: how he and H.I.V.E.mind fight together.
  • Thicker Than Water: He and Wing refer to each other as "brothers" despite being British and Chinese, respectively. Ironically, they are actually kinda related. Wing's parents programmed Overlord, making him Otto's uncle, even if not biologically.
  • To Absent Friends: Dedicates the shutting down of Echelon to Lucy.
  • Tranquil Fury: Shown most during the scene in Deadlock with Matt Rodney, but it's implied that's the state he's been in since the end of Aftershock.
  • Undying Loyalty: At the end of Aftershock, he takes the majority of the blame for the massacre of the Alpha stream, so that the last three members can stay at the H.I.V.E. after his expulsion.
  • Unreliable Narrator: gets a more and more acute case of this as the series goes on. In book 6, he has a lot of internal struggle, but in books 7 and 8, it's clear he's become very good at not thinking about things he doesn't like to, such as Lucy's death, and the fact that he thinks Laura died through most of Deadlock, which he only mentions once near the end in his internal narration. In Bloodline, Anna forceably starts making him think more and more about Lucy's death, but what we don't see until the very end of the book is that he decided he would die about halfway through it. We see him express fear and worry in private, but he keeps a brave face around others and in his thoughts.
  • Was Just Leaving: After Shelby's Moment Killer for him and Laura in Aftershock. Notably, had they kissed here, and Laura trusted him with the real purpose of the mission, several dozen teenage lives would have been saved.

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    Wing Fanchu 
Otto's roommate, who is Chinese but raised in Japan. He has an oddly extensive knowledge of weapons and martial arts. He is also Otto's best friend.

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In Book one:
    'There are twenty-three ways of combatting an assailant armed with a blunt object from this position. Four of them will kill you, twelve of them will permanently disable you and the remaining seven will cause injuries that, while being extremely painful, you will at least recover from. In all of them I take that pipe from you and use it on you.'
  • Babies Ever After: A variation. At the end of the series, he and Shelby start an orphanage.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite trying to escape the Island in book one, he ultimately decides that the H.I.V.E. is his home.
  • Dead Guy Junior: A weird example. In the epilogue, the orphanage he and Shelby run is full of children who share names with dead characters from earlier in the series.
  • Determinator: stays on the Island despite having the opportunity to leave so he can find his mother's killer.

    Laura Brand 
A "spunky computer genius" who is the only person who has ever been able to outcode Otto. She is also his primary love interest. She is Shelby's roommate and best friend, as well as a kind of personal assistant to Professor Pike. She tends to prefer AI to people.

  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: she and Otto in Deadlock.
  • Badass Pacifist
  • Beauty Brainsand Brawn: the brains of the three-girl team consisting of her, Shelby(Brawn) and Lucy(Brains).
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite trying to escape the Island in book one, she ultimately decides that the H.I.V.E. is her home.
  • Big Damn Reunion: In Bloodline, her reunion with Otto after the loss of his first body and the destruction of the school is the final sentence of the entire series.
  • Break the Cutie: Very much so in Aftershock, when she is forced to betray the H.I.V.E. and cause the death of almost all of the Alpha stream.
  • Buffy Speak: "Fiery ball of exploding death."
  • Challenge Seeker: She and Otto compete to steal the exam answers so often that she uses this excuse in Aftershock to get the location of the Hunt grounds.
  • Cinderella Circumstance: As one of the greatest programmers on the planet, she's sent to the Glasshouse to train to fight and forbidden from using the computers. It's later revealed she's really only there to be Anastasia's plaything.
  • Claustrophobia: First demonstrates this in Escape Velocity.
  • Combat Pragmatist: How she gets away with being one of two non-badasses in the main or supporting cast. In book one, she protects the occupants of block seven with a fire extinguisher, and is Crazy-Prepared to the point of having uploaded viruses to a private storage vault on the internet that she can access anywhere. She needs to have this skill, too, because she's a Defiant Captive who frequently pisses off her captors.
  • The Commies Made Me Do It: Played straight. Pretty much the whole point of Aftershock. They use her brother.
  • Crush Blush: Most non-combat(or hacking-related) situations with Otto cause her to turn pink. Averted after their first kiss.
  • Cute Bookworm: How many times does Otto find her in the library?
  • Defiant Captive: She is captured or kidnapped in every single volume, and on every occasion she uses her Deadpan Snarker status to piss off her captors, nearly getting her killed on numerous occasions.
  • Designated Victim: is captured or held hostage in every single volume. However, she can take care of herself, and is almost always involved in her own rescue, usually coordinating with someone else who is also being held at the time.
  • Determinator: when she is taken to the Glasshouse, it is noted that she is the only Alpha who hasn't been "broken". She eventually, after months of solitary confinement, is able to formulate a plan that ultimately alerts Nero to their location. Even after hours of torture and Mind Rape at the hands of Zero, she still decides to stay in the Alpha program.
  • The Dividual: many of their friends see Otto and Laura as this, but when they are alone things are much less synergistic.
  • Dramatic Drop: In the final paragraphs of the series, she drops the cup she was holding when she realizes Otto, thought long dead, is at her front door in Scotland.
  • Everyone Can See It: With Otto.
  • Girlish Pigtails
  • Green-Eyed Monster: After she finds out about Otto and Lucy's relationship in Zero Hour.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Played with. Of the two times she gave up valuable information to Anastasia Furan, once was to save her family and the other was because she was under mind control.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: The location for the Hunt in exchange for the life of her family.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The Contessa is her favorite teacher.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: After successfully writing a virus that brings the H.I.V.E. forces to her (and the other Alphas') rescue in Deadlock, Zero uses his mind control on her to find out about their forces and plans. When Otto comes to rescue her, she's dazed and implied to be heavily brain damaged.
  • I Have to Wash My Hair: When Otto confesses his love to her a second time, she tells him she'll talk to him after exams are over. Justified in that she's extremely distracted by her family being held hostage.
  • Invisible Parents: she talks about her parents a lot, but Andrew and Mary Brand aren't introduced until book seven.
  • Lap Pillow: is one to Otto in Rogue.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Laura and Lucy spend quite a bit of time together in Rogue and Zero Hour, during which time Laura is the Light Feminine and Lucy is the Dark Feminine.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: is this more and more to Otto as he begins to spiral towards the end of the series. It's not depicted as unhealthy, as they have always relied on each other.
Otto: You make me more human.

    Shelby Trinity 
A girl in Otto and Wing's year who at first appears to be a stereotypical Valley Girl, but who is revealed to be a world-famous jewel thief. She is obsessed with challenges, and she and Otto share a rivalry that becomes more friendly over the course of the series. She shares a room with Laura and is dedicated to protecting her, and serves as a love interest to Wing.

    Nigel Darkdoom 
The small, athsmatic son of the late Diabolus Darkdoom, one of the world's most successful supervillains. Although his teachers expect him to excel in leadership and combat strategy, his real talent lies in the field of biology. This causes him to appear to be a failure, although Nero finds his scientific prowess quite impressive. He lives with Franz, and is pretty much the group's Only Sane Man.

    Franz Argentblum 
The heir to a German chocolate magnate who has an eye for financial fraud. He is morbidly obese and obsessed with food, but also manages to be a mild badass in hand-to-hand combat and a prodigy with a sniper rifle. He lives with Nigel, whom he protects even more obsessively than his chip stash. Four and a half years since coming to the H.I.V.E., he still has trouble with his English.

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    Lucy Dexter 
A mysterious, attractive girl who joins the Alpha stream two and a half years after the others. The team adopts her, and she is quickly assimilated into a tight bond with Laura and Shelby. She is revealed to be the last surviving member of the Sinistre family, and is therefore psychic. She avoids using her abilities, however, because she believes it may drive her to evil like the rest of her family. She also holds a romantic interest in Otto.

    Tom Ransom 
A childhood friend of Otto, and Penny's partner in crime.

    Penny Richards 
A childhood friend of Otto, and Tom's partner in crime.

    Cole Harrington 
An older, dickish Political/Financial student who thinks himself invincible.
  • I Have Your Wife: after seeing Otto and Laura eating lunch together at the beginning of Aftershock, he correctly guesses she's the key to manipulating Otto. He uses this to get H.I.V.E.mind's source code. It doesn't last, though.

    Block and Tackle 
Two Henchmen whom Otto accidentally pick a fight with on their first day, and they never get over it.

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