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Main Characters

     Tom Raines 

Thomas "Tom" Raines

The protagonist of the trilogy.

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     Vik Ashwan 

Vikram "Vik" Ashwan

  • Fair Weather Friend: Has elements of this, especially after Yuri's neural processor is fried and he and his friends narrowly avoid treason charges. Eventually subverted when the situation is most dire
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine; outgoing, funny, optimistic.
  • The Nicknamer: Comes up with nicknames mainly for Yuri ("the android") and Wyatt {"evil wench", "man-hands").
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Wyatt.

     Wyatt Enslow 

Wyatt Enslow

     Yuri Sysevich 

Yuri Sysevich

     Medusa 

Medusa / Yaolan

  • Action Girl: Save for Tom, she's the best known space fighter. Her success stems from her unique ability to mind-hack into systems of spaceships and predict their further moves. Tom has the same ability.
  • Action Survivor: Survived a fire and earthquake.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: She and Tom meet by killing each other in simulations.
  • Broken Ace: While Medusa is (next to Tom) one of the most talented fighters in the series, but is implied to be a broken bird due to the extensive burn scars she has.
  • Dating Catwoman: In the first book she befriends Tom, a combatant from the opposing side of the international conflict.
  • Facial Horror: The reason why Medusa doesn't want to reveal herself to Tom, is because half of her face is covered with scars from a fire.
  • Genius Bruiser
  • Meaningful Name: Medusa's alias seems to allude to her facial disfigurement.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Tom. Him and Medusa fight for two sides of an international conflict and have met only on-line, due to living in the U.S and China respectively, at the same time risking a charge for treason.
  • Technopath: The reason why she's such a successful space combatant is her unique ability to manipulate machines according to her will.

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The Spire

     Lieutenant James Blackburn 

Lieutenant James Blackburn

  • As You Know: The entire first programming lesson.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Lampshaded. He goes so far as to kill a teenage girl to preserve his chance at revenge, but also eventually brings about the downfall of a corrupt oligarchy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past The poor guy lost his mind and ended up killing his family after being implanted with a neural processor as an adult.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Well, Blackburn is more of a Good Is Not Nice variant, however, he does save Tom's life and even though he knows that Yuri has Vengerov's transmitter in his brain, he won't take it out knowing that this would likely end up killing the kid. Vengerov on the other hand fries his brain, keeping his promise to remove Yuri's neural processor from the Spire.
  • Good Is Not Nice: One of the most blatant examples ever.
  • Inspector Javert: Played with, as Vengerov is distinctly less innocent than Valjean.
  • Jerkass
  • Kick the Dog: Does this to Vik during Vortex.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Does this several times, mostly to Vengerov and Tom.
  • Parental Substitute: Implied to act one towards Wyatt as her mentor. He even remarks that Wyatt doesn't have much support from her parents and that she reminds him what it was like to be a father. It's sort of a tear jerker knowing that he accidentally killed his own kids after having a neural processor installed in his brain.
  • Paying Evil Unto Evil: His vendetta against Vengerov.
  • Pet the Dog: Blackburn in Vortex is a lot kinder than in the previous book; he saves Tom's life, comforts him and helps him, Wyatt and Vik to take down a Brainwashed and Crazy Yuri.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mainly in the first book; in the second he is much more sympathetic.
  • Sanity Slippage
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky
Blackburn: Mr. Raines, if I were a lesser man, I'd rub this moment in your face. [pause] Actually, I am a lesser man.
  • Tsundere: Seems tough and joyless, but eventually proves to really care about the kids in the Spire, sacrificing his life and his purpose to save Wyatt and Tom.

     General Terry Marsh 

General Terry Marsh

     Elliot Ramirez 

Elliot Ramirez

  • Badass Gay
  • Grew a Spine: Eliot initially was obedient regarding the military's orders; only later he claimed to have destroyed the skyboards (something Tom was responsible for) and publicly criticised the multinational corporations.

     Heather Akron 

Heather Akron

  • Action Girl: As a member of Cam Cos and a space combatant, she definitely is one.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Leaks information about other combatants, threatens Wyatt and blackmails Tom only to achieve a higher status.
  • Asshole Victim: In Vortex. Heather's plan to blackmail Tom into helping her win her Capitol Summit fight with Medusa ends with her career being destroyed, losing sponsorship and then being murdured by Blackburn in order to keep Tom's secret away from Vengerov.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Character Death: In Vortex she is killed by Blackburn after she finds out that Tom is able to interface with machines and threatens to reveal this to Vengerov and other CEOs.
  • Characterization Marches On: In "Insignia" Heather is merely a member of the Camelot Company who Tom has a crush on, and affably evil at worst. Future installments expand on her personality; Allies reveals her former friendship with Wyatt, whom she wanted to use for personal benefit. In Vortex Heather leaks humiliating information on her Cam-Cos colleagues to degrade their public image, bullies Wyatt, proceeds to blackmail Tom into helping her win the Capitol Summit by incapacitating Medusa and after refusing to have her memory modified, she is killed by Blackburn so that Tom's secret ability can be safe from Vengerov.
  • Disney Villain Death: Well, Heather isn't as villainous as Vengerov, but being thrown down a vacuum train tube fits this trope to a tee.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Heather's plan of blackmailing Tom ends with her career being destroyed, losing sponsorship and a looming danger of being reprogrammed like Nigel Harrison. As she later attempts to get away from the Spire without her memory being modified, she is killed by Blackburn.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Slave to PR: To the point where she sabotages fellow Cam Cos.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Allies reveal that before Heather joined Camelot Company, she used to be friends with Wyatt. Only as it turned out, Heather's ambitions were more important to her.
    "Wyatt stared at her. “You only sit with me now when you want something.” She stung with the realization. “You don’t want to be my friend; you just want me to do stuff for you.”
    Heather rolled her eyes, her lips curling. “Oh my God, that’s so pathetic. Are you this out of touch with the way people work?”
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     Karl Marsters 

Karl Marsters

     Nigel Harrison 

Nigel Harrison

  • All the Other Reindeer: Due to his tics many characters mock him. One of the computer viruses that caused facial spasms was even named after poor Nigel.
  • Brainwashed: His implied fate after attempting to blow up the Pentagonal Spire. After undergoing reprogramming, he works for one of the corporations as a walking computer.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nigel plans to destroy the Spire with the ship he's controlling and emerge as a hero in order to win sponsorship. The fact that his colleagues made fun of him and the sponsors turned him down didn't help.

Other Characters

     Neil Raines 

Neil Raines

  • Cassandra Truth: Claims that there is something off about the faces of the Camelot Company kids. As it turns out, the electronic devices inside their heads regulate their facial tics.
  • Like Father, Like Son: As stubborn and reckless as his son.
  • Shadow Archetype: A reckless gambler who struggles to survive, travels from town to town and gets into fights - exactly what Tom could have become if he didn't become a space combatant.

     Joseph Vengerov 

Joseph Vengerov

  • Affably Evil: Initially he doesn't seem very dangerous. Then he locks Tom outside to freeze to death after the latter refuses to obey his orders to take down Medusa.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: How Tom gets promoted to Upper.
  • Big Bad: Designed the neural processors, killing many people while testing them. He also funds the Third World War and profits from it by selling arms to both sides of the conflict.
    • He is also the final antagonist of the series.
  • Kick the Dog: Vows to Blackburn to remove Yuri's neural processor from the Spire. Does so by electrocuting Yuri and turning off the processor, which Yuri needs to survive.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Influences Dalton throughout the series.
  • The Sociopath: Not above using Tom to kill the families of corrupt professionals, masquerading as the Ghost in the Machine.
  • Would Hurt a Child

     Dalton Prestwick 

Dalton Prestwick

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