United Nations Colonial Frontier
Captain Leonard Harrison
The leader of Cobra Squadron, Leonard Harrison is a man who means well, but sometimes makes mistakes that, while not fatal to him, are often fatal to others. Usually those who suffer from this are his enemies, but on occasion his allies suffer as well. Being the oldest member of Cobra Squadron, Harrison is one of the few members over the age of forty. The book also describes him as having a voice similar to Peter Weller, for some odd reason.
- A Father to His Men: He tries to be, but he never does a very good job. His attempt to console Carver after Rockwell's death ends up backfiring horribly.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Despite knowing that Carver's emotional state might suffer as a result, Harrison tells Carver that Rockwell was pregnant when she died after they return to the Leningrad. This information ends up sending Carver into a Despair Event Horizon. When Carver asks him why he told him, Harrison says that he thought that Carver had a right to know. Several chapters and one suicide attempt later, Harrison starts to realize that this may not have been the wisest of decisions.
Lieutenant Horatio Newman
The Second in Command of Cobra Squadron, and former babysitter of Carmen Rockwell when they were both much younger. Horatio Newman often uses an anti-material rifle and specializes in sniping and sharp-shooting. It is implied that he may have feelings of some kind for Rockwell, although he tries his best not to focus on them, seeing as how Rockwell is already in a relationship with fellow pilot Elliot Carver.
- Death Seeker: Following the genocide at New Olympia and death of Carmen Rockwell, due mostly to his accidental killing of Limero Grishnak, Newman hints to Harrison that he doesn't plan on coming back from their mission to destroy Kulam's carrier alive. Only after his mech is damaged does he have a valid excuse to stay behind, however.
- It's All My Fault: He blames himself for Carmen Rockwell's death after Limero Grishnak's bodyguard, Gehrian Skell, follows them to Concordia and kills Rockwell for revenge. He also blames himself for the hundreds of millions of civilians who died after Emperor Grishnak ordered a mass genocide following his daughter's death as well.
- Last Stand: Ties in with Heroic Sacrifice in that Newman, after being injured and seeing that his mech is too damaged to safely exit Kulam's ship, stays behind in the docking bay to give Harrison and Serizawa a chance to escape until Mulcahy can detonate the explosives in the ship's engine room.
- What Have I Done: When attempting to capture Limero Grishnak in order to force Jheld Grishnak to sign a peace treaty, he accidentally kills her, which leads to Jheld ordering a mass extermination of every human on the planet of New Olympia. While he doesn't say these exact words, they do sum up his feelings on the matter quite easily. He keeps saying, "I've killed us all, I've killed us all," over and over until Harrison snaps him out of it while the squadron is trying to escape New Olympia.
Specialist Hiromi Callahan/Douglas
Born on the colony of Concordia, Hiromi is among the first members of Cobra Squadron to actually encounter the Bellafaun in any capacity when they attack her homeworld and kill her mother and sister during the Exodus of Concordia. Her love interest is Russell Douglas, but that's not really important to the story. She ends up bringing an end to the war by forcing Emperor Zehick Lutwai to sign a peace treaty at gunpoint.
- Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, she already has one child, and Priss sees the bump on her belly indicating that another one is on the way.
- Determinator: After snapping out of her latest Heroic BSoD, she manages to not only kill Emperor Grishnak, but she also carves a path through every Bellafaun force thrown at her by both him and Emperor Lutwai, culminating in her holding Lutwai at gunpoint and forcing him to sign a treaty to end the war.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crosses this after finding her father's corpse, which takes place very shortly after her best friend Caroline Jefferson is killed and New Olypmia is overrun by the Bellafaun, both of which take place in the middle of the book. Fortunately, intervention from therapists after arriving at Yggdrasil seems to help her overcome this. The same can not be said for her fellow pilot Elliot Carver, however.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Does she ever. After all of the shit that she goes through over the course of the story, Hiromi Callahan, or Hiromi Douglas in the epilogue, has definitely earned her happy ending. She's not only married to Russell, one her few friends to survive the war with the Bellafaun, but she also has a child too. She also seems rather well adjusted, considering everything she went through, but the book does mention her going to therapy sessions on Yggdrasil following the events of New Olympia.
- Happily Married: To Russell Douglas, her fellow pilot and long time friend from high school.
- Heroic BSoD: One could make a drinking game with this girl. First come the deaths of her mother and sister, followed by the death of Caroline Jefferson, and after that we have the discovery of her father's corpse on Concordia. Finally, we have Carver's death after he plows his mech into a door on Grshnak's ship so that Hiromi can make her way over to the bridge, only to see that there was another heavily guarded door beyond the first one. The third BSOD, which follows the Bellafaun conquering New Olympia among other things, leads directly into a Despair Event Horizon.
- Official Couple: With Russell Douglas.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Following her snapping out of a BSOD caused by Carver's death, Hiromi turns Emperor Grishnak and his ship's crew into red paste on the walls.
- Trauma Conga Line: First, she witnesses her mother and sister die along with hundreds of other people, while her father has gone missing, effectively making her an orphan. Also, her home planet is ravaged and conquered by racist space elves. Then, after a somewhat rough start as a refugee living with her surviving relatives on New Olympia, she joins the military with the hope of not only getting revenge on the Bellafaun but also of finding her father. This does not end well, as she has to watch many of her newest friends and fellow pilots die one by one as planet after planet is conquered, and soon her second home is destroyed, her remaining family are killed, and her best friend in the entire galaxy is killed for kicks by the enemy, and another close friend apparently dies after staying behind to give her and the rest of her squad time to escape. To top this all off, New Olympia is conquered by the Bellafaun, and shortly afterward, she ends up on her homeworld only to find her father's desecrated corpse, sending her into a nearly catatonic state. The conga line only ends after one more pilot dies while trying to perform a heroic sacrifice, only for her to realize that his sacrifice was pointless because the path to the bridge of Grishnak's ship, and subsequently Grishnak himself, is heavily guarded with another door.
Corporal Russell Douglas
A native of New Olympia, Russell Douglas is a member of Cobra Squadron. He is also one of Hiromi's best friends, having been one of the few people who attempted to befriend the girl after she arrived on the colony following the Exodus of Concorida. By the time of the Battle of New Olympia, He and Hiromi are already involved in a romantic relationship, and after the Third Battle of Concorida, he becomes one of only two friends from her youth to survive the war with the Bellafaun.
- Babies Ever After: In the Epilogue, both he and Hiromi are married with one child, and another on the way.
- Happily Married: To Hiromi in the book's Epilogue.
- Only Sane Man: He can seem this way, along with Serizawa, as both Douglas and Serizawa seem to be the only characters who don't deliberately do anything incredibly life threatening during the book. Granted, signing up to pilot a war machine against a technologically superior enemy that has a solid track record of winning almost every fight may seem a bit crazy, but out of everyone on Cobra Squadron, Douglas certainly fits the bill, especially since he tries his best to get Doridan Mosk, a man with a record of winning every fight he's in, to side with humanity when given the chance.
Corporal Elliot Carver
A native of New Olympia, Elliot Carver is a member of Cobra Squadron. He is romantically involved with fellow Pilot Carmen Rockwell, and before the Battle of New Olympia, has even proposed to her. He is very competitive and can be a bit of an asshole at times. He is the last member of Cobra Squadron to die in the book.
- Despair Event Horizon: After the death of Carmen Rockwell, he enters a serious depression, which is only compounded after Captain Harrison tells him that Rockwell was pregnant with their lovechild at the time of her death. Following Cobra Squadron's arrival at Yggdrasil, he finally loses all hope and attempts to commit suicide in a hotel bath tub, only to be stopped by Captain Harrison. He never fully recovers from this.
- Heroic BSoD: Directly following Carmen's death and his subsequent attack on Gehrian Skell.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Having been mortally wounded by Gehrian Skell before avenging Rockwell, Carver tells Callahan to find a safe spot as he rushes his damaged mech through the halls of Grishnak's ship before ramming into a closed door in a fiery explosion, opening up a path for Callahan to get to Grishnak. Unfortunately, the path is blocked by another door and several guards, which causes his sacrifice to be in vain and sends Callahan into a Heroic BSoD.
- Trauma Conga Line: First he watches as his home planet is conquered by the Bellafaun and nearly everyone in his family is killed, and then he sees his fiancee die in a horrific explosion. Finally, after defeating and apparently killing Carmen's killer, allowing him to have at least some closure, Captain Harrison tells him that Carmen was pregnant when she died, sending him right back into a depression, which eventually culminates in him trying to commit suicide. And after that, he eventually learns that he failed to kill Rockwell's killer, causing him to become suicidally reckless during his fight with said killer.
Sergeant Carmen Rockwell
A native resident of New Olympia, Carmen Rockwell is considered to be one of the best mech pilots in the military. She is romantically involved with fellow pilot Elliot Carver. At the time of her death, she was pregnant with their lovechild, but was unaware of it because the results from her physical had not yet been completed. She was also engaged to Elliot as well, although she had demanded that he take her name, since Elliot Rockwell sounded better than Carmen Carver. Her death sends Elliot into a horrible depression, which eventually results in him attempting to commit suicide.
- Ace Pilot: Is one of the best three mech pilots on New Olympia. Unfortunately, this doesn't save her from Gehrian Skell's dirty fighting.
- Fiery Redhead: Averted. She is one of the calmest and most rational characters in the story.
Warrant Officer Edward G. Delgado
A minor character, Serizawa is one of the four original members of Cobra Squadron to survive the war with the Bellafaun. He, like many other mech pilots, is a resident of New Olympia or another Colony. It is mentioned in the book that several members of his family were killed during an earthquake early on in his childhood, so he deals with the massive deaths caused by the Bellafaun, including those of his teammates, somewhat more easily than the other members of his squad. Somewhat quiet and reserved, Serizawa's actions throughout the book seem to suggest that he is more focused on surviving the war over fighting the Bellafaun in general, although he never voices his goals out loud.
- One-Man Army: While trapped in the hangar bay of Empress Kulam's Royal Carrier, Serizawa manages to hold off several waves of Bellafaun troops while Harrison, Newman, and Mulcahy's Marines attempt to complete their mission. He does this while the two Marines guarding the escape ship with him are dead, meaning that he is alone the entire time. He is one of only two members of the assault team to survive the mission to destroy Empress Kulam's carrier, with the other survivor being Captain Harrison.
Staff Sergeant Kevin Howarth
A member of Cobra Squadron, Howarth originally joined the cross-branch Mech unit in order to advance his own rank, but after seeing what the Bellafaun were doing to the planets they conquered, and how they butchered innocent civilians indiscriminately, he quickly reorganized his priorities. During the Battle of New Olympia, he goes AWOL in order to help save various groups of civilians throughout the mega-city of Leonidas, where Cobra Squadron is stationed while helping evacuate civilians safely, after Bellafaun forces manage to enter the city.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Is mentioned in the book as having dirty blond hair and dark skin, although whether he is black or brown is not specified.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Goes AWOL in order to help evacuate groups of civilians cut off from the main evacuation routes after the Bellafaun enter the mega-city of Leonidas. He somehow manages to do this without anyone noticing until he's already gone.
Private Mark Jones
A member of Cobra Squadron, Mark Jones is a private, and...yeah, that's about all we know about him in the book. After he dies, a funeral is planned for him when the rest of Cobra Squadron returns to New Olympia.
- Red Shirt: Is the first member of Cobra Squadron to die after the first time skip, although he is technically the third member of Cobra Squadron to die in general, as two other pilots have already been killed in action during a previous battle with the Bellafaun. All that's really known about him is his name. Unlike some examples, he isn't forgotten right away, as his name appears on a plaque dedicated to the fallen men and women of New Olympia at a memorial on Yggdrasil visited by Captain Harrison during the one year interim before the Bellafaun attack the Epsilon Eridani System.
Lieutenant Priscilla "Priss" McNichol
A resident of New Olympia, like many other mech pilots, Priscilla "Priss" McNichol is relatively young woman thrust into a bloody and almost hopeless fight to ensure humanity's survival. Unlike many of her peers, Priss has an almost supernatural amount of luck on her side, and somehow manages to have a sense of fun when she isn't fighting this desperate war. Unlike her friend Hiromi Callahan, Priss's family is still alive prior to the attack on New Olympia, and as such she does not have as great a vendetta against them as the Concordian refugee.
- Action Girl: Along with the other female characters. Priss has survived things unscathed that few other characters in the book can survive with any injury. The book mentions that she was also born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, which makes her streak of luck only that much more incredible.
- Born Lucky: Was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her throat, frequently survives almost impossible odds, and is even named after characters from Blade Runner and Bubblegum Crisis.
- She also survives crashing a motorcycle into a mech, has her own mech incapacitated during the Battle of Kelron II, survives the massacre of her entire team during the Battle of New Olympia, fights and destroys a Bellafaun corvette on her own (Which even Delgado failed to do), manages to escape the planet surface only to fight more Bellafaun in order to protect the ship she's escaping on, and then has her mech incapacitated and strapped to a makeshift escape vessel while traveling faster than the speed of light through subspace while trying to destroy a Bellafaun tracking device placed on said ship's hull before it arrives in the Epsilon Eridani system, and ends up suffering from oxygen deprivation only to recover to fight the Bellafaun again after they attack Yggdrasil and survives to see the end of the war. This girl is luck incarnate.
- Determinator: Even when the odds are stacked against her, and she starts suffering from oxygen deprivation, Priss still does everything she can to ensure the safety of the people around her.
- In-Series Nickname: Priss is usually referred to as Priss, a shortened version of her first name, Priscilla. Another nickname that she is given by certain military personnel after the Battle of New Olympia is the Last Sparrow, due to her being the last surviving member of Sparrow Squadron. It's unknown if she is aware of this nickname or not, however.
- Shout-Out: Is named after two characters from Bubblegum Crisis: Priss Asagiri and Leon McNichol, who in turn are named after characters from Blade Runner. Much like her namesake, Priss has brown hair and rides a motorcycle. She does not, however, sing in a band.
- Sole Survivor: Of Sparrow Squadron, which is all but wiped out by Limero and Gehrian's Archangel pack during their attack on the Leonidas Star Port. She remains the sole survivor until she meets up with Cobra Squadron, and after staying behind to lure the corvette away from the Leningrad, she once again becomes a sole survivor after Howarth dies following their brief team-up. She is, however, still the only surviving member of Sparrow Squadron following the Battle of New Olympia, before she is absorbed into Cobra Squadron prior to the Battle of Yggdrasil.
Captain Juan Perez
The Leader of Sparrow Squadron, Juan Perez had to win a game of Rock Paper Scissors with Harrison in order to get Priss McNichol assigned to his squad, after both men witnessed her hijack a combat mech in order to stop a runaway construction mech during her training. He was born on Mars, according to a conversation between Robert Hoffman and Admiral Reynolds.
- Red Shirt: Doesn't get much dialogue, and he is slaughtered along with his entire squadron off-screen or off-page, with the exception of Priss McNichol.
- Sadistic Choice: Considers the success of Operation Lady of War to be this, as his options for capturing Princess Limero Grishnak involve either lurng her away from her Archangel pack and letting the rest of them slaughter the hundreds of civilians at the Leonidas Starport and potentially saving millions of lives, or killing the princess and saving the lives of the civilians at the starport, at the risk of destroying any chance of getting Emperor Grishnak to sign a peace treaty.
Captain Michael Walker
A native of Yggdrasil, Michael Walker is the leader of Viper Squadron. His parents were descended from Africa on Earth, but he considers himself to be Yggdrasilian due to being born there, as far as his nationality goes.
- Batman Gambit: He intentionally gets Priss to violate her orders and take her Deinonychus Battle Mech Mk. IV test unit out for a joy ride in order to test its flight capabilities without the constraints that a training session would have on a pilot's mindset. He also sends Ramona Grant after Priss knowing that Priss will piss her off and cause them to fight each other, again so that he can get valuable data about the new model's combat abilities without the pilots holding back.
Warrant Officer Ramona Susan Grant
The daughter of the late Admiral Ulysses Grant, Ramona Grant is a member of Viper Squadron. After her father's death, she became devoted to keeping his name unsullied. As a result, she learned how to have an air of authority around her while sleeping, and maintains an air of professionalism and authority around her at all times, leading some characters to think that she's arrogant or stuck up. She is apparently a decent mech pilot, if her being able to go toe to toe with Priss McNichol in a fight is any indication.
- Berserk Button: Calling her names or implying that she has somehow tarnished her father's name. Apparently, when Priss Called her a dumbass, she took it very personally.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She actually appears very early in the story, during the first chapter, although at that point she is only mentioned as Admiral Grant's daughter. She is the one who used an old navy code to send an encrypted distress call, from an old cargo transport carrying herself and hundreds of other civilians, to the UNCF Louisiana during the Battle of Paris III, the first battle of the war, saving hundreds of lives. She doesn't reappear until in the story after New Olympia has been conquered and the Leningrad has arrived at Yggdrasil.
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted. She usually maintains a calm and professional attitude, and she only really lets loose when Priss McNichol manages to push her Berserk Button. She apparently does her best to be professional in order to avoid tarnishing her father's name, since he was a highly respected admiral before his death at the hands of Empress Kulam. This, of course, causes everyone around her to view her as a stoic Ice Queen.
- Ice Queen: Becomes this, after the death of her father, in an attempt to present an image of professionalism and keep his name unsullied. It is implied, however, that being an ice queen was not completely intentional, and is simply how she is perceived thanks to her attempts at being professional at all times.
- Not So Stoic: After Priss pushes her berserk button, she becomes much more emotional in her interactions with the other pilot.
- The Stoic: She seems this way most of the time, thanks in part to her constant professionalism. Her squadron leader, Captain Walker, apparently thinks that she's got a stick up her ass because of this behavior.