About the cast
***SPOILERS FOR PAGES 1-64***
Mambo Jamilla Truth
Born in the suburbs of New Orleans and currently residing in a sprawling underground complex beneath Chicago, Jam receives her grey eyes and preternatural intelligence from the Glaukipos trait that blesses a member of her family roughly once every other generation. She is even more intelligent that previous beneficiaries of the trait, being possibly the smartest human being who has ever been alive. After spending most of her teen years in Haiti with her great aunt Ayida Truth, the only other living Glaukipos, Jam moved back to America to raise her younger sister after the deaths of their parents. An unparalleled scientist and engineer, Jam is also a devout Vodou priestess and sees no conflict between these aspects of her life. Since the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she has been dedicated to improving the world by any means necessary, including the nanotechnology-assisted mass murder of rapists and murderers who she judges unfit to live. While issues affecting blacks and women, and Haiti in particular, tend to be her highest priorities, Jam has declared war on evil in all its forms, and is growing more ambitious.
Jam’s younger sister is of ordinary human intelligence. She is a budding actress and a dollmaker, and struggles with discalculia. Alex loves her sister very much but understandably has a bit of an complex. Jam tries to be sensitive to this. Alex is an enthusiastic assistant to her sister, having helped build the Truth House under Chicago and aiding in Jam’s various missions. While she will never be a successor to Jam the inventor, Jam sees her as a potential heir to Jam the warrior. Alex is an adherent of Haitian Vodou like her sister, but is significantly less of a true believer. Alex does not like being called Lexi.
Danny does not like to talk about his past, little of which is known. He was living on the streets of Chicago for several years at least, having acquired and shaken off a drug habit and embraced and rejected a career as a mugger, before attempting to kill himself at the age of seventeen. His suicide was prevented by Alex Truth, who subsequently invited him to live with her and her sister. Overwhelmed by the sudden change in his life situation, Danny has very little idea of what to make of his new surroundings, and is attempting to simply keep his cool and observe until he gets his bearings.
A Palestinian youth raised in the Gaza Strip, Ji left home following an altercation with his family resulting from issues including his bisexuality, his growing agnosticism, and his political ambivalence. During an attempt to reach America, Ji’s nervous system was fused with a neural parasite of exotic substance which he named Poem. Aside from granting him bursts of exceptional speed and the ability to manifest tendrils of the strange energetic substance Poem is composed of, Poem also allowed Ji to access certain limited information from its previous hosts, including languages and some skillsets. Upon arrival in the States, Ji came to the attention of Jam, who took him under her wing. He prefers the nickname Ji because he does not feel that his given name, Jihad, meaning “struggle”, is an appropriate representation of his personality, but Jam is not sure she agrees.
Amy is one of two teenage test subjects to respond positively to brain implants reversed-engineered from Poem by the transhumanist Danner Foundation. While the telekinetic abilities the implants were intended to bestow currently manifest only as battering ram-like force bolts, they do provide temporary intelligence boosts to near-Glaukipos levels, with the side effects of enhancing appetite, libido, and general sensitivity. An aspiring chef, Amy is brash, impulsive, and uninhibited. While she can come off as arrogant and abrasive, her heart is in the right place, mostly. Amy is quite fond of bowler hats.
The other successful test subject of the Danner Foundation, Kevin lashed out violently after receiving his implants, leading the Foundation to forcibly alter his personality with technology acquired from a mysterious entity known as Sylith. Kevin was rendered perfectly selfless and altruistic, compelled by his basic nature to react to the needs of others. All other drives towards personal gratification, including his sex drive and desire to enjoy food and art and literature, were rerouted into the drive to serve others. Kevin resents this brainwashing as much as his new personality will allow him to, but is also aware that by many systems of morality he has now become a paragon of humanity.