I thought you might like to know who they are. From left to right:
Rufus “Rufe” Marshall: Championship clashball player. In fact, he was about to win the championship game when all of a sudden these jellyfish showed up to attack the city. That’s why he’s mad.
Rufe lost an eye in the War. Well, actually he lost a lot more than that, including his father and all his brothers. He has a cyborg implant to replace the eye, and during the post-War years he focused on his athletic talent, taking his devastated nation all the way to the top. In fact, he was pretty sure he won the actual War, single-handed, but sometimes people hold grudges.
Sonny Knight: The hero of our tale. His name is really Leroy, but after suffering a horrific accident he temporarily forgets, and before long everyone starts calling him Sonny, so he runs with it.
Captain Kai: He does have a surname, seventy-nine letters long and adopted by an ancestor as a form of protest against filling out forms. Everyone just calls him Kai. He’s easy to spot in a crowd, given the tattoos all over his skin, most of which are traditional-style Maori and Samoan blackwork, with classic sailor style decorating his arms. He got those when he tried staying at home, being a homebody, with his wife. It didn’t work out. He’s much happier sailing around the world.
Risha Petrichor: Sonny is madly in love with the beautiful Risha, a trust fund beneficiary who has an excellent reason for being in that room while that political assassination was happening. Sonny is sure of it. In fact, he trusts her so much he doesn’t even care what it is, and he hopes that in a few more years, she’ll notice that his romantic obsession is truer than all other romantic obsessions.
Hina: Hina is a bio-reverse-engineered thylacine, with dog DNA filling in the missing bits. She’s got a chip in her head that floods her brain with oxytocin when she’s around her official handler, and due to a malfunction, Sonny becomes her official handler soon after they meet. Having worked as a sports mascot, she is very well trained, and accustomed to crowds.
The Mermaid: Is the figurehead of the Lono, a modern recreation of an old-fashioned ship, made of bioengineered wood hardy enough to withstand the rigors of a chemically readjusted ocean that rapidly corrodes metal. It was built by Kai’s shipwright family, because they love him and understand his need to wander all over the planet, even though it’s dangerous. The figurehead was chosen by Kai as a tribute to his navigator, Nepenthe, a sentient sea cow (“Siren”) who communicates using a mermaid avatar on protoplasm-blob powered technology which enables her to get 3D beneath-surface Google streetview as well as some interesting chatrooms and musical downloads.
The Jellyfish: Are full of clones of Adrian Qoro, the smartest evil genius of them all. At some point, their country became the very first country made up entirely of clones! (Because they killed everyone else.) Lately the international community has been frowning upon their unsustainable lack of genetic diversity as well as their mad science industry. Their response: kidnapping a stadium full of people and keeping them happy and comfortable in what amounts to a zoo while granting them limited citizenship, problem solved. Or is it? We shall see how this plays out.
NOT APPEARING ON THIS COVER:
Lucas J. Quicksilver, M.D.: A skinny white guy with fancy blond hair. Looks like he escaped from a boy band. Currently passed out in the hold due to overexertion.
(Special Agent) Leah Dean Blocker: A black lady with short, salt-and-pepper hair and strong cheekbones, who walks with a limp, or at least she did until she recently broke her leg. She’s also passed out in the hold due to having a broken leg.