An Online
By Jon
and Mark

: :
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Chapter Two

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Our Heroes

Benjamin Prester Benjamin Prester
"...and tell Intelligence they forgot to mention the radioactive spiders."

Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, United States of America

Benjamin spent his childhood building, dismantling, and otherwise fascinated by machines. He attended CalTech on scholarship, and after graduation he disappeared into the depths of the government's top secret weapons research labs. He resurfaced five years later and was soon recruited into the Vorstellen Police as a special field agent by Gustave Nyerere.

The Vorstellen Police have few agents better than Benjamin Prester. He is smart, persistent, a little bit ruthless, and has excellent insight into the minds of the mad scientists he tracks down. He is currently assigned as chief field agent on the Mirabile Dictu case.

Shortly after Benjamin was transferred to this case, Mars requested that one of its own agents, Caprice Quevillion, be assigned to advise him. It is not entirely clear why Mars is interested in the Mirabile Dictu case, nor if Mars is interested in Prester himself.

Benjamin finds Caprice's ability to speak as Mars to be rather disconcerting, and he considers her perkiness irritating. He is trying to be polite to Caprice, although he is used to working alone and frequently finds himself regretting the need to drag a mere psychiatrist along with him.

Caprice Quevillion Caprice Quevillion
"When I say 'we,' I mean Mars. The whole planet."

Place of Birth: Alnaschar, Mars

As a member of the Martian group consciousness, Caprice is a bit of an enigma. She holds the rank of captain with the Martian Police as an advisor on criminal psychology, and has been temporarily loaned to the Vorstellen Police to assist in the Mirabile Dictu case.

Captain Quevillion presents a facade to the world: polite, distracted, and harmless. This is only a front, however; Caprice can draw on the power of a planetary intellect at will and has demonstrated the ability to fly, to walk unprotected through vacuum, and to fire beams of plasma from her hands without the use of visible weapons.

Caprice has a sunny personality, the result of growing up safe and secure in a wealthy and advanced society. She truly believes the best of people and tries to see the good in everyone. She is very protective of Benjamin, both because he is her partner and because he is a good person.


Gustave Nyerere Gustave Nyerere
"Blame the budget cuts. The orbital cannons are cheap."

Place of Birth: Dodoma, Tanzania, Republic of Southern Africa

Chief Nyerere grew up in the capital of Southern Africa's Tanzania Province, attended Tokyo University, and received a doctorate in criminal law from the University of Buenos Aires. After this international education he spent his early career in police administration in Nairobi, where he gained an impressive reputation which led to his being recruited into the Vorstellen Police.

Nyerere is an extremely competent administrator and a gifted leader. As Chief of Operations for the Vorstellen Police, he manages all special agents engaged in tracking down mad scientists. Under his administration, the Vorstellen Police have expanded their operations even while appropriations are being cut by the Solar Parliament.

Caprice as Mars Mars
"It must be nice to be omnipotent."
"Not omnipotent. Merely extremely powerful."

Place of Birth: N/A

Little is known about Mars. It is a group mind made up of over a million humans, and has a dry sense of humor. Scientists working for the Vorstellen Police believe that Mars is a transcendent being, capable of thought at a speed and to a depth inaccessible to normal humans. A human who is part of the Martian group consciousness will appear to be several times as intelligent as a non-Martian, as her contact with the Martian overmind enhances her intellect.

In its guise as a populated planet, Mars is a member state in the Solar Parliament. It votes as a bloc, making it a very important "swing state" in the politics of the Solar System.

Mars speaks through the people who belong to its group mind. Oddly, its words always seem to be coming from dozens of different mouths even if Mars is speaking through a single person.

Mad Scientists

Djaya Sumatera Djaya Sumatera
"When you're a recovering mad scientist, you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine in the living room and a plan to go back in time to pants Hitler."

Place of Birth: Jakarta, Java, West Pacific Concordat

Djaya Sumatera is a recovering mad scientist living in the city of Noviy Anadyr on the Moon, where he works at a series of temp jobs as a roboticist and AI specialist. His history as a former mad scientist keeps him from getting a good job and moving out of his cramped, squalid apartment in the old part of the city.

As a recovering mad scientist, Sumatera is always on the lookout for signs that he is backsliding into mad science. He attends meetings which help him to keep his Science Related Memetic Disorder in check, and he is quick to mention this to anyone who seems to be questioning his sanity.

Sumatera is a friend of Benjamin Prester and acts as one of Benjamin's links into the underground data networks through which mad scientists and former mad scientists communicate.

Dr. Haas Dr. Haas
"It will work! I'll show them all!"

Place of Birth: unknown

Dr. Haas is a mad scientist. He works with the robots Dryden (who is large and rather dim-witted) and Chaucer (who is small and clever). Nothing else about Haas is available at this time.

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