Name: Thomas Raines (may respond to: Tom, Doctor, Gormless Cretin, Doctor of Gormless Cretinism)
Title: Main character
Notes: At the beginning of INSIGNIA, Tom is a drifter with his father. He’s flunking out of school and has no real skills but an ability to win video games. When he’s recruited to the Intrasolar Forces based out of the Pentagonal Spire, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime—even if he has to get a computer installed in his brain to join. Tom’s naturally independent and stubborn personality cause him no end of trouble. He makes enemies throughout INSIGNIA and VORTEX, and many of them are powerful people who can have a severe adverse impact on his life. And they do.
Name: Vikram Ashwan (also responds to: Doctor, Vik, and Spicy Indian)
Title: Main character’s best friend in the world
Notes: Vik shares Tom’s sense of humor, and enjoys mocking people in a good-natured way. He’s also occasionally a voice a reason and restraint, seeing the sensible path Tom does not, though it’s not until Tom’s near death in VORTEX that Vik begins to see it as his duty as a friend to be the reasonable one.
Name: Wyatt Enslow (Does not respond to: Man Hands, Evil Wench)
Title: Second main character and the reason the first main character can do… most anything
Notes: Wyatt is a brilliant and maladjusted girl who was astonishingly intelligent even before the neural processor. She’s mentored by Blackburn due to her programming skills, but oftentimes she’s used them in ways he would not approve of, helping Tom in one way or another. She’s a brave and loyal friend, and Tom would get nowhere without her.
Name: Yuri Sysevich (AKA: The Android)
Title: Love interest of second main character, the fourth in their group of friends
Notes: Yuri is as close as a person can in real life to a superhero. He’s athletic, intelligent, friendly, and loyal, and totally smitten with Wyatt. He’s an invaluable support for his friends, even if the fact that he hails from a Russian family causes problems related to the war effort.
Name: James Blackburn
Title: Tom’s sometimes nemesis/sometimes twisted Yoda, Joseph Vengerov’s arch nemesis
Notes: Blackburn was one of the soldiers implanted with a neural processor in the original test group. His resulting insanity led to the deaths of his children, and he’s blamed Joseph Vengerov ever since. Although he buts heads with the willful, stubborn Tom, he also occasionally proves an invaluable ally, especially against their mutual enemy, Vengerov.
Name: Neil Raines
Title: Tom’s father
Notes: Neil is a gambler with a substance abuse problem. He’s fiercely devoted to Tom, who he’s raised alone since Tom’s mother left them. He’s opinionated about the government, for better or worse, and every bit as stubborn as his son.
Name: Terry Marsh
Title: Obligatory guy in charge
Notes: General Marsh doesn’t approve of the direction World War III is going and has come to see it as a cash grab by multinational companies. He recruits Tom as part of his strategy to get ringers who will actually win the war instead of prolong it indefinitely as is currently happening.
Name: Medusa (also responds to: Yaolan, known as the Achilles of the Modern World).
Title: Tom’s love interest and the most spectacular warrior in the world
Notes: Medusa is the greatest warrior on the Russo-Chinese side. She’s also the only other person in the world who shares Tom’s ability to interface with any machine at will. She was disfigured from an accident as a child, and chose her callsign ironically. Tom is obsessed with her.
Name: Dalton Prestwick
Title: The evil stepfather figure, and a lackey to Joseph Vengerov
Notes: Dalton is the boyfriend of Tom’s mother, and an executive at Dominion Agra. Tom feels great animosity towards him for an assortment of reasons. Dalton is also Joseph Vengerov’s devoted lackey.
Name: Elliot Ramirez (also responds to: Ares, Taco Bell Teen Hero).
Title: The Golden Boy of the Pentagonal Spire
Notes: Elliot Ramirez is the Petagonal Spire’s only public combatant, and initially Tom’s nemesis when he comes to the Spire. However, Elliot is also a sincere guy with some great advice about playing the social game when it comes to advancing up the ranks at the Pentagonal Spire, if only Tom listens to him.
Name: Karl Marsters (also responds to: Vanquisher).
Title: Tom’s age-appropriate nemesis
Notes: Karl and Tom have an antagonistic relationship, with Karl attempting to bully him and Tom always getting the better of him. But Tom may be outgrowing Karl as a nemesis now that Tom has greater threats to contend with.
Name: Joseph Vengerov
Title: The Big Bad
Notes: Vengerov is the CEO of Obsidian Corp and the most powerful man in the Insigniaverse. He designed the neural processors and has killed many people testing them in his experiments. He funds both sides of the war and profits from the conflict by selling weapons. He also may or may not have a secret neural processor of his own, and an agenda for world domination.
Top 5 Moments from INSIGNIA
1.) Tom is recruited to the Pentagonal Spire and has a neural processor implanted
2.) Tom and Medusa meet as Achilles and Penthesilea outside the city of Troy
3.) With the help of his friends, Tom floods the Beringer Club to wreak vengeance on Dalton
4.) Tom and Blackburn face off in the Census Chamber
5.) Medusa reveals her true face to Tom
Top 5 Moments from VORTEX
1.) Tom alienates all the sponsoring companies in one day
2.) Vengerov traps Tom outside in Antarctica and Blackburn rescues him, mostly
3.) Tom and then Blackburn respond to Heather’s blackmail attempts
4.) Medusa sweeps in to save Tom, Vik and Wyatt from Obsidian Corp
5.) Tom becomes the Ghost the in the Machin