Characters (will be updated as more are added in the story.)

Minnow

  Minnow is a cyborg. She was born with four stumps and requires prosthetic limbs to get around. She is also on the autism spectrum, though the people of her time don't have a name for it, and not many people understand her. While still innocent in many ways, she is surprisingly cunning, able to quickly formulate plans that make the most of her current environment, using whatever is available in seemingly roundabout but ultimately very effective ways. Click on the portrait to the left read her full bio.

Andrea

  Andrea is one of very few people who have ever truly understood Minnow, immediately taking a shine to her. Formerly the captain of the Balena, beloved by many, she retired a couple of years after rescuing Minnow to look after the girl and make sure her needs as a person on the spectrum and as a cyborg were met. While this unfortunately  would not last, she remains the most influential person in Minnow's life. Click on her portrait to see more.

Noma

  Noma is a "Dolphin" Merfolk. There are several different types, but dolphin merfolk are biologically the closest to us humans, often called our 'underwater cousins.' A compassionate mother of two, she becomes an invaluable ally of Minnow in times when the humans on the Balena fail to understand her needs. She believes the girl is capable of great things and is usually the first to vouch for her, though she may go a little overboard on occasion and land Minnow in spots of trouble. Click on her portrait to see more.

Nathaniel Rudd

  Current captain of the Balena. Andrea hand-picked him to be her successor when she retired. A friend of hers for many years, he's done his best to live up to the standards she set and follow her example of patience and restraint. Unfortunately, not many of the people on the ship knew Andrea like he did, fluffing up her legend a bit... So his efforts to follow the example of the "real" captain Andrea end up backfiring, as people say he lacks the initiative she had. Some smugly call him "Captain Cyclops" since he lost one of his eyes and replaced it with a cyborg one. The one area where he has failed to live up to Andrea's example is in ensuring that Minnow thrives, believing she was better off in the care of others.

Seth Weever

  Dr Weever (yes, it's spelled like the fish) has tended to many ailing cyborgs over the years. Because cyborgs pretty common, it's become standard practice for doctors to have a basic understanding of cyborg repair. Because of this, "doctors" in the more visceral sense and engineers have become synonymous. Your robotic arm is jammed up? Go see the doctor. He'll do a kidney transplant while he's at it.

  Seth is more understanding than most on the ship, and one of few to not blame Minnow for what happened to the former captain.

Kelsey Marx

  A young man quick to assume the worst of people and guard himself. His parents left the Balena when he was small, leaving him for his aunt to raise. Cristina doted on him, spoiling the boy more than a little. Andrea was also very good to him. He grew to love her like a second aunt. Like many, he didn't take the bad news about the former captain well, and was quick to blame Minnow, giving her a hard time to pay her back not realizing she was closer to Andrea than he would ever be and hurting even more than he was. Cristina only encouraged this behavior, delighting in Minnow's hardship.

Cristina Marx

  A bitter, judgemental woman who wound up hastily appointed as the governor of part of the ship by Captain Nathan when two other candidates' votes were bungled up. Minnow fell through the cracks into Cristina's care, who was all too happy to avenge Andrea by making Minnow's life hell for years. She also used her position to keep others she saw as "useless bums" down, and basically let her nephew Kelsey do whatever he wanted around the ship. She'd have you believe she and the former captain were great friends, but truth be told, Andrea was always wary of her. Her one redeeming quality may be that she does genuinely love her nephew (in fact, he may be the only person in the entire world she has enough love to spare), and would do anything to ensure he is safe and untouched.

Hack

  A high-ranking pirate in the Barrakuda gang. Hack is ruthless and practically worships the pirate queen, demanding unflinching

loyalty and commitment to the cause. Over the years Hack has managed to "recruit" hundreds, possibly over a thousand members, usually the surviving victims of the pirate's raids, threatening their lives if they don't join.

  More information to be added at a later date.

Dani Ray

  A talented engineer serving aboard the Navy-owned Pristidae. When she was fairly new to the field, she suffered a hand injury that rendered three of her fingers unusable. Those who thought she should pursue a modeling career instead urged her to accept a surgery that wouldn't restore the function of her hand, but would at least 'make it look pretty again.' Helping people like Minnow was simply more important to her, so she ditched the fingers and got a cyborg replacement so she could continue working as an engineer. Now she couldn't be a model even if she wanted to, as cyborgs are seen as 'undesirables' by the current society at large, even if it's an upgrade that can't be seen. But in her view, this just brings her closer to the people she cares for. Like Minnow, she is also autistic.

Onora Hakes
Johannes Sturgeon

  A Naval Commander whose personal ship is the Pristidae, a sawfish-themed aircraft carrier. She used to have an even higher rank within the Navy, but following a personal tragedy she requested to be demoted slightly so she could focus more of her time on developing new Zuits to pacify pirates and other threats in a preferably more non-violent fashion, recognizing that most of the pirates within the Barrakuda gang were just normal people forced to join under threat of death and brainwashed, who she hopes to capture and rehabilitate. For this purpose, she converted parts of the Pristidae to double as an R&D center. This is where her pride and joy, the Dauphin, was born.

  Admiral of a large fleet spearheaded by the Limulidae, Sturgeon ranks above Onora and oversees her projects, dropping by her ship now and then to see the results for himself. Viewed by many as 'the true face of the navy,' he is extremely skeptical and sees her latest project as a waste of time and money, urging her to instead focus on heavy weapons that outpower the pirates' own battle Zuits.

 

'These pirates aren't playing around. They don't bother with things like tranquilizer darts or capture goop. These are toys. We need weapons. We need machines that can tear their machines to pieces.' 

A proud father of six whose 'papa bear' instinct extends well beyond blood, he is also wary of Minnow's role in these developments once she joins the navy and believes she is being exploited.

Planet Ripple © Nicholas Anderson.

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