- Characters in Revelation Space
"These are major characters from the various novels and stories that make up
Alastair Reynolds's" Revelation Space "universe""."
Ana Khouri, an ex-soldier from
Sky's Edge, was accidentally placed aboard an interstellar lighthugger and brought to Chasm City. At Chasm City, she participated in Shadowplay, being the hunter and then killing or mortally wounding the participants. After one Shadowplay event she was recruited by the Mademoiselle to infiltrate the crew of the lighthugger "Nostalgia for Infinity". She was also recruited by the triumvirate of the lighthugger "Nostalgia for Infinity" as the Gunnery officer where she thinks she is heading back home to Sky's Edgeafter Triumvir Ilia Volyova's experiments ended in the death of the previous Gunnery officer, the position she is expected to fill. She plays no part in Chasm City(although a tantalising hint in another story gives us the clue that the woman whom Tanner speaks to at the end is in fact Ana Khouri), as most characters from the other novels do not, and is an important part in Redemption Arkorganising the evacuation from Resurgam and again in Absolution Gap. She is presently the only major character to appear in all the Revelation Space novels, with the exception of the standalone " The Prefect".
Antoinette Bax is a starship pilot in the Rust Belt in
Redemption Ark. She is harassed by police authorities in the area until she rescues Clavain, which draws her into the conflict between Clavain and the Conjoiners. She goes with Clavain to Resurgam and Ararat and participates in the battle against Triumvir Volyova. During the events of Absolution Gap, the Nostalgia for Infinity leaves Ararat. Antoinette opts to remain on the planet and is thus caught in the inhibitor bombardment of the planet (although it is implied that the pattern jugglersmay have absorbed her into the ocean before the bombardment commenced).
Aura appears in "
Absolution Gap". The daughter of Ana Khouri and a renegade from Resurgam named Thorn, Aura is altered "in utero" in the Hades matrix to convey knowledge of advanced technologies in order to fight the Inhibitors. She is also adapted with Conjoinertechnology. At one point, Skade kidnaps her and becomes her surrogate mother: she is "born" when she is cut from the dying Skade (which Skade allows in exchange for Nevil Clavain's death). She later falsifies her own memories and assumes the name Rashmika Els to gather intelligence on Hela. In the prologue and epilogue of the book (roughly 400 years after the Hela mission), she has returned to Ararat as the Greenfly machines are consuming the galaxy. She decides to head to the Pleiades star cluster, which other humans have already retreated to (this colony later features in Galactic North).
Caheulla lived on
Sky's Edgein a renovated zoological compound called the Reptile House, from where he sold weapons to both sides involved in the planet's civil war, which led to a bounty being placed on him for war crimes. Cahuella is fascinated by snakes and reptiles, and aims to capture an adult hamadryad to keep in the Reptile House and undertakes frequent hunting trips to achieve this aim.
Chasm Cityit is told how he hired Tanner Mirabel to provide an expert level of security for himself and his wife, Gitta. However, Gitta is accidentally killed by Mirabel when she is taken hostage in a revenge attempt by Argent Reivich. In his grief, Cahuella tortures Mirabel by having him eaten alive by a near adult hamadryad (despite the fact that all terran species are poisonous to Hamadryads) then trawls his memories in order to flee the planet believing Mirabel dead.
Toward the conclusion of Chasm City, we discover that Cahuella is in fact the immortal Sky Haussmann, who slept in reefersleep whilst his decoy was crucified.
"Captain" John Brannigan
Possibly the oldest human character in the series, born in the twenty-first century. A victim of the melding plague, the Captain becomes more integrated with his ship, "Nostalgia for Infinity" as the series progresses. He ultimately becomes one with the ship: afterwards he has erratic moods, attempting suicide with hell-class weapons, before eventually being coerced to convey the refugees from Resurgam & Ararat.
The Captain is a very mysterious character, hovering between wisdom and abject madness. He does have a respect for Clavain and is the only other 'person' who can compare with him in terms or age, wisdom and experience, although the Captain stated that he was already an old man when Clavain was born. The Captain at one point projects an image of himself from his oldest memories, in which he appears as a normal human in a spacesuit that is hinted at being very similar to those used by NASA astronauts, suggesting he originates from approximately our own time.
Throughout Redemption Ark, and Absolution Gap, it is hinted that Captain Brannigan was responsible for many immoral acts in his very long, pre-plague life. Brannigan was also said to have been amongst the most extremely modified Ultras, likely able to survive prolonged vacuum exposure without a suit. Such was the degree of enhancement. By the time of the 'Eighty,' only Calvin Sylveste had the expertise to repair him, which he (or his beta-level) did on several occasions. Sometime before the events of Revelation Space the Captain was infected with the Melding Plague. Instead of just destroying him with runaway replications, the plague acted in a more intelligent fashion, keeping him alive whilst melding him, his reefersleep casket, and nearby parts of the ship. Only the extreme cold of the casket held the plague at bay.
Volyova finds it is possible to converse with Brannigan by warming the core of his brain enough that other equipment can stimulate and read his mental activity. He is rarely lucid, and has little memory, but he provides Volyova with occasional companionship and insight during the 15 year journey to Delta Pavonis. During the journey to Resurgam, then to Hades, it is revealed to the reader that one of Brannigan's crimes was the murder of his first officer, Sajaki. During a visit to a Pattern Juggler world, Brannigan had Sajaki's neural pattern overwritten by his own – erasing Sajaki and effectively creating a duplicate of himself, ensuring his survival even if he was unable to recover from the Plague.
Volyova, on piecing together this crime, and requiring a force to counteract Sun Stealer's growing control over the ship, reveals her knowledge to Brannigan before destroying the medical equipment previously holding the Plague at bay. The Melding Plague affects the captain in a different way to other descriptions of the Plague in the Revelation Space series. Two suggestions are that the long gestation period while the Captain was in stasis may have altered the Melding Plague he was infected with, or that the Sun-Stealer entity may have had an effect. These are further clouded by occasional hints that the plague occasionally shows sign of a purpose, or the suggestion of an underlying will, serving as a reminder that the plague is fundamentally alien.
In any case, the result was the melding of the captain to his ship in such a way that he retains his own consciousness, and demonstrates increasing control over the ship and its weaponsp. Unfortunately the psychological shock of being turned into a 4 kilometer long starship limits the captain's contributions.
The Captain sheds large parts of himself during a descent to Hela, where he intends to 'dock' with the planet and alter its orbit so that it rotates at exactly the same speed it orbits. Shortly after landing, Quaiche's solders infiltrate the Nostalgia for Infinity and begin to eradicate his presence within the ship. It is not know if the Captain dies during this invasion but it is considered very likely and Captain John Armstrong Brannigan is not mentioned again. Before he dies, however, he is able to activate the hypometric weapon and kill Grelier, who was holding Aura hostage.
Nevil Clavain is one of the oldest
Conjoiners and can be credited with playing an overwhelming part in saving the human race from the Inhibitors. His actions throughout Redemption Arkset the scene for the evacuation of Resurgam and steers all factions of humanity towards stopping the Inhibitors. Born in the twenty-second century, he originally fought against the Conjoiner faction as a senior military leader with the Coalition. In that role, he had designed orbital lasers set above Mars, and led assaults on the Conjoiners on Mars, earning the epithet the Butcher of Tharsis. He is captured at one point and held prisoner by Galiana for months, but she treats him well and refrains from infiltrating his mind with nanobots, to his surprise; instead she tries to convince him of the Conjoiners' merits, and eventually releases him.
Nevil later visits the Conjoiners as an ambassador to try to come to a peace deal, but he and the Conjoiners are sabotaged by a large force led by Nevil's brother Warren. After being injured in battle, he awakens to find that Galiana has interfaced nanobots with his brain as the only way to save him. However, he rather willingly experiments with additional interface, until becoming a full Conjoiner, shortly before leaving with the rest of the Conjoiners in the first interstellar spacecraft that can carry live human beings. Before leaving Mars, Clavain meets and befriends Remontoire, and the two remain close and loyal friends for centuries.
Centuries later, Clavain does not use the newer
Conjoinertechnology as Skade and other Conjoiners do and continues to rely on his outdated and old implants, which enables him to escape a growing threat from a secret infiltration from within the Conjoiners, by a sinister personality that has taken control of Skade. Clavain defects from the compromised Conjoiners with the intention of joining the Demarchists. Clavain departs from the Yellowstone system for the Resurgam system along with several other Conjoiners and Underworld figures from Chasm City.
Clashing in the Resurgam system, Clavain's allies manage to stall Skade long enough for the colony to be evacuated. After 23 years of relative peace after founding a colony on the Juggler planet of Ararat, Clavain and Skade have their final encounter, where he accepts a deal with the dying Skade to allow a
Caesarian sectionto be performed on her to recover the unborn Aura in exchange for the simultaneous torturing to the death of Clavain by the unwilling Scorpio. However, Clavain has the last laugh as he instructs Scorpio to bury him at sea, where the Pattern Jugglers absorb him and he is reunited with Galiana and Felka at last. It could be presumed that it is Clavain's thinking behind the Pattern Jugglers' scheme to move the "Nostalgia for Infinity" away from First Base.
Warren Clavain is Nevil's older brother, who is introduced in the short story "The Great Wall of Mars". Warren and Nevil are both senior military officers of the Coalition, which has long been in warfare with the Conjoiners. The war with the Conjoiners has left Warren with only one eye, having lost the other and sustaining other severe injuries in combat with the Conjoiners and with the robotic worms on Phobos. Their differing experiences of the war lead Nevil and Warren to fall into a dispute just as Nevil is about to make a diplomatic visit to the Conjoiner headquarters. Warren later fabricates evidence that Nevil was massacred by the Conjoiners upon his arrival, as an excuse to resume hostilities, at which point Nevil loses what remaining attachment he had to Warren. The last we know of him, Warren remains secure in his position among the Coalition leadership.
A robot that functions using Shrouder technology, it is encountered in
The Prefect. Originally a docile entity that did little but (as its name implies) make intricate clocks, it later went on a killing spree throughout the facility it was in (SIAM or Sylveste Institute for Artificial Mentation) and killed or maimed numerous people (including attacking a woman with a scarab, a device that would kill her if she fell asleep and could not be removed) until Panoply stopped it. It is later resurrected by a secret research organisation in Panoply and used against Aurora, the antagonist of the novel. The Clockmaker is said to be extremely dangerous, with conventional human weaponry having no effect on it whatsoever (it took an extremely strong EMP to disable it for a little while). It is discovered later in the book that The Clockmaker was the product of merging an Alpha Level Simulation with machine, to create the ultimate machine intelligence. This Alpha Level was actually that of Philip Lascaille, the first man to return from a Shroud alive. It was hoped that by creating an Alpha Level Simulation of Lascaille, some of the secrets he learned inside the Shroud would reveal themselves. Instead, a infinitely cruel monster of pure hatred was born.
Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect (and later a Senior Prefect), an agent with an elite investigative police force around the Glitter Band known as the Panoply. He is heavily involved in The Clockmaker "incident". He is the central character of "
He was deeply affected by the loss of his wife, during this incident, and so had his own memories of the events erased. He was also a great friend of the Supreme Prefect at the time, Jane Aumonier.
Rashmika is the assumed name that Aura takes as she covertly inserts herself into Quaicheist society in a bid to gain access to Quaiche himself and thus the mysterious Shadows. Rashmika is unaware of this for most of the story, as she has also manipulated her own (Aura's) memories. Instead, she believes she is on a quest to find her missing "brother" that happens to take her to the Cathedrals of the Permanent Way. Rashmika is imbued with the unusual ability to know with 100% certainty (and seeming success rate) when someone is lying. This enables her to become useful to Quaiche. She originally believes that humanity should negotiate with the Shadows, a race that claims to exist in a parallel brane world to ours, but Scorpio convinces her otherwise by suggesting that this caused the last race to do so to be wiped out. At the end of the novel, Rashmika is seen back on planet Ararat as the Greenfly are consuming the galaxy.
Felka is the product of an experiment carried out by Galliana on Mars during the early days of the Conjoined, by which nanobots were interfaced with Felka constantly beginning early in her embryonic development. She develops into somewhat of an autistic savant, incapable of distinguishing human faces or any normal social interaction, though she has an advanced intellectual capacity, even among the Conjoiners. She spends much of her youth single-handedly operating and keeping alive the Great Wall of Mars, a massive robotic terraforming entity designed by Sandra Voi and critically damaged in the Coalition-Conjoiner War. Felka is rescued by Clavain in the evacuation of the Conjoiners' nest on Mars, shortly before the Conjoiners become the first living humans to depart the
Solar System, aboard a starcraft clandestinely manufactured inside of Phobos.
Felka later forms one of her closest friendships on the first extrasolar planet the Conjoiners land on, Diadem, with Iverson, the sole survivor of a prior colony that had been planted there from an AI starship that had raised human colonists from embryos after reaching the planet. Iverson and Felka share a common passion for studying emergent phenomena, including a low-level intelligence formed by a planet-wide network of ice-dwelling worms. Felka makes considerable progress toward a more normal capability for social interaction during her friendship with Iverson, although Clavain later find out Iverson is in fact "Setterholm", another member of the Diadem colony who killed all the others. Setterholm attacks Clavain so Clavain kills him.
Centuries later, Felka lives in the Conjoiner mothernest, still pursuing experiments in emergent phenomena, when she departs from the infiltrated Conjoiners with Clavain. She eventually ends up on the colony on the planet Ararat and is 'taken' by the Pattern Jugglers there, presumably absorbed by them. Clavain is reunited with her some years later when he is similarly absorbed.
Galiana was one of the most prominent founding members of the Conjoiners, a group that began on Mars and became linked with each other in a partial transhumanist collective consciousness through experimenting with interfacing their brains with nanotechnology and AI components. Galiana captured Nevil Clavain during the Conjoiner-Coalition war and held him captive on Mars for several months, but rather than the harsh treatment Nevil expects due to Coalition propaganda, Galiana attempts to befriend him and convince him of the Conjoiners' merits. Galiana later leaves on an interstellar exploration mission where she encounters inhibitor machinery that consumes her crew and places her under permanent mind control.
Skade captures Galiana's Reefer Casket in an attempt at ransom but Clavain decides that destroying Skade is more important than the possibility of healing Galiana and so detonates pin-head munitions planted on Skade's ship by Scorpio. Skade escapes the explosion by placing her head in a torpedo and having it fired towards the pursuing Conjoiner fleet. It is implied at the conclusion of
Redemption Arkthat Galiana saved an imprint of herself in the oceans of Ararat. This version is reunited with Clavain and Felka when the Pattern Jugglers absorb them in their entirety.
Grelier was originally employed on the lighthugger Gnostic Ascension by Queen Jasmina, the captain. His job as surgeon-general seemed to involve constantly cloning the extremely
masochisticQueen new bodies so she could repeatedly torture herself to death. He also used some of the bodies himself; Quaiche hints he carried out various immoral acts on them and then claimed that they were non-viable. Quaiche eventually uses this to blackmail him into helping him overthrow Jasmina. He is then employed by Quaiche to generate indoctrinal viruses to maintain his and others' religious feelings. When the Nostalgia for Infinity arrives on Hela, Grelier attempts to hold Aura hostage, prompting John Brannigan to kill him with a hypometric weapon, removing him from space-time.
Schuyler "Sky" Haussmann / "H"
Chasm City", Sky Haussmann is the son of Titus Haussmann, the head of security aboard the Santiago. Sky discovers that he is not in fact his father's son, and was an infant 'momio' awakened by Titus secretly after the death of his own son. As such Sky Haussmann is immortal. Sky's story is told in a series of dreams as a counterpoint to the waking life that Tanner Mirabel experiences throughout "Chasm City". The planet Sky's Edge was founded after the Flotilla of ships from Earth landed there and mockingly named in Sky's honour as a reminder of the action he took to ensure that the Santiago would be the first of the Flotilla to arrive.
Sky's greatest crime and best-known action was the ejection of entire rings of reefersleep caskets in order to gain an advantage in speed over the other craft of the Flotilla, destroying the "momios", or "sleepers", that were to be the colonists for the new world of Journey's End. This strategy meant the Santiago had less mass than the other ships and so could decelerate later and arrived at Journey's End first.
Due to his crime, Haussmann was apparently crucified after the other colonists landed on Sky's Edge. However, he managed to get a stand-in to be martyred, while Sky himself entered reefersleep for several decades, before eventually fleeing the planet.
Sky Haussmann is the center of a pervasive cult, and those who worship him do so as if he were a god. This bizarre cult has developed an indoctrinal virus that alters the infected's perceptions, often giving them physical symptoms similar to
stigmataor whole chapters of Sky's life as simulated experiences. The virus is designed to reprogram the victim, in a sense.
Sky shows up again as a minor character in "
Redemption Ark", but calls himself only "H"; he meets and allies with Nevil Clavain. He has killed and replaced the Mademoiselle for the 'greater good of the galaxy.' H captures Clavain and convinces him of the best course of action to combat the Inhibitors. H nevertheless is largely responsible for the successful evacuation of Resurgam and, with Clavain, saving most of humanity.
The Mademoiselle was an emissary of the Shrouders, possibly an artificial intelligence, who was imprinted on the brain of Carine Lefevre when the latter entered Lascialle's Shroud. She returned to Chasm City in Lefevre's body and secretly became a major underworld figure, with the ultimate goal of making sure Sun Stealer was prevented from provoking the Inhibitors. The Mademoiselle transfers a Beta simulation of herself to a disguised implant in Ana Khouri's head to ensure her mission in Revelation Space was completed. Her motivations are unclear, and her ruthlessness is apparent when she attempts to destroy a planet to keep the inhabitants from inadvertently alerting the Inhibitors. This Beta simulation was lost during the struggle against Sun Stealer for control of Nostalgia for Infinity and the Sun Stealer subsequently succeeded in reactivating the inhibitors, although it was later destroyed by the humans on board the Nostaliga for Infinity.
Her original body was apparently killed by H, but some remnant of her lived on inside Skade's brain (disguising itself as the voice of the "Night Council"). This manifestation, aware of the failure of the original Mademoiselle to destroy Sun Stealer, instead focused on attempting to ensure that the Conjoiners re-acquired the
Cache Weaponsin order to defeat the inhibitors. She failed in this endeavour as well, and was presumably killed with Skade.
Tanner Mirabel was a former soldier/assassin from Sky's Edge, later becoming security chief to arms trader Cahuella. A ruthlessly efficient and intelligent fighter, he fails to prevent an ambush, and accidentally causes the death of Cahuella's wife. His mind is subsequently trawled by Cahuella, his memories and identity used to create a disguise, allowing Cahuella to leave system seeking revenge, while Tanner is left for dead as punishment for his failures.
Most of our knowledge of Tanner comes from the stolen memories Cahuella implanted into himself, however these are increasingly tainted by the morality and character of Cahuella himself, making reliable character description difficult. When Tanner does, for a short while, appear in Chasm City, he seems considerably colder and more amoral than the version we see through the minds-eye of Cahuella. (Although it is implied that this is because of Cahuella's torture of him by feeding him to a hamadryad, an alien monster native to Sky's Edge). Tanner expertly kills Reivich near the end of Chasm City by throwing a knife into his head, a brief scuffle with Sky Haussmann ensues where Tanner is easily the stronger and more powerful antagonist. Tanner would have killed Sky, had he not been bitten in the neck by special fangs and venom glands implaneted in Sky's mouth during his years under the identity of Cahuella.
Quaiche was the second baseline human among Queen Jasmina's Gnostic Ascension. After discovering Hela, the Gnostic Ascension was destroyed by a sentry, and the only person Quaiche loved, Morwenna, was killed by the high gee force of the Dominatrix, while she was in the Scrimshaw suit. Quaiche, affected by a crude indoctrinal virus, finally sccumbed to its impulses after these events, becoming devoutly religious. Afterwards, Quaiche set up his own virus, with the help of Grelier and Quaiche's indoctrinal virus in his blood. Within his cathedral, the Lady Morwenna, which circumnavigates Hela in order to witness the planet it orbits, Haldora, disappear, he keeps the scrimshaw suit, which serves as the prison for the digital shadow envoy.
Constantly fearful of losing sight of Hadlora, Quaiche concocts a plan to stop Hela's rotation using a
lighthugger's engines. Unfortunately, however, the lighthugger he attempts to capture for this plan is the "Nostalgia for Infinity", the crew of which are able to repel his initial assault and take over the Lady Morwenna, at the cost of their ship. Quaiche is killed when he falls from the top of his cathedral while trying to escape it.
Remontoire is one of the most prominent of the founding Conjoiners. He plays a leading role in the defense and evacuation of the Conjoiners' main nest on Mars when Nevil Clavain is first inducted into the Conjoined. A century later, in 2303, he assists Irravel Veda in the repair of her ship "Hirondelle", after her encounter with Captain Run Seven. He is then betrayed by her and becomes the prisoner of Run Seven. He becomes the object of Run Sevens' sadism until he is rescued by the Conjoiners. Centuries later, he, Clavain, and Skade work together among the top leadership of the Conjoiners. After Clavain leaves the Conjoiners, Remontoire also ends up following him and turning against Skade. Remontoire was responsible for originally capturing Scorpio, who tried to kill him then, but would eventually work closely with him. When Remontoire learns that Clavain has been killed, he pauses and focuses all his thoughts on mourning Clavain for a full ten seconds, which is seen as a profound act of devotion for a Conjoiner. Another Conjoiner, Weather, who belongs to another faction that has been out of contact with Clavain and Remontoire for centuries, reveres Remontoire as the greatest leader of the early Conjoiners.
Remontoire's last action in "Absolution Gap" is to try to draw an Inhibitor swarm away from "Nostalgia for Infinity". The outcome of this engagement isn't shown, but the leaders of the "Infinity" crew consider him dead after his last transmission.
In the short story "Galactic North", it is revealed that Remontoire's experiences were merged into the Conjoiner collective memory at some point in time. They are kept preserved for thousands of years, and at one point used create a likeness of him to negotiate with Irravel Veda, whom he met with in
Remontoire's name, like that of the Conjoiner Clepsydra in
The Prefect, is a term from horology.
Scorpio, a Pig, is an ex-crime lord from Chasm City. His earliest memories indicate that he was once part of the crew aboard a pleasure craft. When the craft was attacked by a passing lighthugger, he found himself, and fellow crew-pigs, used as game in a sadistic hunt by the human invaders. Being the only pig to survive, and with the revelation that, even while as crew aboard the space-yacht, he was a slave to human masters, Scorpio develops an intense hatred of humankind which drives his rise to infamy, becoming a feared figure in the Rust Belt. Although not described in detail, it appears that he is eventually captured and detained by the Demarchist authorities, being transported to likely execution.
He was found captive on a Demarchist vessel Clavain attacks at the beginning of
Redemption Ark. After Clavains' defection, Scorpio and Remontoire head to a Habitat orbiting Yellowstone in order to stop Clavain. After a long chase, Scorpio becomes part of the rescue party sent to Resurgam system to save everyone on the planet from the Inhibitor machine.
On Ararat, Scorpio becomes the leader of the settlement after Clavain goes off to consult his losses. After Remontoire and the rest of the Conjoiners arrive in system, Scorpio heads to the island to consult Clavain. After they arrive on Skades' iceberg, Scorpio is forced to kill Clavain in order to save Aura.
Scorpio and those that were on the "Nostalgia for Infinity" when it left Ararat travel to Yellowstone, only to see it utterly destroyed by the Inhibitors, then head to Hela in order to find Quaiche and negotiate with the shadows. In a twist of plans, Scorpio, Khouri, Vasko and Aura, after Scorpio destroy the bridge crossing Absolution Gap, decide to let the Scrimshaw Suit carrying the shadow envoy fall to its destruction with Quaiche's cathedral. His fate after this is unknown (all that is said is that "after that, he didn't remember very much"), although it is implied that he is the one accompanying Aura on planet Ararat in the prologue and epilogue of
Absolution Gap. This would, however, make Scorpio over four hundred subjective years old by Yellowstone's calendar though he has only lived through 60 or so due to relativistic effects and prolonged time in 'reefer' (cryo) sleep. He had previously stated he would be unlikely to reach a body age beyond his 50's, but how much of this predicted life expectancy was due to his biology and how much to his dangerous lifestyle is unclear as few other hyper-pigs are major characters.Scorpio's pig biology leaves him at a disadvantage here in space travel as it becomes clear the repeated freeze/thaw of reefer sleep is taking an enormous toll on him and shortening his life. It is implied that Scorpio may not survive another freezing. Humans such as the Conjoiner characters and even baseline (unaugmented) humans are far more resistant to the affects of reefer sleep.
Skade appears in the book "
Redemption Ark" and, to a lesser extent, in " Absolution Gap". Skade is a Conjoiner, and one of the more recent ones. She is unusual amongst Conjoiners in that she has no fear of being away from the mother nest, having been trained in infiltration and special ops. She is a member of the Closed Council and also the Inner Sanctum, both executive bodies within the Conjoiner Mother Nest. Supposedly, she also works for the ultra-secret Night Council, although in " Redemption Ark" it is hinted that the Night Council does not exist at all as a Conjoiner body, but is actually an avatar for the mental structure of the Mademoiselle that infiltrated Skade's mind during a top secret mission to Chasm City.
Skade is expert at Conjoiner technology, being able to unleash neural attacks on other Conjoiners and peer past security divisions — even those within the minds of other Closed Council members. Clavain is the only person able to suvive her attacks, doing so repeatedly throughout their encounters until he voluntarily allows her to enter his mind. He explains that her attacks were simply too sophisticated to penetrate his outdated implants- describing it as "like trying to hack into a clockwork calculator".
When Clavain flees the comet containing the Mother Nest, he snaps the anchor tethers of his ship rather than disengaging them from the comet's surface first, and one of them slices Skade in two through the upper torso. She survives with little more than her original head, mounted on an android body. Later, when a ship she is in is about to be destroyed by weapons deployed by Clavain, her ship jettisons an escape pod containing only her head, with an interface enabled to keep her head alive for long enough for the escape pod to rendezvous with another Conjoiner ship. At some point between "
Redemption Ark" and " Absolution Gap" a new body is grown for her and her head is reattached.
Skade is later mortally wounded in battle on the planet Ararat, and makes a deal to allow the unborn Aura to be recovered from her womb before she dies in exchange for Nevil Clavain being tortured to death by Scorpio.
"Skade" is Danish for "harm". Other Conjoiner characters, such as
Remontoireand Clepsydra, also have meaningful names.
Calvin Sylveste, son of Lorean Sylveste and father to Dan, is a character that is referenced often in all books of the series, but is most prominent in
Revelation Space. He is from an enormously wealthy family of scholars and industrialists, and was one of the most prominent and famous people in the Yellowstone Demarchy during the Belle Epoque.
He is mostly referred to because of the scandal of the Eighty. Calvin was an avid cyberneticist, and wished to find a way in which the human mind could be scanned and uploaded onto a computer matrix, from where it would retain sentience and become a true Alpha Level Simulation.He rounded up eighty volunteers (including himself), all from distinguished families, to be subject to the most highly detailed neural scan in existence. However, the scan would have to be taken so fast that the brain would be permanently destroyed afterwards. The volunteers did not care much about what happened to their physical bodies once the scan had happened, so no-one had any disagreements. They expected to form a level of higher consciousness, Eighty above the rest of corporeal humanity, and so the experiments were called the Trans-Migration.After the scans were taken, everything appeared to be correct and functioning. He had succeeded. But by one year after the first scan was initialised, and the last ones were being done, there was something wrong. The simulations started freezing, or entering paradoxical loops and shutting down. There was apparently a conceptual flaw in the scan's design, and none of the Alpha Levels survived (except a few, Calvin being one along with Aurora Nerval Lermontov). It was deemed a mass murder on Sylveste's part and he went down in history as such.
Also, as he knew that the Trans-Migratory process had a chance of failure, he cloned himself before years before his own scan, at the very beginning of his thoughts on the subject. This cloned turned out to be he his son, Dan, and as Dan's punishment to him gave Calvin's Alpha Level Sim to the Pattern Jugglers as a gift, in return for the memory patterns of the Shrouders.
Dan Sylveste, son of Calvin Sylveste and one of the central characters of
Revelation Space. He is from an enormously wealthy family of scholars and industrialists, was driving force behind the Resurgam expedition and leader of the colony. He is a driven man who had come closer to penetrating a Shrouder enclave than anyone else living, but it is only after this experience that he develops an interest in the Delta Pavonis system. At the beginning of Revelation Space he is an archaeologist working on Resurgam and studying the ruins of the ancient Amarantin, convinced that their history holds the key to why no alien species has yet survived long enough for humans to make contact. Resurgam may hold important clues, as it appears the entire planet surface was scoured by a coronal mass ejection from the otherwise stable star, just as the Amaratin were gaining spaceflight.
The Nostalgia for Infinity arrives in the system searching for Dan Sylveste so that he can heal Captain Brannigan, with the help of his father's Beta level simulation. It becomes apparent that Dan is a biological clone of his father, an immortality contingency plan that was never enacted. Sylveste is taken aboard the ship, which he has been on board before. Once he is aboard, traces of the Sun Stealer entity that have been aboard since that previous time are able to gain influence over the ship and Sylveste. Fighting breaks out for control of the ship.
Sylveste unwittingly, under the influence of Sun Stealer awakens the inhibitors to the existence of mankind by triggering the inhibitor device left near the Hades object. Too late Dan realizes he is no longer in control and tries to destroy himself and the Inhibitor artifact with anti-lithium 'hot dust'. Despite his attempt to redeem himself, the Inhibitors would already have been aware of humans and converging on the signatures of their Conjoiner drives, so he may only have deprived them of the better intelligence the device inside Cerebus could have provided. He is eventually inducted into the Hades Matrix, an apparent
neutron starthat is actually a solid sphere of computronium, where he effectively becomes immortal as a component of the computronium.
Dr Trintignant is a one of the main characters who appears in "
Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days". He also makes a re-appearance in the short story "Grafenwalder's Bestiary". Although little is known of his personal background, Trintignant is an overzealous cyberneticist who worked with Calvin Sylveste on the mysterious "Eighty" project. His ambition becomes so extreme that he is forced to abandon the project. Without any more subjects to experiment on, he experiments on himself in order to pursue his thirst for knowledge.
In "Diamond Dogs", Trintignant is hired by Roland Childe to go on an expedition to visit a mysterious alien structure known as the Blood Spire. In the end, Trintignant transforms Childe and Richard Swift into sleek-looking mechanical dogs, diamond dogs. When Swift comes back from the Spire to change back into his original form, he discovers that Trintignant has "committed suicide". Trintignant proclaims what he did to Childe and Swift is his greatest work, his magnum opus, and he would rather die than take them apart.
However, in the short story "Grafenwalder's Bestiary", Trintignant is retrieved by the former Denizen, Ursula Goodglass. Her husband, Edric Goodglass, is revealed to be Trintignant himself at the end of the story, and it is hinted that Trintignant has turned Grafenwalder into one of his test subjects.
Triumvir Ilia Volyova
Triumvir Ilia Volyova of "Nostalgia for Infinity" is an implant-free Ultra, and a major character in both
Revelation Spaceand Redemption Ark. At the beginning of Revelation Space, Volyova is the keeper of the Cache Weapons. It is during her search for a means to control these weapons that she enlists Ana Khouri (who was planted in the role by the Mademoiselle), thus setting off a chain of events that continues throughout the novels. She maintains a long friendship with Captain Brannigan, and is the only one to visit him regularly during several years of travel time on the "Nostalgia for Infinity" in which he is kept in very deep reefersleep to slow down the onset of Melding Plague in his body. She later disengages the reefersleep and warms him up fully, as a way to allow his body to merge with the "Nostalgia for Infinity" as the only way to save it from an attack. Volyova later, in a plot hatched with Khouri, helps organize the evacuation of Resurgam, the first human-colonised planet doomed to be destroyed by the Inhibitors. She ultimately sacrifices herself to prevent the suicide of Captain Brannigan, now indistinguishable from the ship. In doing so, she exposes herself to vacuum, the damage proving almost fatal to her, but preserving the ship and thus the last chance of survival for the inhabitants of Resurgam.
She later dies on a suicide mission attacking the Inhibitors around Resurgam in an attempt to slow them down, giving the "Nostalgia for Infinity" the best possible chance of escape. Her actions apparently had no effect on the Inhibitors and all cache weapons that she took were wasted.
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