Known as “AA” to his close friends, Avery is a young 30-something wandering the minefield of adulthood. Avery has had more jobs than friends, more failures than successes, more heartbreak than hope, yet remains steadfast in his optimism that things will work out.
Mired in the doldrums of unrequited affection for his best friend and roommate, Simone, Avery tries a little too hard to impress, often to embarrassing conclusions. He’s a little awkward, a little self-conscious, and a little unsure of how he fits into the world. However, Avery is without a doubt the best and most loyal friend Simone could possibly ask for when she is at her most vulnerable.
“I’ve done a little bit of everything. Even started a support group once, for people who had a death in their family. I called it ‘Don’t Stop Bereavin’.”
Avery’s best friend since they were both 8 years-old living on the same street, Simone is kind, intelligent, and all-too aware of Avery’s affection. Endlessly encouraging of her best friend finding his own way, she does her best to support him as he finds his own path and makes his own way through life.
Simone recently took a job as a lab assistant for a major biomedical firm in suburban New Jersey, and is laser-focused on her career and personal growth until one day, when misfortune derails everything.
“If they gave an olympic medal for overthinking, I know you’d win gold. You’d also be late to the ceremony because you’d get lost looking for the podium.”
Avery’s at-work friend and full-time antagonizer, Theo is cynical and sarcastic, constantly hoping a meteor hits the planet and erases everyone and everything.
Theo is mortified that his parents are successful and happy, and takes great pleasure in torturing Avery’s self-consciousness. The ultimate anti-authority 20-something, Theo is constantly looking out for new things to be pissed off about. He hates the rich, the entitled, the politicians and the freedom fighters. Theo considers himself on the correct side in the fight for social justice … until the veil is lifted, and he is forced to choose between self-sacrifice, or self-preservation.
“Oh, fantastic. She works at the big pharma murder warehouse, feeding the corporatist profit machine, keeping people addicted to pills, experimenting on animals. What the fuck, Avery! She’s definitely a Republican!”
Vernon and Billie Jo Mooney
Adopted brother and sister, Vernon and Billie Jo live a simple life in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
A legendary reputation follows the Mooney twins. People respect and fear Billie Jo for what she has done, and they respect and fear Vernon for what he could do.
Vernon is massive and stoic, barely uttering a few words any given day. There isn’t much room for words when Billie Jo and her sarcastic, filter-free mouth are operating at a hundred miles and hour one hundred percent of the time.
The quiet life for the twins can’t last, when Vernon’s longing for adventure upends everything they know.
“My name is Billie Jo Mooney, this here massive hunk of muscle is my brother Vernon, and he can tear you limb from limb like a gorilla if you piss him off. So start fuckin’ talking.”
-Billie Jo Mooney
Kevin Willis and Katie Kincaid
Friends and longtime co-workers, Katie is working hard to become the face of Channel 5 News, and photog and industry veteran, Kevin is determined to help her get there.
When all hell breaks loose at a biolab accident, Katie and Kevin are immediate on the scene. The big story and the big break ends up being more than both of them bargained for. Will Katie’s desire for objectivity and Kevin’s desire for doing the right thing threaten to tear their friendship apart? Will the sheer magnitude of the biggest story the world has ever known become a flashpoint for horrors these friends never expected? Is it possible to stand on the sidelines in the name of objectivity when bad things happen to good people?
She shouted into the van before slamming the door, “Kevin let’s go!“
The driver door swung open.
Kevin shook his head and laughed. “Oh I see how it is, half white-woman, half bunny rabbit, ordering your black man around like some kind of camera mule.”
“More like a jackass,” replied Katie. She opened the back doors of the van to reveal a sea of audio and video equipment. “And I told you, I was reading to kids at the library, and they like it when I’m in costume. They cry less. Not my fault I was on call this week. With something this big I didn’t have time to go put on, you know, pants.“
-Katie and Kevin, arriving at the scene of the biolab accident
Dr. Zoya Sahni
Logical to a fault, Dr. Zoya Sahni is the chief scientist in charge of biomedical research, and accidental engineer of Compound 26.
Dr. Sahni’s expertise is in the study of brainwaves and how they can be manipulated and altered in order to make subtle changes to how the human body performs.
Wanting to use her intelligence and experience for good, Dr. Sahni sought and received funding to study brainwave alteration technology in order to alleviate a condition affecting millions worldwide.
When something goes terribly wrong and Compound 26 quickly spirals out of control, Zoya must confront the fact that she may have pushed humanity down a path from which it will never recover.
With one shot to save humanity from certain destruction, can Dr. Sahni stay the course and do the right thing amidst the insanity of an explosive culture war?
“Security clearance, yes, but mostly to protect our research. We can’t just have anyone off the street walking into a sensitive research facility. We are medically-based, not a weapons manufacturer like the rumors say. I have spent the last 20 years personally working on allergy research. I assure you, it’s not terribly exciting to the layperson. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find my assistant and see if we can begin piecing things back together.”
-Dr. Zoya Sahni