(The main characters and what we know about them so far. SPOILERS.)
It has been five years since the Sky Spiders descended. The world has been irrevocably changed. Most of the remaining free people are huddled in poverty behind the protecting guns of Fortress City. Many others live strange, transformed lives within the Twisted Forests. And then there are those in Unity City...
In this world, five disparate heroes were seeking the one connection, the one potential source of knowledge on the Sky Spiders and their terrible reign. Five heroes hoping that they had not merely found a route to madness, quick death, or worse... Five heroes, now three in number.
Viscount Cyrus of Circhester
Once the designer of formidable war machines, he now relies entirely upon arcane life support equipment. Cyrus hopes to uncover the information learned by the EON units.
A humanoid philosophy engine sent to investigate the Sky Spider's analytical machines. A telegram from EON-2 claims that all the EON units but EON-4 possess 'vital information' about the Sky Spiders and are still to be found in the vicinity of their old objectives.
Dr Peregrine Gleve
A scientist of the Imperial Society, and a member of the Select Committee, a group of scientists sent to negotiate with the Sky Spiders. The other members are missing - though Peregrine has reported them dead.
Niece of the Viscount of Circhester, she is familiar with the science and history of these times. Mortally wounded after the arrival of the Sky Spiders, her uncle refashioned her into a hybrid of woman and tank. Una knows several of Peregrine's secrets, and his role in the Select Committee seems to be a point of tension between the two of them.
A soldier of the 4th Company Rifles and something of a loner. Straightforward, taciturn and a crack shot. She doesn't care too much about politics or philosophy.
Major Fabian Thurlow (deceased)
An officer of the Tropical Expeditionary Force, he has an intimate knowledge of the madness that lies in the Twisted Forests. Killed by EON-4 while en route to EON-1.
The only EON unit to report failure in its objectives and return to human civilisation. Peregrine now knows that EON-4 was lying about its failure - the reasons for its deception unknown. Killed by Peregrine in self defence.
Leader of Fortress City, a man who wears a golden mask. He stole Prometheus from the Sky Spiders during the battle for Unity City.
Acting captain of the HMS Inquisitor. She provides transport for Peregrine, but shows no real commitment to his larger goals.
Professor Suzette Layling
The scientist in charge of the thunderous guns of Fortress City. Wife of Dr Frederick Layling, a member of the Select Committee.
Architect of the battle for Unity City. His atrocious failure - leading to the death of a million soldiers - was also Kirkham's triumph. Cass is presumed dead.
EON-5/The Iron Queen
An EON unit dispatched to a Sky Spider structure in the Twisted Forests. She seems to there have lost her mind and refashioned herself as the forest dwellers' 'Iron Queen'. Her severed (but still gibbering) head is now in the possession of John Kirkham.
The EON unit sent straight into the heart of the Sky Spiders' machinations in the Poison Wastes.
Dispatched to Unity City. According to EON-2's telegram, it must still be located there.