Indexed description of characters from the Paper Thrones series.
Clay DurwardEditClay Durward has always been able to read the minds of young children. When he is asked to protect a six year old boy, he learns the child carries the spirit of a ten thousand year old energy locked in his subconscious. In trying to help his ward, Clay finds himself embroiled in a civil war between two factions of Ancient Egyptian deities fighting out their rivalry among the darkest streets in America’s crumbling cities.
Clay describes himself as: "My hair was getting too long. The water washed the widow’s peak of confused curls into my face. I became aggravated with the idea of going to salons and being trimmed while bass music played in the background and men who date men advised women on their marriages. I was also feeling too old to wait forty-five minutes to get my head clipped by razor as the barber talked on his blue tooth and watched sports. I was impatient with my hair. I remember being smarter recently and just shaving my head but somehow I had allowed this growth to form. I turned off the water and stepped on to the bath mat, pulling the towel around my body. The mirror was free of steam. I use an open window and a fan to drain it from the room. Saves time.
My eyes were intense with exhaustion. There were rings around the lids, as if my face had grown tired of bags and moved on. I would remove the scruff and briar that had taken residence on my face as soon as the water from the sink was hot enough for shaving. The brown was drained from my eyes, allowing room for the amber flecks within muted green. My skin looked pasty and clammy like tapioca. I needed sun and more sleep; less artificial lighting. I should be a couple shades darker like the color of oatmeal or the clever hands of the young boy I pulled out of a hellhole last night. My eyes drift over to the picture of my parents’ wedding that Granny kept on the couch side table. I have my father’s build and shape of eyes. I was cheated out of his gorgeous complexion of oiled and treated black leather by the cross pollination of my mother’s pistachio complexion. Her partial Puerto Rican heritage also gave me her cheekbones and lips. They found consensus on my hair, giving me long curls that I can comb back straight when my hair is wet or covered with gel. The Muslims selling bean pies on the T-train often comment I resemble Fard Muhammed which I find hilarious."
High ranking member of San Francisco Police Department’s Bureau of Inspectors. Avalos supervises a squad of detectives specializing in the protection of youth called the Crimes Against Children Unit. He brings in Clay Durward as a consultant on especially traumatized witnesses.
“The overhead light flashed revealing features of the Detective’s face. There was a young man hidden somewhere behind intense thought lines and laugh folds. He was young in the sense that his chief was well over fifty, while the officers running the beat were in their late twenties. He had moved to San Francisco from Pomona in the early 80’s to go to school, met a local, fell in love, got married and joined the force to make a difference. The thick, sporadic patches of gray in his beard reminded me that he had seen enough to be a qualified vet. The lack of gloss to his eyes reminded me that he held to a bitter humanity. He existed because he refused to go, as opposed to most who are . . . searching.”
Among The Veils, Page 3
Alicia Porter & Detective TimEdit
Detectives under Avalos who work on the Crimes Against Children Unit. Although good police officers, these detectives are ambitious and eager to climb the ranks. Where their true allegiances lie is not necessarily clear.
“There were two youngsters waiting for us at the top of the stairs. They were kids per se, fresh out of the academy. Their postures still danced with the dreams of the break through that might earn them their own reality show. They always put me with the young ones who don’t know any better. Its a sign of esteem and confidence in my discretion. The seasoned members of the team won’t be taken away from where they’re needed most in lieu of baby-sitting someone like me who’s proven my effectiveness time and again. I have a job to do. The one on the left reminded me of the awkward cousin from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” with a jherri curl I thought deemed illegal in 1992. The one on the right looked like the lead singer of the Cranberries with long blonde hair she tucked under a cloth SFPD cap.”
Among The Veils, Page 7
Small child left as the only survivor at a murder scene Avalos is investigating. Clay brings Desta into his trust and eventually his protection. Desta is the carrier for Ausar.
“Tucked into a little ball, with his knees inches from his faces, was small boy. His eyes were closed and he was murmuring to himself, much too low to pull words from. Probably saying a prayer. He had a gentle face framed by un- kempt hair that was an assortment of long spiral curls and short tight spring-like curls in a rich brown that reminded me of cinnamon and choco- late. He had long nimble fingers despite his short arms, a sign of agility and his ability to use tools. As I studied him his big eyes opened wide and watched me. There was fear until he focused on my face.”
Among The Veils, Page 10
Feared drug warlord and criminal mastermind who rules over the Bayview Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco. Marshall gives up his old life when he becomes the carrier for Heru.
“The gentleman still staring at me wore a black tank top and jeans, the type of gear appropriate for a picnic. His body showed no sign of response to the cold despite his dark hue that I knew to be better acclimated to the heat. I wondered if the knit cap he wore over the doo had anything to do with his resistance to the arctic winds coming off the China Basin”
Among The Veils, Page 25
Dean of the psychology department and executive director of Center for Resilency. Xochi is a child protégé who achieved multiple doctorates at any early age. She is Clay’s closest confidant and ally.
“She turned, switching her entire lower half to rotate herself to face me. Her eyes had changed had changed color then, a reaction to the sun in her face and a signature of the village in Mexico her father’s mother came from. Ojos Tapatios, just like the hot sauce. A hail back to Jalisco. The sun cut across her shoulders like a solar sash, the canopy from the giant oak above us cutting a shadow along the length of her face. A slight breeze blowing the second hand smoke away from her, I smelled eucalyptus and not menthol.”
Among The Veils, Page 37
Representatives of the Isfet to humans they perceive as unaware. Consistently identified by bow ties, tuxedos and glasses.
“I shot my eyes up from the floor, almost expecting to be greeted by some monster in prepa- ration to pounce on to my desk. Instead, I followed the impeccable shine of black, thick-soled shoes that were neither designer or government issue to the crease in the pant leg that hung by the ankles, the sign of a tailored look that came with custom suits. The cut of the jacket hung over the belt but I could barely make out the clasp of suspenders attached at the belt. The shirt almost seemed suited for a tuxedo over casual or business attire, affixed at the neck by a bright crimson bowtie. I was reminded of Muslims of Third Street as they hawked final calls and bean pies. Then the alabaster and dusty pale nature of his skin by the neck that carried to the face as well as head off set any Shabazz like notions I had. There was an accurate goatee of black hair accompanied by side bars that connected to the mus- tache. His small but pug nose and shiny bald head revealed him as male, at least on the outside. The eyes moved rapidly as he read an article posted on my door but hid behind thin wire rim sunglasses that matched his gloves and shoes in color. It was then I realized, although his front faced my open door, his attention was very much focused on studying me.”
Among The Veils, Page 42
Clay’s favorite cab driver.
“My friend,” he called out toward me, holding out what appeared to be a slip of paper. I approached his window to see his hairy thick fingers carried a business card extended toward me: basic white with information as printed at a stationary. Omid Retb”
Among The Veils, Page 49
Art world impresario and socialite. Constandina comes from old money and uses her influence to affect politics. In addition to being Desta’s biological mother she is the carrier for Athena.
“Long honey-brown hair over a shoulderless shirt of dark gray material. Solid physique, dancer or an active gym monkey. The skirt cut off just at the knees revealed her legs, short and strong, crossed over one another. Pale skin with the curves bronzed by sun or some tanning salon. Circling the table showed me more depth: high cheek bones, full lips, one of those Scarlett Johansen noses, bright brown eyes that caught my own and sent back a sparkle. In fact, I could see myself in them, and for the first time I didn’t like myself. There was a knowing smile from her as I placed my bag down on the floor to lean against the chair leg, sat and pulled my chair up to the table. She was focused on her phone, finishing a text in her smart phone and placed it in the white leather Gucci handbag on the table.”
Among The Veils, Page 50
Representatives of Entropy. Proxies appear when paradox is invoked and correct the problem.
“When I opened my eyes, I was aware of a set of bulbous eyes staring at me. They were worn by a small humanoid creature of deep green skin and lightbulb-shaped head. It was without a nose and had a small slit for a mouth. It wore a white t-shirt with a rainbow colored skull remind- ing me a of gothic Apple Inc. logo with the words “Think Entropic” under it over some cargo shorts and tiny beige Teva sandals. A small messenger bag was strapped over its shoulder and it carried a small vibrating gong in its hand.”
Among The Veils, Page 56
Granny is Clay’s paternal grandmother who suffers from an aggressive case of Alzheimer’s Dementia. She lives in skilled nursing facility in Oakland with Clay as her only caregiver.
“Granny?” I whispered, soft and questioning. Who knew what would come out. It had been so long since we both talked. I rubbed my hand along the area of her forearm between her perfect gloves and sleeve of the bathrobe, counting on the warmth of my touch to notify her I was in proximity. She blinked slowly and turned her head to face me as I repeated her name. Her eyes found me and her mind cycled like roulette to match my face, voice, touch, name and memory so that she could determine if I was safe. Children do the same thing when some one calls their name with urgency. Then connecting all points, she lost some of the glass to her stare and smiled warmly at me. Contact.”
Among The Veils, Page 247
Harrison is a scientist and educator who lives in the skilled nursing care center with Clay’s grandmother. He specializes in linguistics, chemistry and economics which opens Clay’s understanding of how Kemetic magic works. Harrison is the carrier for Khpr.
“Harrison Wobogo had been a pure asset to the Bay Area and the black community here for over three decades. Scholar, scientist, linguist, profes- sor, mentor, tutor, speaker, musician and community organizer, Mr. Wo- bogo had been one the first African Americans with engineering doctorate to work for IBM. He had once been the indoctrinated company man who wore the uniform navy suit, black tie and sung company songs at the start of the day with the rest of his cohort but found his way into a dashiki and volunteering to teach African centered science at a community center in East Palo Alto the same evening. Deep brother. His walls were covered with pictures and sketches, ranging from scenes with students to awards to thank you letters to accommodations to glyphs. I vaguely recognized them as early kemetic writing. I’d always liked Mr. Wobogo. He was a very sweet man, quietly imprisoned by his illness and became comically annoyed at too many doting nurses. Wobogo sat at his desk with his back to me. His silvery hair had been picked out into a symmetrical puff around his head reminding me a cool Colonel Sanders in a maroon dashiki, sweat pants and slippers. He worked continuously at his “experiment” mixing chemicals and taking notes on small slips of paper with magic markers. Whatever he expected to be in each beaker was actually nothing more than either fruit juice, water or a saline solution lest he try to drink his chemistry set. He sat pouring combinations into test tubes held in a wooden rack from beakers and placing each tube over an empty can of cat food he saw as a Bunsen burner. Near my right hand, was a record player on a shelf, near several racks of vintage vinyl. Jazz, soul, classical, gospel, funk, R&B; he had mint condition pieces of entire lifetimes. The record on the turntable was at its end, making the monotonous sound of skipping. I reached down and started it over again, recognizing the artist Billy Paul but not this particular track. “War of the Gods,” I heard from Mr. Wobogo’s direction as he stiffened his back. As the song began, I realized this was the most I’d ever heard him say which was probably why I didn’t recognize his voice from earlier. I saw him staring at his concoctions, squinting and rubbing at his left eye. My vision caught the glimpse of a pair of glasses on his bed, golden frames with big square lenses. I tip toed over to the bed, retrieved the glasses and walked around his back to face him on his left side. “Mr. Wobogo?” I whispered, “Do you remember me?” He stopped his test to look up at me. I saw his eyes squint a few times and then reach out his hands to feel the contours of my face. His eyes closed as his rough palms that smelled of grape juice and hand soap palmed cheeks as he closed his eyes. He returned his hands to his lap, opening his eyes to smile and sheepishly nod. I smiled back and slowly placed his glasses on his face. He squinted and then let his face relax in recognition of sight. I got a little boy smile and then he patted my leg.”
Among The Veils, Page 70
Lord Entropy is the judge, jury and executioner for the Grand Concord. There is nothing written about Entropy’s origins nor any proof of gender. Entropy rules the Proxies and establishes the boundaries to prevent paradox. Entropy has established the San Francisco Bay Area as a “sanctuary” away from Isfet and Concordian law.
“The elevator opened to the sight of a churning maelstrom of colors; azure, olive, lavender, black, teal, chocolate, crimson, ivory and silver. I felt a tingle and had an image of lying in a crib as a child; my father’s voice with no face. Deep within the storm, a skull consumed by blue flame floated. As I found myself unable to look away, I reached my hand over to cover Desta’s eyes. The skull was indeed on a body of glistening and translucent plate mail. The figure rode a skeletal horse with no skin, its internal organs visible and the same blue as the flame, flanked on either side by marching Proxies in legionnaire formation, each dressed in riot gear. The procession filed out of the elevator, a Proxy stepping over to the dark rider with its hands up raised as if carrying a table over its head. The horseman swung its legs over the saddle and stood on the Proxy momentarily before stand- ing on the platform. It was at least seven foot tall, with a chest as wide as two men. Its armor seemed to contract and expand as it stepped, adjusting to its wearer with every movement. On its head was a sinister and dark helm, the face of a gruesome screaming skull.”
Among The Veils, Page 91
WukongEditWukong is the assistant and body guard of the Monk. He is trained in Chinese healing arts as well as being a mastery level martial artist. He trains Clay’s hand to hand fighting skills. Wukong is the carrier for Sun Wukong.
“He was shorter than me, not but much but he definitely made up for it on the x and z coordinate. Judging by his wide nose, rusty colored skin I guess him to be southern Chinese from either the country or Hong Kong; perhaps even the mountain. His black hair was thick with grilled back streaks that ended the length just behind his ears. He seemed to be masterful in his ability to control a smile or laughing despite something being tremendously funny. He wore thin wire rims over his eyes which had an intensity about them that did not match his conservative garb and demeanor. Although I was impressed with the store front as well as the small forest in the next room, I wondered if the sale of trees and statues generated enough cash to afford the elegant cut of blue Armani he wore over his Italian leather shoes. His hands were folded in front of him just below what I assumed was his navel. He motioned with his head in smooth pull to the hallway behind him, turned on heel without changing his level and walked down the hall.”
Among The Veils, Page 122
The MonkEditThe Monk is a Buddhist monk and acupuncturist. He is Clay’s doctor who monitors his progress with the Passenger. It is not clear if The Monk is a carrier or actually is the Longevity Monk.
“Seated at a table at the center of the platform, a man focused on brush strokes across a parchment. There was the soft sound of erhu that most people just told themselves was the violin the Chinese favor playing from some where as he occasionally looked up from his writing to stare into the space at a nine o’clock from his chest with a meditative smile as the sun light from the open ceiling staring at the California skyline sent a ray on his face. The guide bowed extending his arm to lead to the seated scholar. I nodded and walked along the walkway to the platform, standing next to the desk. “Have a seat,” he said calmly, eyes still intent upon his work as his head made a slight nod to an empty chair I hadn’t seen before. I took a seat and studied the doctor. He was not as dark as the other gentleman but definitely southern Chinese as well with the broader nose, wide lips and round forehead. His head was a smooth bald, free of dots, razor bumps or regrown fuzz. He wore a black tunic of silk, fastened by red ties and long sleeves that hung off of his wrists. His pants were of the same silk yet he wore white Adidas shell toes. Very comfortable and practical I heard in my head and placed the voice from the walk down to the voice that greeted me at the table. There was youthfulness to his face, what you would expect of one in his twenties but his focused and relaxed eyes showed the patience of someone much older and developed.”
Among The Veils, Page 122
Wallace is the son of Horace Marshall, who is raised around his family in West Oakland. He eventually becomes the carrier for Heru, being renamed Wal-Heru.
“The voice is steady, powerful, wise but young and undeveloped. I recognize the voice somehow and meet his eyes in the rear view. He was just hitting a weed wrapped in a cigar before passing it to the kid next to him in back. He was the phone with me last night, except when he texted I pictured someone nearly ten years younger, muscles from shoulder to shoulder, and an AK-47 for a tooth pick. Instead, he was an early teen, a black sweatshirt, dark jeans and a pair of Timberlands. His locks hung near his shoulders and contrasted evenly against his rich chocolate tone. I took the second look at his features starting at his eyes, then nose, forehead, chin, lips and finally his mannerisms; I thought fondly of my cousin.”
Among The Veils, Page 160
Candace is a teenager from West Oakland who is one of Wallace’s peers. She is loyal to Wallace and possibly has a crush on him. Candace is the carrier for Duamutef.
“I’m Candace,” says the precocious girl. Candace hated her body. It was changing faster than she could keep up with and she found most of the changes to get in the way. There was a time when she could outrun the boys from her neighborhood without her chest hurting. She found herself growing wider rather than taller. It frustrated her that she was no longer standing over most the boys and able to push them around when she wanted. She enjoys the activities other girls seemed fascinated by such as dancing, poetry and fashion. The extent to which these girls spent time on these activities confused her, though. She would much rather play basketball or run a race than spend all day copying dance moves. She wrote in her journal daily but never any poems. Most of the time her thoughts made her angry or sad, so she avoided thinking about them. Clothes were a problem for Candace. She was far more comfortable in loose jeans and billowing sweatshirts than tight jeans and shirts with her chest hanging out. The girls at school called her hair stringy so she often kept it in a ponytail or hidden behind a hat.”
Among The Veils, Page 162
Nigel is Wallace’s cousin and the person to introduce him to the street life. He is Corey’s half-brother and prides himself as Wallace’s right hand man. Nigel is the carrier for Hapi.
“You already know Wally Mac and next to him is Nigel.” Nigel doesn’t speak much because he doesn’t have to. He stands on his word just like his uncles taught him. He silently enjoys these type of nights because he’s good at his work. He has come a long way in a short period, which now presents the conflict. He remembers being a lookout but he calls himself owning a corner. A corner he didn’t inherit without a great deal of work, a great deal of pain and now some things he wished he hadn’t done. Nigel knew what it felt like to walk his corner from dusk to dawn, slinging anything that could be bought for a dollar and sold for two. It was better than staying at home and watching his mother smoke up what he brought home for her. He tells himself it was better she copped from him than another hustler but the images still haunt him. Nigel rests his head in a cheap motel down on San Pablo. The room is filled with his comforts: comic books, a television, a dvd player and tons of nature shows. He talks to his pet turtle who keeps him company although he is not supposed to have pets. There are a lot of things you are not supposed to do at the motel that people do anyways, so Nigel has a turtle. He is not supposed to have guns either, but he has been collecting them ever since he learned to fire a weapon. Wallace is his cousin on his mother’s side somehow. Corey was his half-brother, although they didn’t have a real mother between the two of them; they have never met their shared father. Candace’s mom parties with Wally’s mom, although most of that stopped when Mr. Marshall came back around.”
Among The Veils, Page 163
Cornelius or as his friends call him, Corey, is Nigel’s half-brother and another of Wallace’s friends. He is the lady’s man of the group and is the carrier for Qebehsenuef.
“Dis is Cornelius,” she says, shoving the shoulder of the kid next to me who was watching me like a cat watching its food dish being filled. Cornelius hates his name. He wonders what his mother was thinking and couldn’t have just kept it to what everyone calls him--Corey. Sometimes he thinks his mother really wanted a girl, what with the way she spent all her time on his appearance. However, it wasn’t all bad, he told himself. Corey was aware he usually had better fits than his friends. New jackets and boots before school each year. New shorts and shoes for the summer. His haircut was done regularly while other cuts usually waited for Candace to braid their hair or got a discount cut every two months. Corey would rather be talking to some girls, his wingman of choice being Wallace. Wallace seldom talked, but he made Corey look older when he spit his game. If it wasn’t girls, Corey spent his time watching videos and trying to learn dance moves. He knew girls judged him on how he moved. He planned his outfits the night before school every day, practicing his looks in the mirror so he could get the same responses out of girls as the older boys with cars who hung out in front of school. Corey also rapped but he kept that to his chest. His older half brother, Nigel, would slap him for the things he discussed. Corey said what sounded cool but he knew his brother lived it.”
Among The Veils, Page 163