Archangels come in fours, and Zander's team is no exception. The occasional presence of the demiurge and gadfly Ethan Powers is not to be taken as indicative of anything beyond the man's complete inability to hold down a steady job anywhere else.
- Gautama R. Melies
- bears a striking resemblance to Obi-wan Kenobi (the older version). He is of indeterminate but advanced age, and apparently illimitable wealth, but chooses to follow a spiritual path. He tends to sit in lotus position in a corner of the control nexus, pouring oil on troubled waters and attempting to keep his associates' minds on the job they are supposed to be doing rather than their entirely understandable impulses to get on each others' nerves. As a result, he is a greater source of irritation than any of the others alone.
- Timmaeus Agrael
- is an ex-military man, erstwhile lieutenant to the famous warlord known only as Bopsie de Vashkin. Impressively tall and gaunt, he accentuates this impression by favouring vaguely military dress, usually including a cloak of some sort. He is a man of action. We know this. He tells us so all the time. Fierce of temper and, well, fierce of temper, he balances these characteristics with his...erm, fierce temper. If archangels got paid, his salary would be constantly docked to pay for breakages in the nexus caused by his frequent explosions of rage.
- Magus A. Realtime
- hardly ever gets irritated. He is, however, the cause of irritation in others. Saddled with a name whose connotations were inescapable, he duly adopted the frock coat, the glasses, and the painted-on moustache and eyebrows, and spends his time alternately baiting Agrael and failing to bait Melies. Lest it be thought that he serves no useful function in the nexus, though, it must be pointed out that on the few occasions when the other two have taken any kind of decisive action whatsoever, it was usually after being distracted from their eternal argument by one of Realtime's barbed sallies. As he would say, "ah yes, Barbed Sally's. I used to spend a lot of time there. Unfortunately, she preferred money. I said 'What's money got that I haven't got? Will money keep you warm at night?' How was I to know she had five thousand dollars in her mattress? So we ran away together, two young hearts alone against the world, just me and her mattress. And then (that's enough. Ed.)"
- Maleus Garamite
- made his name as a spacer, plying the roughest routes in the galaxy in his three-man trade/cruiser Archbold. Over the years, as trade fell off and his wanderlust grew, he returned ever more seldom to the haunts of men, and now that he is an archangel the man's never here from one year's end to the next. In this, however, he performs a useful function, since if all four were constantly in the nexus the narrative cosmos might begin to contract through over-centralisation. On the rare occasions when he is seen, it is usually in grey spaceman's leathers, his hair and beard uncombed and the unguessable distances between the stars in his grey eyes. Often mistaken, quite understandably, for a drunk.
Nothing in my universe is original, as you might imagine, and even these four motley characters had their source and inspiration. There is a subtle clue on this page as to where I found it, which I leave as an exercise for the reader, and an unobtrusive tribute.
Buttons and bars and such are courtesy of Jelane's Free Web Graphics, at http://www.erinet.com/jelane/families/.