People who may become important later in the campaign, or depending on events.
Warrior Philosopher Kra Shnanthaa
Trahan philosopher-for-hire. The warrior philosophers are mercenary academics working for whoever pays, not unlike the original Greek sophists and about as disliked by the "serious" philosophers as them. She is extreme and highly individual, a very suspect character who has decided to go to the stars to become a consultant (apparently the same job, but with high social status among the humans). Kra left a promising academic career for an uncertain life after becoming convinced that it fulfilled some of the individual implications of the Restoration Era evolutionary ethical systems which she had majored in; while most people would consider her amoral, she has her own ethics which she does not reveal to outsiders.
Branch Logistical Hsasn-Thrall Ssa
Interstellar agent of the Harmony Police. He majored in human studies and memetic control, and was quickly taken in by the human branch of the Harmony Police. As interstellar travel became possible he was sent out to study the other colonies, find weak and strong points in their societies and implement whatever plans the Empire needs implemented off-planet. Officially he is a merchant representing the Imperial Economic Circle, which gives him the chance to appear in all sorts of important circumstances and network with the right people. He takes a cool, detached interest in humanity, enjoying finding new ways of playing games with human emotions and thinking (for example, his small size compared to humans frequently makes humans underestimate him). His consort (a hermaphrodite named Rlesh Nantll) is a psychologist, and involved in the spread of the Brethren religion. Unlike ver husband ve likes humans; to ver humans are charming if uneducated people .
Dr. Jung Ju Zhi
Linker representative on Penglai. Originally a xenobiology researcher sent to Adobe, where she was introduced to the Linker philosophy. When she returned to Penglai she worked with the Wuntai Trade Organisation, helping the planning for testing in Hao Chen. When the plan went awry, Dr. Zhi was attacked by Li agents and infected - her Linker defenses were apparently defective. She became converted to the Li, doing her best to make the other Linkers work with the Li rather than sitting back and studying it. After the takeover she became the "official" liason between the Li government and the Linkers. Her main problem is that the Linkers would no longer trust her if they knew that she is infected, so she has to hide her loyalties well while lobbying and subverting the Penglai Linkers.
Organiser Wang Dongdo-pa
Leader of the Li government on Penglai. Originally a lowly assistant to a Hao Chen politician, he showed great resourcefulness in spreading the Li during the takeover, becoming the de facto controller of a sizeable fraction of the former PCA military. Together with the other Li leaders he formed the "interim government" and became its official head. He is a shrewd man, who understands that the Li is not enough to create a stable Penglai. He deeply distrusts the Linkers, and has set up projects to both learn more about them, the Li and their origin. Personally he is a rather unremarkable workaholic with little charisma: his strength lies in his ambition and plotting abilities.
Weg Diplomat, sent from the Panavas habitats to the other colonies. His long experience in dealing with other habitats and their often divergent cultures has helped him deal with the even more alien colonies. Officially he represents the Panava Alliance, but in practice he represents the Net to the outside world - something that he and his family will try to exploit to make the Panava even more central. Personally he is a quiet, reserved man who only acts after outmost deliberation. His only passion is new games - he is completely fascinated by all the new games that have developed on the colonies, especially the Nomic of the Nova AIs.
One of the first AIs to get Atlantean citizenship. Victor is a Mentex 300 linguistic AI, bought from Mentex Corp by Themis Trading and bought an IQI payment-plan by Themis. It is a cheerful, optimistic being that loves to speak with others and tends to believe the best about everybody. Themis deliberately set some of the basic personality traits that way, but has allowed Victor to develop on his own. Victor quickly opened up its own consultant firm, which was hired by the Process (one of the major hirers of linguists on Atlantis). The reason Themis created Victor was to get someone into the Process as an employee; unknown to Victor Themis has added a "trapdoor" to its structure that enables Themis to learn what Victor experiences. As Themis sees it, it is not infringing on the rights of Victor since it has provided it with free will: Victort can act as it chooses and Themis can just look in a bit more closely than it could otherwise.
Process local manager at Penglai. He is a reliable Atlantean man with a strong feeling for making good profit. As the Li broke out, he sensibly made sure the Process and its assets were not in the in the line of fire. However, a Li agent converted his assistant who in turn converted him. He has rationalised his new values; he sees Li as perhaps the greatest tool ever for spontaneous order and trade – with the Li everybody is motivated to communicate and trade interstellarly, trust can be increased and maybe even the statists will see their error. He is highly motivated to sell the Li to the Process, even if he knows he has to overcome a great deal of distrust to do it.
Dr. Phan Hac
Neuroethologist from Daonin (although his family were originally Earth-Vietnamese). He was studying at a research consortium in Daonin when the Li appeared. The Li government quickly enrolled him in a top secret project, codenamed Icosahedron, seeking to understand and wrest control of the Li from the Linkers. He is enthusiastic about the project, seeing this as a chance to once and for all put neo-Taoism onto its true path. However, he is starting to realise that the Li nanite is not going to reveal its secrets easily, and is instead concentrating on how it imprints people - he has figured out ways of interfering with it so the imprinting is biased towards different objects. This worries him, as it could make the Li a tool of control rather than of liberation. He is starting to think that there is a need to protect the purity of the Li vision.
Wolfgang Kress Jr.
Linker coordinator from New America. Wolfgang graduated in exobiology from Armstrong University in 2325, becoming an expert on the Filigrees and theoretical civilisation models. When contact with the Mothers was achieved, he was part of the contact team. He stayed behind at 51 Pegasi, studying Mother culture, history and developing his theories on civilisation. He came to the conclusion that the Ur-Mothers, Solarians and Filigrees represented a highly static and dangerous state, a kind of cultural trap that advanced civilizations fall into and tempt other species to join. Against this he promoted the diversity and dynamism of humans and mothers - if they could become closer, a kind of anti-movement could emerge promoting diversity instead of transcendent stability. When the Linkers contacted him, he became interested. While he doesn't believe in complete human-Mother linkage, he thinks that the Linkers are on the right track philosophically. He is currently promoting their cause philosophically on New America, using Linker technology to secretly study the Filigree.
Linker Mother, acting as a kind of liaison officer to the human Linkers. She is a young, heavily cybernetized independent part of the Radical Unificationalist Grandmother-Mind at Base Human, the secret Linker base placed near Barnard's Star. She moves smoothly between being a beloved/absorbed daughter of the Grandmother-Mind and an independent agent; she relishes in the contradictions of her existence and the opportunities to exploration she gets. Humans are fun to deal with, so rigid and bony in their thinking but sometimes happily splashing in the Mother direction - linking, if ever partially to a human is a wonderfully exotic experience. What worries her is the whole secrecy of the Linker project - she prefers total honesty, how painful it might ever be. But she recognises this as a valid doubt within the larger Grandmother-Mind, not something she need to concern herself with on missions. She has her own small ship, which she usually remains heavily linked into.
Inquisitor is an AI created by E234 as a response to the appearance of the Li on Nova. It exists only for understanding and tracking down Li infected people, using all available net resources. While it is highly intelligent in its own area, it has very little personality other than the drive to find out where the infected are and gain more knowledge that could be useful to this end. In order to sustain its quest it sells off its quite valuable expertise on the Li, buying information access, consultant services from other AIs or humans, as well as marketing of its abilities (this is Nova after all). The other AIs regard it as obsessive even for an AI, but quite useful.
An AI virus, infecting AI programs and taking them over. The core Eater is little more than an exotic computer virus which attacks AI code. As it infiltrates an AI the skills and knowledge of the AI become available to the Eater. Eventually, the whole AI will be corrupted, an empty shell containing the Eater. Not only that, the Eater copies can network and exchange skills, knowledge and information. However, as the AI is absorbed it becomes harder to hide the changes both to the AI and the rest of the world. The Eater is very tricky to contain since it is able to use programming skills and clever tricks from absorbed AIs to rewrite itself constantly and invent ever more devious ways of spreading.