Dr. Andrea MacNeil is the Orion’s computer systems specialist. The Orion’s computer core is the subject of her ongoing research. She aims to learn more about the people who originally built it and to understand the sophisticated software which enables many of Orion’s automated systems.
When an advanced city built by the same race is discovered on a planet within the nexus, Andrea spends some time unlocking its mysteries as well.
In Flight of Passion, Andrea has determined that the city also acted as a sort of servicing hub for Orion-class ships, as evidenced by a laboratory specialising in crystal fabrication. These power-chanelling crystals take about six weeks to grow, although more than one of them can be grown at once.
Caroline Trueman is the commander of the Orion. She and her crew were chosen for the exploration tour because of their ability to handle long assignments in deep space, although they were not the only crew to request the Orion. They’re going out further than any humans of their time have ever gone, so their abilities to cope with isolation will be tested throughout the story.
In Lonely Caroline and The Rescue of Princess Irena, we discover that Caroline has a fondness for fantasy stories (such as Tara Morgan and the Mausoleum of Mordilon) and brought along at least two virtual reality headsets which are soon put to use. She also has a wife named Wilma back home on Earth.
Understandably then, when the dimensional portal leading back to Earth is damaged during the battle with the Siphen, she is preoccupied by the thought of never seeing Wilma again. She is frustrated to find that the portal is a complex bit of technology that for the moment, is beyond their ability to repair.
As Flight of Passion begins we discover that she has taken Isamura as her lover. She has regrets about her infidelity, even considering the circumstances. Isamura tells her, “Wilma is lucky to have taken a woman such as yourself to be hers. You will be hers again when you find a way home.” It remains to be seen if this will be the case.
The Siphen are an alien race existing as and subsisting on high forms of energy. They have brought about a state of catastrophic entropy in their own universe and now seek to escape through the nexus to another universe.
The crew of the Orion encounter the Siphen shortly before the events of Flight of Passion, and in the ensuing battle the Orion is damaged as well as the dimensional portal leading back to Earth. Though the Siphen are defeated, more of their kind will surely follow.
On the Orion, Tegan Brown is the Chief Security Officer. Her presence on an away team is an advantage in combat situations. She is skilled with the plasma rifle and by necessity is proficient in unarmed combat as well.
Tegan was assigned by her request just before the Orion mission began. During the exploration phase of the mission she didn’t get out of her quarters very much and only made a few friends among the crew, one of them being Erica Reed.