Naming characters in a novel is a lot like naming babies. You look in the baby name book, choose a few that might work, then, when the baby is born, you settle on one that “just suits him.” Usually, the name is appropriate, and children even often grow up becoming like the name that was chosen for them.
That’s how Caleb got his name. He just seemed like a Caleb to me. He was named long before I discovered the Regulus prophecy and its influence on the central physical conflict in Zinovy’s Journey, so I was as surprised as Haidar was to discover the relationship between the name, “Al Kalb,” the Arabic “Little King, ” and Caleb.
Elan was one of the three original characters created at the beginning of the writing. Elan was an immortal being who had once been mortal, so I chose a mortal name, and adapted it to create one that was non-gender specific, for his immortal state. It didn’t occur to me that the name might already actually exist. I thought I’d created it. This was over thirty years ago. I had no computer, so it wasn’t easy to research names and their meanings.
Elan had the ability to be invisibly present in his supernatural state, so he was often around when the others didn’t see him. But when Caleb came on the scene, he saw Elan with the spiritually open eyes of childlike wonder. He called Elan, “the Bright One,” because that’s how this character looked to him. The others assumed the Bright One was an invisible friend to the lonely orphan, and discounted his childish accounts of interactions with this “imaginary” creature.
Years after Elan had been named, and Caleb had re-named him “the bright one,” when I was researching baby names for another character, I began to wonder if the name, Elan, might actually be a real one. I looked it up and discovered that it was, in fact, a name—a variation of the name I had chosen for Elan as a mortal. I checked its meaning, and discovered that Elan means, “bright one.”
List of Characters
Zinovy Efimovich Kozlov—FSB agent, reporting to the Special Security Services of the Supreme High Command. Temporarily reassigned as a payload specialist, representing Russia on the international space station team.
Anton Vasiliev–Director, Special Security Services, Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, St. Petersburg Division, Zinovy’s boss.
Space Station Team:
Archibald Berry—Mission Commander, representing Canada on the international space station team.
Daniel Redmond—Pilot of the shuttle, Galaxy Gaya, servicing the space station.
Eric Glaston—Electronics/communications technician, representing Australia on the space station team.
Grace Chang—Payload specialist, studying radiation in space travel, representing China.
Ellen Rudzinski, MD—Payload specialist doing medical research, representing the Eastern bloc nations.
Charles Carter—Payload specialist, hydroponics and plant biota research, representing the Americas.
Cape Canaveral Crew:
Alex Roberts—A computer technologist at the Canaveral base. One of eight young men who come aboveground to join the Gaya crew after the apocalypse.
Raheem Janif—A clerk who served in the material records department of the Canaveral command center.
Ji-Jung (Mike) Kim—Computer technician with the Canaveral base.
Graham Moore—A member of the Canaveral base custodial crew, joined aboveground by . . .
Simon Strachan—A member of the Canaveral custodial crew.
Ruben Strachan—Twin to Simon, also serving with the custodial crew.
Emery Daniels—Canaveral custodial crew member.
Conrad Cusick—Custodial crew member.
Sara Coe—A 19-year-old American girl who escapes from the protectorate she lives in near the Canaveral base when it is attacked by vandals just before the nuclear event.
Caleb—A five-year-old boy from the protectorate, orphaned in the vandal attack, left in Sara’s care.
Mark and Michelle Mueller—A couple who live in the protectorate, both on duty at the Canaveral base when the event happens.
Jenna and Peter—The Mueller children, cared for by Sara while their parents are at work, survivors of the vandal attack, on their way to Canaveral with Sara and Caleb when the event occurs.
Regulus Movement Members:
Adam Hamilton—Leader of the Regulus Movement, an organization he has created to rule in the New World Order.
Haidar—Oxford-trained Tuareg Bedouin leader, Adam Hamilton’s right-hand man in the Regulus movement.
Elan—A “bright one,” assigned by the millennial government to serve the crew and their band of civilian survivors as they travel.
The Stranger—Another “Bright One,” an immortal man with nail scars in his wrists who meets the travelers from time to time on their journey.