The story so far:
The main plot arc goes like this: Wanda Magnatova arrived at Exhampton
Academy and discovered that it wasn't like other prestigious boarding
schools. Several of her classmates were in the exclusive "Magnat Program,"
working on beam weaponry, dimensional warps and sentient robots. Their
lives took an unexpected turn when they found themselves menaced by
demons, and some of them teamed up with a self-proclaimed angel to fight
the evil creatures. That basically covers what you need to know to
understand page ten.
But other stuff has been going on.
This is Tony Fujikawa. He's a genius inventor who works on advanced
weaponry. He has a number of projects going, the most successful of which
so far is an arm-mounted "concussive cannon" that has attracted the
attention of the defense giant Secorp.
This is Natalie Rome, daughter of Secorp's CEO. She became interested
in Tony after he saved her from a Viking rampage, and they are now a couple;
she recently relieved Tony of his virginity. Shortly thereafter she
introduced Tony to her dad, who offered him a contract worth millions of
dollars to work for Secorp and bring the concussive cannon with him.
This is Professor Charles Lucas, Tony's faculty advisor and one of
the world's leading intellects. He owns 51% of everything Tony invents
while Tony is working in Lucas's lab, including the concussive cannon
Secorp is trying to acquire.
This is Bart Clinton, captain of the Exhampton football team,
Olympic-level archer, and Natalie's previous boyfriend, or at least
previous bedmate. Though he and Tony have both been fighting the demons
together, a rivalry has understandably sprung up between them.
All right, that should prep you for about eight more pages. What else
has been going on?
This is Jenna Walcott. Bookish, mousy, overweight, and easily
scandalized, she has recently had her life turned upside down.
This is Cynthia Maxon, a new student at Exhampton who drugged Jenna
and framed her for marijuana possession. Why she would do this has yet to
come to light; she seemed nice enough before. (Well, except for when she
broke the heart of another obese nerd and drove him from the school.)
This is Claire Vanderline, Jenna's roommate. Pretty and rich, she
nevertheless treats Jenna as a friend, and Jenna idolizes her. Thus Jenna
was crushed when she discovered that Claire had gone off to New York to
have a tryst with a teacher twice her age.
This is Ben Greenberg, the teacher in question. He had resisted
Claire's advances until receiving a persuasive phone call from Cynthia;
now his future is largely in Claire's hands.
This is Gerald Ford, headmaster at Exhampton Academy. He will be
determining the penalty Jenna receives for her drug offense.
You should now be ready for another four pages or so. But there's more!
This is Wanda Magnatova, a reserved foreign student with a cloistered
upbringing; she's the closest thing we have to a main character, but she'll
mostly be sitting this issue out. Things are looking up for Wanda, as she
has forged an increasingly close relationship with one of her fellow demon
This is Dave the Robot, the demon hunter in question. What Wanda
doesn't know is that this robot has no advanced artificial intelligence,
but rather is possessed by a Dark Ages warlock named Loki —
though she does know that he's been hobnobbing with the master of the
demons, and it doesn't seem to be a dealbreaker.
This is Alibeca Juarez, who is also unaware of Dave's true nature.
She claims to have been transformed into an angel after touching a Zia sun
symbol she found in the sacristry of a New Mexico church. This symbol,
now imprinted upon her right palm, has given her the ability to fly, to
produce bursts of light, and to turn demons to ash. She appears to find
the use of these powers quite pleasurable, but also hard to remember.
This is Mr. Awky, Dave's parrot.
This is Ted Vanderline, Claire's father and the billionaire owner
of the Vanderline chain of luxury hotels. He and Claire's mother, Dianne
"Cricket" Vanderline, have made the trip to Obomotu, capital of the
country of Guinea Rios in West Africa, to host journalists during the
civil war there — a launching pad for a political career,
This is Daniel Saint, a mysterious stranger who appeared in Vietnam
in 2003, claiming he had arrived to stop the Vietnam War. Shortly thereafter
he foiled an assassination attempt against the leader of the victorious
Guinea Rios insurgency — and that is where we begin…
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