Rise of the Gomeral
As it may have been a while since you read the earlier books, I'll take this opportunity to reintroduce some of the characters you might be meeting again in Rise of the Gomeral.
** CAUTION **
The following material contains
spoilers for Barefoot Times, Call of the Delphinidae, The Mind of the Dolphins,
Cry of the Bunyips and Plight of the Tivinel.
Do not proceed if you haven't yet read those books!
Dr Billy Collins,
the son of Tom and Sarah Collins, attended Brisbane University
from where he obtained his doctorate in Physics. Always one to go barefoot, he
discovered he was the carrier of his people's Emu spirit which later turned out
to be that of Dromaius, a descendant of the Barefooters who fled with Gallad to the
Milky Way galaxy at the height of the War of the Barefooters.
After completing his doctorate, Billy was employed by AusScience at the Narrabri radio telescope where, in collaboration with Peter Thorpe, he discovered subspace and subsequently made first contact with the Eridanians. He married Julia Myers, the sister of his friend Todd, in 2001. In 2026 he was appointed head of AusScience but resigned in 2027 and moved to Coolum Beach, establishing his own research company where he remained until his retirement in 2043. He continues to enjoy surfing and bushwalking, and is an Aboriginal adviser to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Dr Peter Thorpe, the son of Michael and Rachel Thorpe and another keen barefooter,
unknowingly carried the Dodo spirit, later revealed to be that of Raphus, the
twin brother of Dromaius.
Peter attended Sydney University from where he obtained his doctorate in Physics before joining Billy Collins at the AusScience radio telescope in Narrabri. Acclaimed for his theoretical work on intergalactic subspace in 2017, he published many papers on the physics of subspace and Sheol. After leaving AusScience with Billy Collins in 2027, he worked as co-director at the Coolum Beach company until retiring in 2043. After a chance* meeting at a symposium on extraterrestrial links to indigenous cultures, he's now engaged to Elsa Färjkarlen.
*Or was it?
Dr Jason Collins,
the son of Billy and Julia Collins, first came into the public
eye at the age of fourteen when he led the successful defusing of the Pleiades
supernova. While on the planet Genesis, he fell into a rock pool where a vine
injected him with some of Gallad's DNA that then fused with the Barefooter genes he'd
inherited from his father.
He attended Brisbane University and, after marrying fellow student Jennifer Simpson in 2023, obtained his doctorate in Physics in 2027. He joined his father's company after graduating and became a director following Billy's retirement in 2043. Although he still has a passion for supernovas, his work is now mostly focussed on the design of efficient subspace transport drives.
Dr Jennifer Collins, the daughter of William and Melissa Simpson and a distant descendant of Gallad's wife Marinda, lived in suburban Brisbane while studying at Eatons Hill High School and then Brisbane University. Although seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2019, with Jason's help she made a full recovery, marrying him in 2023 and obtaining her doctorate in Physics in 2027. That year she moved to Coolum Beach with her husband as part of her father-in-law's subspace research company, ultimately becoming Managing Director in 2043 following Billy's retirement. Her business skills and negotiating prowess have seen the company flourish under her leadership.
Mark Collins, the son of Jason and Jennifer Collins and, from their respective Barefooter heritages, the genetic son of Gallad and Marinda, at the age of seven journeyed to Meridian where he overthrew Morgoth, briefly becoming Mark the Bewildered before standing down as Supreme Ruler or whatever and freeing that galaxy from a million years of dictatorship. He returned to that galaxy in 2044 where he defeated Brett Farley on Bluehaven, at the same time meeting Lorina Simmons whom he married in 2048. They established the Delphinidae College in Coolum Beach where he was Director until its closure following his wrongful arrest for the killing of a baby dolphin. After escaping from the prison colony on Huntress, he enlisted the help of the exiled Barefooters in foiling a military coup and subsequently became Supreme Councillor. He served for ten years until forced to resign following the tumultuous return of Drago, but was briefly coerced into returning to that position two years later at the height of the bunyip crisis on Cornipus. He's currently back on Earth with his wife Lorina, managing the operation of their intergalactic school.
Lorina Collins, the daughter of Kevin Simmons and High Priestess Lorett, was educated in the Delphinidae Temple on Bluehaven before journeying to Earth to study at Brisbane University with Mark Collins. She became High Priestess following her marriage to Mark, but after the loss of the Dolphins' sentience, returned to Earth to establish an intergalactic school.
David Collins, son of Mark and Lorina and twin brother to Loraine, was the end result of the Dolphins' programme of selective breeding and on his tenth birthday became the vessel for Drago's return. He was freed after Pip Ingle led Drago's spirit through a portal in the City of Redemption to the Barefooters' planet of exile, where it was consumed by the ghosts of his former subjects, the Tivinel. Now eighteen years of age, he's just completed his first year at Apogee University on Cornipus, although his studies were interrupted when he travelled with Joel back in time to ancient Huntress where his arrogance almost cost him everything.
Loraine Collins, David's twin sister, had been expected to become the next Delphinidae High Priestess, a hereditary position currently held by her mother, but possesses none of the Delphinidae's telepathic powers. Following the revelation that the collective mind of the Dolphins was really Drago's, the Delphinidae have ceased to operate as a religious order, continuing only in their roles of health care and education, and her ascendency to the position of High Priestess upon her marriage is now unlikely to occur. After finishing her schooling at the Coolum Beach college, she married Joel Morison but had to endure the heartache of his kidnapping during their honeymoon in France. Reunited at last, she's now contemplating her university enrolment in the field of biochemistry.
Joel Morison, the prodigiously barefoot son of dysfunctional parents Jack and Jill, grew up moving from town to town, finding it impossible to make friends until settling in Coolum Beach where Loraine and David Collins changed his life. Ensnared in the bunyip crisis while holidaying with them in Victoria, he offered to become the yowies' pet in exchange for the lives of Mark Collins and a TV presenter, thus becoming the hero of the moment. After completing his schooling at the Coolum Beach college, he married Loraine Collins, travelling with her to France to walk the Paths of Saint James for their honeymoon. He was kidnapped by Tristan Gosling in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert and wound up as a mining slave on Ignus before escaping and masterminding the overthrow of the mining companies and their overlords. He then travelled through a time portal back to ancient Huntress where, with David, Cam and Pedro, he thwarted Tristan's plan to change the course of history. Returning to the present, he's now contemplating his university enrolment in the field of environmental science.
General Gallagher, a career soldier who rose through the ranks following the demise of Brett Farley, was head of the Special Operations Division on Nimber, leading the invasion of Earth during the food supply crisis only to be ordered back home by Supreme Councillor Mark Collins. Ten years later he led the military response to Drago's ascendency, initially claiming credit for resolving it before Pip Ingle's heroic intervention became public knowledge. Two years later he led a military coup in response to the shooting of Supreme Councillor Alistair Blunt, but after invading Eridani he was suspended from active duty on psychiatric grounds and then demoted to the rank of colonel for insubordination.
Colonel Piper led the Pulper 17th squadron at the time of Mark Collins' ascendency and helped him stop Gallagher's invasion of Earth. He remained on that world for several years, overseeing the repairs to damaged infrastructure. Upon his return to Pulper, he commanded a rapid response squadron aiding the civilian governments in times of natural disaster, before being promoted to the rank of brigadier and assigned to Special Operations on Nimber. Following Gallagher's fall from grace, he was promoted to General and now heads the unit.
General Walker, one of the Triangulum Galaxy's joint chiefs of staff, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the military bases on Nimber and Pulper, including the Special Operations unit. He is General Piper's immediate superior.
Pip Ingle, the son of Richard and Patricia, was born in Azarath nine months after the fall of Morgoth. Attending school there, he befriended Damon Enderling and, at the age of fourteen, joined him on Bluehaven where he became a Delphinidae acolyte. Recognising the connection between Drago, the ancient king of Huntress, and the collective mind of the Dolphins, he was excommunicated from the Delphinidae, spending several years as a brain-washed soldier in the military before finding his true place in the resurgent Black Delphinidae. After defeating Drago, he became the Black Dolphin's Emissary and now heads the Order.
Hamati, son of clan leader Jarred who died in the brief war with the Tivinel, led the surviving Barungi into Sheol following the apocalypse on Huntress, where they became known as the ogres of that realm. After negotiating their return with the Black Delphinidae's steward, he is now ruler of that world's autonomous Barungi Nation and a close ally of Pip.
Charon, a Tivinel of mixed bloodline, was born on Huntress in about 45 BD (before Drago). Now the River Styx ferryman, he was once a ferry operator on ancient Huntress, transporting Barungi workers between their village of Kurramurra on the coast and the inland Tivinel town of Benton. After aiding Joel, David, Cam and Pedro in thwarting Tristan's plan to change the course of history, he's now on Meridian trying to locate and isolate possible parents of a new Pasha.
Michael Chandler, nephew of Sontar agriculturalist Eric Chandler, inherited his uncle's farm after Eric's sudden death. Believing Supreme Councillor Alistair Blunt to have been responsible, he killed him in a revenge shooting that plunged the galaxy into a constitutional crisis and military coup. Following the resolution of the bunyip crisis on Cornipus, he was elected unopposed as the new Supreme Councillor and has become a competent and respected leader.
Pedro Thorpe, Peter's alter-ego, was created in the time cusp that occurred when Peter and Billy saved Todd Myers from Andrew Schilling, ultimately becoming the fat cigarette-smoking man encountered at the end of Barefoot Times. Seeking revenge against his creator, he lured Peter into Sheol, but the spirit of Jim Hamilton intervened, taking him through the glowing passageway to the City of Towers where they joined Elko's team as the fourteen-year-old boys they'd been at the time they'd known each other on Earth. Trapped with Jim in the remnant of a 1989 time cusp, he escaped through a time nexus where he joined the Collins family in unravelling the truth behind the bunyips. Disembodied by the dissolution of the nexus, he and Jim returned to Sheol where the ferryman Charon sent Pedro back into the past to rescue fourteen-year-old Peter from the Blue Mountains wilderness and a Barradhim assassination plot. His mission completed, he returned in spirit form to the present where he aided Joel Morison in his escape from Tristan Gosling before travelling back in time to ancient Huntress to help thwart Tristan's plan to change the course of history.
Elsa, born in 14 BD to Charon and his Barungi wife Matera (Hamati's sister), fell in love with Pedro and was in part responsible for his decision to remain behind on ancient Huntress when the others returned to the future. She and Pedro have been indentured to Hamati as slaves but are secretly plotting a Gomeral uprising.
Cam Dunn was born on Hazler in 2053 to one of the wealthiest families in the galaxy, but he turned his back on their coffee empire and instead enrolled as an astrophysics student at Apogee University on Cornipus, where he's rooming with David Collins in Hollingsworth Hall. After enduring a horrific journey back in time to ancient Huntress where he was almost killed, he went to Earth with David for two months recuperation on the shores of a secluded beach, discovering more about himself and his friend than he ever expected. Upon returning to university, he followed a hunch he'd picked up from Hamati's subspace research on ancient Huntress and discovered a higher order resonance in intergalactic fractal crystals that halved the travel time between galaxies. Overwhelmed with riches as the transport companies bid for the rights to his invention, he donated most of it to educational trusts, wanting only to continue his studies and research with David by his side.
The wheels set in motion in Plight of the Tivinel grind relentlessly on as Rise of the Gomeral begins...