Characters

Hell Holes Series

The following are the main characters in the Hell Holes series of modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, horror, and action & adventure novels:

 

Members of the Research Team

The following are the members of the research team sent to investigate the mysterious holes:

 
Dr. Jack Oswald
 
Dr. Jack Oswald is a petroleum geologist who teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). During the short Alaskan summer, he conducts field research and consults for the oil companies, one of which has hired him to lead an expedition to the North Slope to study huge holes that have mysteriously opened up near the Arctic Sea. Dr. Oswald bears witness to Armageddon in Hell Holes 1, What Lurks Below, the first book in the Hell Holes series.
 
Dr. Angela Menendez
 
Dr. Angela Menendez is a noted climatologist who teaches at the UAF. Her research concentrates on the climatological impact of methane produced by melting permafrost and marine deposits of methane hydrate. In addition to being a highly respected teacher and oft-cited research scientist, Angie is a fierce environmentalist. Dr. Oswald’s wife, she bears witness to Armageddon in Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton, the second book in the Hell Holes series.
 
Mr. Mark Starr
 
Mr. Mark Starr is a UAF geology graduate student working on his doctorate by studying climate-related changes in Alaskan glaciers. He helps Dr. Oswald, his doctoral advisor, perform research and maintains the team’s equipment. Tall, athletic, and ruggedly handsome, he would not look out of place on a movie set with his tousled brown hair and beard trimmed so short it always looked like he’d only started growing it the week before. Instead, he is turning out to be a fine glaciologist and geologist, a man who was as at home crossing a crevasse as he was working in the laboratory.
 
Mrs. Jill Starr
 
Mrs. Jill Starr is also one of Dr. Oswald’s geology graduate students working on her master’s degree. Mark Starr’s wife, Jill often joins Mark and Dr. Oswald during summer fieldwork. Tall, slender, and two years younger than her husband, Jill is intrigued by all things permafrost, the subsurface layer of ground that has remained frozen since the last ice age. More specifically, she is fascinated by changes in the permafrost caused by the rapid warming of the Arctic due to climate change.
 
Mr. Kevin Kowalski
 
Mr. Kevin Kowalski is a mid-level manager for ExxonMobil, who hires Dr. Oswald to put together a team to study the mysterious holes and thereby determine the degree to which the mysterious holes threaten oil company operations in Alaska’s North Slope.
 
Mr. Bill Henderson
 
Mr. Bill Henderson is a wildlife biologist, who works part time for ExxonMobil, typically as a consultant developing environmental impact statements. Kowalski hires Henderson, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, to protect the team from dangerous wild animals such as polar bears, grizzlies, and wolves.

 

Members of the Tutores Contra Infernum

The following are members of the Tutores Contra Infernum (informally known as The Order), an ancient secret order dedicated to defending humanity from demons.
 

High Council

The members of the High Council (Consula/female and Consul/male) form the governing body of The Order. It consists of a prime minister (i.e., the head of the council) and various ministers responsible for locations (e.g., North America) or subject matters (e.g., military, science, and intelligence).

 
 
Consula Alessandra Romano is the head of the High Council of the Tutores Contra Infernum, the ancient secret order of sorcerers and sorceresses dedicated to defending humanity from demons.
Consula Romano was born into a noble family in Florence in 1504, during the height of the Italian renaissance. As both her father and mother were powerful members of the Order, she was inducted as a child and rapidly rose through the ranks, eventually rising to the position of Consula of the High Council, the Order’s governing body in 1897. A master of politics and intrigue, she has ruled the High Council with an iron fist inside a velvet glove ever since. She surrounds herself with highly capable councilors, wisely listening to their advice before making her own decisions. She does not suffer fools lightly.
When dealing with mundane high society, Consula Romano plays the role of the reclusive and wealthy Contessa Romano. Secure in her self-image, she has purposely permitted her body to gracefully age so that she appears to be a healthy vibrant woman in her late 60s. With gray hair and clear blue eyes, she is regal in bearing and always impeccably dressed in designer clothes from the most exclusive fashion houses of Milano and Paris.
 
Consul Bertrand Bedeau
 
Consul Bertrand Bedeau is a member of the High Council. He is a renowned expert in demon weaknesses and a master of both their weaponry and those of the order.
 
Consul James Farmer
 
Consul James Farmer is a member of the High Council and is responsible for all North American activities of the Order.
 
Consul Dimitri Gregorovich
 
Consul Dimitri Gregorovich is a member of the High Council and the head of its Intelligence Branch. He is well known for his ability to interrogate captured high demons. He was born during the Russo-Swedish War in 1657 to noble parents in Moscow, Russia. Tall and thin, he has long gray hair and beard. He is very conservative and risk adverse. Gregorovich became an extreme proponent of keeping The Order secret, when in 1574 a mob captured his pregnant wife and burned her at the stake as a witch, while he was away fighting demons in Sweden.
 
Consul Maximilian Hofmeister
 
Consul Maximilian Hofmeister is a member of the High Council and head of its Military Branch. He was born in 1304 in Vienna, Austria to a Teutonic knight. Attacks by demons have scarred his face and neck, cost him his left forearm, and given him a painful limp, forcing him to walk with the aid of a cane. Extremely proud of his warriors, he believes the order is perfectly able to beat the demons without need of the world’s militaries. Hofmeister had a relatively brief affair with Aileen O’Shannon during the Late Middle Ages, when they fought together putting down numerous demon incursions.

 

Curatoria

The Curatoria (Curatrix/female and Curator/male) are the rank and file members of The Order.

 
Curatrix Maxima Faustina Giordano
 
Curatrix Maxima Faustina Giordano is a member of the administrative arm of The Order. Born in the Italian part of southern Switzerland in 1821, she joined the order after being rescued when a band of imps attacked the coach her family was traveling in while on the road to Geneva. An ambitious sorceress, she is the loyal personal assistant to Consule Alessandra Romano and therefore lives in Rome where the High Council is based.
 
Curatrix Maxima Aileen O’Shannon
 
Curatrix Maxima Aileen O’Shannon is a highly-experienced officer in the military arm of The Order. A survivor of Jack Oswald’s ill-fated expedition to study the mysterious holes that opened up along Alaska’s North Slope, Aileen is a highly talented and amazingly beautiful sorceress born in Ireland 1703 years ago during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. She uses a glamour spell that gives her the illusion of being in her early twenties with long flaming-red hair, green eyes, and a smattering of freckles.
 
Curator Maxima Jason Thanos
 
Curator Maxima Jason Thanos is a member of the military arm of the Order and was born around 410 BCE in Sparta during the Peloponnesian War between that city state and its rival Athens. He is responsible for the Order’s military response in North America.
 
Curator Arthur Davies
 
Curator Arthur Davies is a member of the Curia Physicum, the research arm of the Tutores Contra Infernum. Based in London, Dr. Davies is a highly respected demonologist, has spent the last 350 years specializing in the interrogation of captured high demons and in the discovery of ways of countering their magic. Over the last century, he has also taken several sabbatical from his work at The Order to earn six doctorates in biology, physics, and engineering at various universities including Stanford, MIT, and Oxford. Working with his colleagues in the Curia Physicum, he has developed the highly infectious, magically-enhanced virus that will be used to hopefully cause a catastrophic plague on the demon home world.
 
Curatrix Tabitha Freeman
 
Curatrix Tabitha Freeman is a member of the military arm of The Order. When a devil masquerading as a southern gentleman attacked the sugar plantation where Tabitha was a slave in 1701, As a consequence of helping Aileen destroy the demon, the sorceress rescued her, sponsored her induction into The Order, and accepted the young woman as her apprentice. She has been based in Boston for over 200 years and is a close friend and Aileen’s occasional sister in arms.
 
Curatrix Ceana MacClelland
 
Curatrix Ceana MacClelland is a member of the military arm of the Order and was born in 1939 in Portland, Oregon. She is based in Seattle. A rising star who has an inordinate number of kills to her credit for such a young curatrix, she hopes to be so successful during the Demon War that she will become the youngest Curatrix Maxima in 350 years.
 
Curatrix Lauretta Rizzo
 
Curatrix Lauretta Rizzo is a member of the military arm of The Order. Based in Chicago, she is originally from Venice. She was born just prior to the First World War into one of the oldest families of The Order.

 

Members of the Military

 

Officers

 
Lieutenant General Jason Robertson
 
Lieutenant General Jason Robertson is commander of the 11th Air Force and responsible for the planning and execution of all Homeland Defense operations within theater, including security and civil support actions. Placed me in command of the human military response to the demon invasion in Alaska by the Joint Chiefs. He is based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which is a combined Air Force and Army base located just outside of Anchorage.
 
Colonel Yoshie Nakamoto
 
Colonel Yoshie Nakamoto is the Eielson base commander as well as commander of the 354th Fighter Wing.
 
Colonel Enrique Rodriguez
 
Colonel Enrique Rodriguez is the commander of the 3rd Wing and is responsible for air dominance, command and control of combat operations, and air mobility.
 
Colonel Michael Landsman
 
Colonel Michael Landsman represents the US Army and is the commander of the 1st Stryker Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Wainwright.
 
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Conrad
 
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Conrad represents the Alaska Army National Guard and is responsible for coordinating all Guard activities involved with defending Alaska and evacuating civilians.
 
Captain Aaron Greenwald
 
Captain Aaron Greenwald is the detachment commander. He has overall command authority and responsibility for the A Team and the entire assault on the hell hole. Originally from a small town in Wyoming, he is a natural leader, extremely competent, and highly qualified for his position.
 
Chief Warrant Officer Anthony (Tony) Thompson
 
Chief Warrant Officer Anthony (Tony) Thompson is the assistant detachment commander and Captain Greenwald’s second in command. From upstate New Yorker, he comes from a long line of soldiers going back to the Civil War.

 

Liaison

The following are members of foreign military who act as liaisons to their military organizations.

 
Wing Commander Nigel Blackbourne
 
Wing Commander Nigel Blackbourne represents Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force out of Base Mildenhall. He commands the UK airmen who are at the Eielson AFB to take part of the training exercise Operation Red Flag.
 
Group Captain Brandon Sellers
 
Group Captain Brandon Sellers represents the Royal Australian Air Force out of Base Glenbrook. He commands the Australian airmen who are at the Eielson AFB to take part of the training exercise Operation Red Flag.
 
Sergeant Sam Novoigak
 
Sergeant Sam Novoigak is a member of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. Based at CFNA HQ, he acts as the Canadian Army’s liaison to the US defense of Alaska.

 

Enlisted

The following are the twelve green berets who are members of the US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment A (also known as an ODA or “A Team”) that takes part in the assault on the hell hole. A part of the 1st Special Forces Group headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle, they all have significant combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are also cross-trained in each other’s specialties, roles, and responsibilities.

 
Staff Sergeant Isaac Addison
 
Staff Sergeant Isaac Addison is one of the team’s two engineer sergeants and is assigned primary responsibility for the two demon plague drones. He is the only member of the team who grew up in Alaska as the son of an oil roughneck. For him, the invasion is especially personal.
 
Master Sergeant Jefferson Black
 
Master Sergeant Jefferson Black is the team’s operations sergeant (better known as the “team sergeant”). The most experienced member of the attachment, he is the team’s senior non-commissioned officer and responsible for all operations of the team.
 
Staff Sergeant Zachary Charles
 
Staff Sergeant Zachary Charles is the team’s other medical sergeant. Before joining the Army, he work briefly as an emergency medical technician and ambulance driver.
Staff Sergeant Kenneth (Ken) Crowley  
Staff Sergeant Kenneth (Ken) Crowley is the other weapons sergeant assigned responsibility for the bomb and will take over in the event that Sergeant Masterson is killed, disabled, or captured.
 
Sergeant First Class William (Bill) Masterson
 
Sergeant First Class William (Bill) Masterson is one of the team’s two weapons sergeant. An expert in all manner of weapons, he has primary responsibility for the thermonuclear bomb including arming, emplacement, and detonation.
 
Sergeant First Class Dane Michaels
 
Sergeant First Class Dane Michaels is one of the team’s two medical sergeants. Specialized in emergency medicine and trauma management, he has overall responsibility for care of any wounded.
 
Sergeant First Class Adam Nicholson
 
Sergeant First Class Adam Nicholson is one of the team’s two communications sergeants. He is responsible for the care and operation of the communications equipment, especially communications back through the portal.
 
Sergeant First Class Joseph O’Conner
 
Sergeant First Class Joseph O’Conner is the team’s assistant operations and intelligence sergeant. He is responsible for collecting intelligence on the demons.
 
Staff Sergeant Robert (Rob) Schneider
 
Staff Sergeant Robert (Rob) Schneider is the team’s other communications sergeant. One of his secondary tasks is to bring back any communications devices used by the demons.
 
Sergeant Kodiak (Cody) Wolfe
 
Sergeant Kodiak (Cody) Wolfe is the team’s other engineer sergeant. He is responsible for the second drone as well as any non-nuclear demolitions that might be needed. Growing up in a family that owns and operates a fireworks business, blowing things up is in his blood.

 

Other Humans

 
Adam Anderson
 
Adam Anderson is a slender ten-year-old boy with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a smattering of freckles. He is one of only two survivors of a refugee convoy that was overrun south of Coldfoot.
 
Amy Anderson
 
Amy Anderson is a six-year-old girl, who is the other survivor of the convoy and the little sister of Adam Anderson.
 
Dr. Janice Browne
 
Dr. Janice Browne is the Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security. Reporting directly to the President Warren’s National Security Advisor, Dr. Browne provides daily reports to the National Security Council and conveys orders from the President.
 
Dr. Lawrence Shaw
 
Dr. Lawrence Shaw is a principal engineer, who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of a team performing research and development of potential upgrades to the US nuclear arsenal. He trains the attack team on the use of the modified B-61 variable-yield thermonuclear bomb they will use to destroy the demon’s portal system.
 
Baaaah-beeee
 
Baaaah-beeee is a human slave that is rescued during the attack on the demon portal system. Now in his mid forties, he was captured by demons and taken to Hell when he was only five-years-old. Over the years, he has been a field slave, a gladiator, and finally a scribe owned by one of top engineers maintaining the portal complex.

 

Aliens

 

Demons

Coming from another world that we have historically called Hell, demons are vile and vicious creatures that are intent on conquering our planet and enslaving humanity. Hideous and terrifying, they are carnivores with large sharp teeth that will attack, kill, and eat people, animals, and occasionally even other demons. They are hairless with moist transparent skin that exposes their underlying muscles, cartilage, and bones as well as the dark purple veins and arteries that carry blood the color and consistency of crude oil. Having almost no body fat, demons are always hungry and must eat regularly or risk starving. Their large yellow eyes have horizontal goat-like pupils, and their retinas are reflective, making them appear to glow like crimson coals in the dark. Their breath and blood have the unmistakable stench of sulfur.
Demons are also supernatural creatures of dark magic. They are impervious to fire and possess the ability to heal most injuries in at most a minute or two. These regenerative powers make demons very difficult to kill. The most effective ways of destroying them are gunshot to the head, decapitation, and extensive injuries that overwhelm their regenerative powers.

  • Low Demons are the beasts of Hell and roughly have the intelligence of a dog. They can be controlled by high demons such as devils.
    • Hellhounds look somewhat like exceedingly well-muscled, naked wolves. They are gigantic, with alpha males weighing some 250 pounds. Standing on all four legs, their shoulders reach up to a person’s chest, enabling them to look people in the eye. They are venomous with long fangs that reach down past their jaws of their massive heads. The long razor-sharp claws on their massive paws are retractable like those of a cat.
    • Gargoyles look like a nightmarish cross between a black panther and an enormous bat. They have long fangs and talon-like claws on their front and back paws. With leathery wings that are twice as long as a man is tall, they can fly and even carry an imp rider for short distances. When not flying, gargoyles may appear clumsy due to their large wing span. They prefer to attack from the air.
  • High Demons are the humanoid rulers of Hell, malicious and devious. They have four fingers on each hand and cloven hooves.
    • Devils are the roughly the same size as people. The apex predator of Hell, devils are the most dangerous of all demons. They have multiple rows of sharp shark-like teeth, and their hands have retractable claws. They are highly intelligent and cunning. Devils can be hard to identify because they have the magical ability to glamour people so that they appear to be human.
    • Imps are roughly two and a half feet high, with grotesquely small skulls and flat faces and unnaturally long arms. They are roughly as intelligent as a six-year-old child, if that child were a hyperactive, self-centered psychopath who would rather torture and eat small puppies than pet them. Armed with simple swords and spiked maces, they move in large, disorganized troops.
 
Supreme Leader Sssss-tuh-tussssk
 
Sssss-tuh-tussssk is the supreme leader of the demons, empress of 144 worlds. She is the devil that ordered the invasion of Earth.
 
Kaaaak-ssss
 
Kaaaak-ssss is a devil that was captured by the US Army during the battle of the Yukon River Fire. He wants nothing more than to remove the shame of being captured by breaking free and killing as many humans as he can before dying in battle.
 
Koooos-kaaaah
 
Koooos-kaaaah is a foul-mouthed little imp with attitude. He was captured by the US Army during the battle of the Yukon River Fire.

 

Tahk

Tahk is one of the many worlds that have been conquered by the demons. Roughly seven feet long and one foot in diameter, the hermaphroditic Tahk are roughly cylindrical in shape with three pair of trunk-like legs and two pairs of trunk-like arms. They are solid gray in color except for numerous green scars from lashings given by their devil masters. Highly intelligent herbivores, they have four eyes the primarily see colors ranging from orange through infrared. They use a pair of small round drum-like membranes on either side of their “heads” to both speak and hear, meaning that they can not do both simultaneously. The speaker-like form of their speech-ears enable the Tahk to speak accent-free Demonic as well as several other slave languages.

 
T-t-t-pay
 
T-t-t-pay is a Tahk slave that is also rescued during the attack on the demon portal system. Baaaah-beeee’s best friend and mentor, T-t-t-pay is also a scribe owned by the same devil.

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