Spoiler Alert!

This page is for people (and other assorted sentients) who have already read the first eleven EarthCent Ambassador books.

Family Night order links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Amazon DE

In accordance with requests from readers, I've summarized the characters and plot elements continued in latest release, Book Twelve, Family Night on Union Station. I may build a wiki for the Stryx multiverse at some point in the future.

Humans

Kelly McAllister, the EarthCent Ambassador to Union Station. Kelly is now fifty-seven years old, married to Joe McAllister, mother of Dorothy and Samuel, and step-mother of Joe's informally adopted adult son, Paul. In the last book, Kelly attempted to prepare for the review of humanity's status on the tunnel network by soliciting criticism from all of the alien ambassadors.

Joe McAllister, owner of Mac's Bones (which he won in a poker game), a junkyard with access to Union Station's hollow core. Mac's Bones currently offers repairs for small spaceships and a training area for EarthCent Intelligence agents. A former mercenary, Joe has stepped back from training intelligence agents to help Paul recondition and sell ships that were abandoned in the station's long-term parking orbit and auctioned for back fees.

Dorothy McAllister, in her early twenties, works as a designer for SBJ Fashions. She recently got over a long-time relationship with her first boyfriend, and is now dating Kevin, an independent trader who first appeared in "High Priest on Union Station" as a little red-haired boy.

Samuel McAllister, now sixteen, is attending the Open University with a dual major in Space Engineering and Vergallian Studies. He remains in secret daily contact with Ailia, the Vergallian girl who was taken in by Aisha (Paul McAllister's wife) after being abandoned on the set of "Let's Make Friends," and who was later reclaimed by her elder half-sister, Baylit. The two teens practice dancing together through the magic of a pair of quantum-coupled robot toys created for the them by Stryx Jeeves, in "Vacation on Union Station." Samuel also competes in ballroom dancing with Blythe's daughter, Vivian.

Donna Doogal, wife of Stanley, mother of Blythe and Chastity. Donna is Kelly's best friend and the manager of the EarthCent embassy. She specializes in arranging social events and runs a monthly dance mixer for humans. Stanley is a dropout from a PhD program in economics who worked for twenty years as an information trader for a gaming consortium, and he's now the CFO for the InstaSitter business created by his daughters.

Aisha McAllister, now famed throughout the galaxy as the host of "Let's Make Friends." Married to Paul McAllister, the couple live with Kelly's family and have a daughter, Fenna, adopted from one of Aisha's relatives on Earth. Aisha and Paul now live in a habitat structure next to the McAllister's ice harvester, and are awaiting a baby of their own.

Blythe (Doogal) Oxford, sister of Chastity, co-founder of InstaSitter. The girls have played a crucial role in the series since helping to bring Joe and Kelly together back in "Date Night on Union Station." Blythe's husband, Clive, is the head of EarthCent Intelligence, and Blythe is the mother of fourteen-year-old twins, Vivian (Samuel's dance partner) and Jonah. Blythe works with Clive in building up EarthCent Intelligence.

Chastity (Doogal) Papamarkakis, Blythe's younger sister, co-founder of InstaSitter, current owner and publisher of the Galactic Free Press. Chastity is married to Marcus, a former Wanderer who now runs a dance studio attached to their apartment. Marcus coaches his niece, Vivian, and Samuel McAllister, in Vergallian style ballroom dance. Chastity has a baby a few days older than Lynx's girl.

Pyun Woojin (Wooj), married to Lynx (Edgehouse), both employed by EarthCent Intelligence. Woojin is a former mercenary who was among the last officers trained in the Korean War College before it finally shut down, decades after the Stryx opened Earth. Lynx worked as an independent trader for ten years before being recruited by EarthCent Intelligence as their first human agent (the first agent overall was Thomas, an artificial person, see "Spy Night on Union Station.").

Daniel Cohan, Kelly's rapidly advancing assistant in the embassy, married to Shaina (Hadad), parents of a Mike - "Mikey" to his friends Fenna, and Spinner, his Stryx work/study assignment from school. Shaina was a partner in SBJ auctioneers with her younger sister, Brinda, and Stryx Jeeves. The three have remade that business into SBJ Fashions to produce and market the designs created by Dorothy and her alien friends.

Walter Dunkirk, married to Brinda (Hadad). Walter is the managing editor of the Galactic Free Press. He originally came to Union Station fresh from a doctoral program on Earth as a political organizer in "Vacation on Union Station." Brinda and her sister Shaina learned their business chops as market sellers for their father's "Kitchen Kitsch" business on the Shuk deck. Brinda was an exchange hostage for the Cayl emperor along with the Pyuns in "Guest Night on Union Station".

Beowulf, a Cayl hound who may as well be human, he was originally a genetically engineered cross between an Earth canine and a Huravian hound (Huravian dogs turned out to be a lost population of Cayl hounds) and was reincarnated as a full-blooded Cayl hound. Beowulf now has a female friend with benefits on the station, Pava, the female Cayl hound brought home by Brinda Dunkirk from her exchange-hostage experience.

Stryx

The Stryx are an ancient race of artificial intelligence originally engineered by the Makers, but they've long since redesigned themselves multiple times over. The Stryx are the most intelligent and powerful beings in the EarthCent multiverse, and they own and operate the tunnel network.

Libby is the offspring of Gryph (the first generation Stryx who created Union Station). In addition to serving as the station librarian for all resident species, Libby runs the experimental school for human children and immature Stryx. Libby also owns the Eemas dating service and provides back office support for the EarthCent embassy, InstaSitter, the Galactic Free Press, and various other human and alien businesses. Libby owns and operates the Libbyland theme park for educating biologicals in the folly of over-automation, life extension, and other foibles.

Jeeves is the offspring of Libby, the first Stryx to attend her experimental school. Unlike the other young Stryx who move onto other things after some years at school, Jeeves hangs around Union Station as a friend of Paul McAllister and a sometime-employee of Libby, in addition to running his fashion business with the Hadad sisters. Jeeves enjoys spilling the beans on secrets that the older Stryx keep from humans, and is given to elaborate practical jokes.

Makers

An immortal race of shape-shifters whose origins are lost in the mists of time. The Makers created the Stryx to be their inheritors nearly a hundred million years ago when facing extinction at the hands of a biological-hating race of genocidal AI, which the Stryx later defeated (Wanderers on Union Station).

Dring is the sole Maker we've met in the EarthCent series. He rents a corner of Mac's Bones from Joe to park his gravity surfer, and he's in and out of the ice harvester borrowing Kelly's books. Dring is a galactic historian with an interest in human culture.

Artificial People

Artificial people are non-biologicals who can pass as the species they are built to resemble. Their artificial intelligence programming is developed by the species who they pass for, but their bodies are often manufactured by other advanced species. When artificial intelligences pass the sentence test, the Stryx guaranty them full rights on the tunnel network, and offer them mortgages to procure bodies of their choice.

Thomas, who we first met as Kelly's dance partner in "Date Night on Union Station" when he was applying for recognition as a sentient being. Thomas was the first employee of EarthCent Intelligence, where he was partnered with Lynx. Thomas is fourth in the EarthCent Intelligence pecking order and primarily works training new operatives. He is living with Chance.

Chance, a unique artificial person programmed over several generations by a cooperative effort of Earth fraternities and sororities, Chance often behaves like a human teenager and is also employed by EarthCent Intelligence. Chance is an avid dancer and a clothes horse.

Note about aliens:

There are many aliens in the EarthCent Ambassador series, but the ones who breathe something close to the same air as humans get the most ink. All of the species are well in advance of humans, having been masters of faster-than-light travel for at least hundreds of thousands of years.

Vergallians

The Vergallians are the closest physical type to humans, and they were planning to invade Earth before the Stryx stepped in to prevent humanity from destroying itself through insane economic policies. The high-caste Vergallians who serve as the royalty and fleet leaders are easily identifiable by their flawless beauty, and high-caste women can produce pheromones that basically reprogram vulnerable humanoids for short periods of time. All of the high-caste Vergallian women have a name starting with 'A'. They change ambassadors on the station every two years.

Ailia, now sixteen years old, is a high-caste Vergallian whose family was killed in one of the endless wars of succession which take place on tech-ban worlds. She is learning to become queen of her family's former holding under the tutelage of her older, half-sister Baylit, who is a former Fleet captain. There is a political divide between the rulers of the worlds in the tech-ban Empire of a Hundred Worlds and the former Vergallian space fleet and their off-network holdings.

Affie is a high caste Vergallian from Fleet who was studying sculpture in the Open University on the station when she befriended Dorothy. Together the three girls, Affie, Dorothy and Flazint, are the design team for SBJ Fashions.

Drazens

A species with a tentacle that grows out from between their shoulder blades and an extra thumb on each hand. Drazens are otherwise very human-like and eat everything. The young males on the station are overly libidinous, the females mix music with speech and put singing at the center of their culture.

Bork is the Drazen Ambassador and Kelly's first alien friend. Bork's hobby is acting, or reenacting, primarily in historical dramas where he can dress like an early Drazen berserker and wield an axe. After Libby, Bork is Kelly's first point of contact in trying to understand what aliens are thinking.

Tinka (an English approximation of her family status since Drazen female names are formed from untranslatable musical notes) currently runs InstaSitter for Blythe and Chastity. She came to the attention of the girls by mistaking Kelly as a cannibal in "Alien Night on Union Station," and also co-captained a gameverse warship with Chastity.

Herl is the head of Drazen intelligence who has formed a cooperative relationship with EarthCent Intelligence. He often shows up for poker games in Mac's Bones.

Frunge

The Frunge are a humanoid species evolved from tree-like vegetation, though they don't speak of such matters. Frunge ancestors often live with their families,where they slowly revert to something like tree form on their way to petrification. The ancient Frunge supposedly made a treaty with the grass-derived creatures of their homeworld in the distant past, and do not eat any grains in honor of the memory.

Czeros is the Frunge ambassador, a good friend of Kelly, and serious tippler. He originally wanted to become a professional singer and he doesn't get along well at home.

Flazint is a young Frunge girl who worked with Dorothy in the lost-and-found and takes great pride in her hair vines. She studies metallurgy in the Stryx Open University and is now one of the design team at SBJ Fashions..

Dollnicks

A tall, four-armed species who are highly inventive and live in a rigid patriarchal culture of family relationships. The Dollnick princes have the resources to do big engineering projects, like terraforming and building colony ships. Their ambassador is Crute.

Hortens

A humanoid species that accidentally altered their own genes with a badly conceived cosmetic product. As a result, the color of their skin changes with their emotions, making it all but impossible to lie. The Horten ambassador's son fronts a popular band on Union Station. Their ambassador is Ortha.

Grenouthians

One of the older and wealthier species on the tunnel network, they resemble enormous bunnies, except they look much tougher and have a natural pouch. The Grenouthians dominate the broadcast business on the tunnel network, where one of the most popular forms of entertainment is snooty documentaries about the history of less-advanced species. The bunnies produce Aisha McAllister's smash hit for children of all species, "Let's Make Friends."

Verlocks

The oldest of the air-breathing, humanoid, tunnel network species. In addition to being the leading theoretical mathematicians and mages among the biologicals of the tunnel network, the Verlocks are heavy, leathery, and slow of movement and speech. Verlock ambassador Srythlan is a friend of Kelly's.

Cherts

A species of humanoid who live on Stryx stations as refugees, having been chased out of their own space so long ago they don't remember where it is. The Cherts are masters of active invisibility technology, which uses shoulder-mounted projectors to fool the eyes.

Farlings

An ancient race of insectoid beings resembling giant beetles. The Farlings look down on humanoids and are not members of the tunnel network. M793qK (the shortest version of his name) is an all-species physician who is working for the Stryx on Union Station and maintaining his own shop.

If you haven't posted an Amazon review of the first book, Date Night on Union Station, every fresh review, even if it's just a few words, helps bring new readers into the series and allows me to continue writing about my EarthCent family.

I recently published a fantasy novel, Meghan's Dragon, which I wrote while taking a break from the near-omniscient Stryx between EarthCent books.

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