Character profile: Kelly Azusa

Kelly Azusa is a beautiful, smart, and kindhearted girl that always tries to look at the positive aspects of life. She loves to go shopping, and has an affinity for cute skirts and dresses. She’s among the popular crowd, though she does get heckled by a few of the supreme-popular girls in school because of the company she keeps.

Kelly has always looked out for James, ever since they were little. Their families have always been close, and they were practically raised together. As such, Kelly has always been tasked with the job of protective sister. She’s always tried to help him make other friends and come out of his shell, but she never seems to be able to get through to him. That all changes when they meet the two new kids at Force-Pointe High. As if by fate, the four of them quickly become friends just as trouble finds its way into their lives.

A strange woman who looks like some kind of 1940s spy. Bugs the size of rats that sucks the energy right out of you with their straw-like mouths. Superpowers and giant robots. Yeah, talk about weird.

Weird. That’s what a few of her peers call Kelly. Not only because she’s friends with James Stump, but because of how she looks. The Azusas have always had their traditions pertaining to family, conduct and appearance, and Kelly proudly chooses to follow those traditions. One such tradition is that the women in the family never cut their hair, to let the hair grow as long and free as the amber waves of grain. The fact that she’s never cut her hair has earned her the nickname “Rapunzel” by some of her classmates, but she never pays them any heed. She’s proud to be an Azusa, and considers continuing the family tradition an honor.  

But, the Azusas also have a much deeper tradition that Kelly never knew about until the day she and her friends accept their destiny. Her family has ties to the Edania Organization, but nobody in the organization will tell her what those ties are, and it’s not like she can ask her parents. This is one family secret Kelly is determined to figure out.

Kelly Azusa Illustration by Jenny Ahern. Instagram: Aeonpigments

Character Profile: Abigail Scott

Abby has always loved gymnastics, and found that she truly has a talent for it. In every competition she’s ever participated in, she’s always on top. She’s been told many times she’s got the grace of a swan the way she moves. She also loves shopping, and has the uncanny ability to memorize the location of every store in every mall she visits the first time. She has thirty pairs of shoes in her closet, and those are just the ones she was able to bring with her.

She’s always been seen as a pessimist, but she likes to think of it as common sense. Just as outspoken as her brother, she voices her opinion, whether anyone asks for it or not. She’s petite, but don’t mistake her for being dainty.  

It was hard for her and Nick to move away from their home in California, away from their family. But it had to happen, which is one thing that Abby will keep silent about. She knows it’s a touchy subject for her brother, not that she blames him for any of it. Now it’s just the two of them living together at the Force-Pointe High School’s dorm hall, which will definitely take some getting used to. New place. New school. New destiny…that last part is the real problem.

Of all the groups of teenagers in the world, it had to be her and her brother and two new friends. Everyone else in the world would beg for a chance at living the comic book life, fighting evil and all that. But not Abby, she just wants to have a normal junior year. Go to school, do homework, go to the mall and spend her life savings on shoes. You know, the usual. But no, of course there’re secret organizations and hideous, killer bugs. Why wouldn’t there be?

And while everyone else just eats this “it’s your destiny” stuff up, Abby seems to be the only one who doesn’t think it’s a good idea. All she wants to do is stop the clock for a minute and think things over. Kind of hard to do with psycho ladies with last century’s fashion stalking you and rat-sized bugs trying to stab you with their tongues. But, she wants to make sure they’re not making a mistake. This isn’t a comic book or tv show, after all, where people can miraculously recover in the next episode or issue. This is real life. And in real life, evil, mutant bugs can kill you.  

Illustration by: Jenny Ahern Instagram: Aeonpigments

Character Profile: Nicklaus Scott

On the surface, Nicklaus Scott looks like your typical jock. Handsome, charming and athletic, it doesn’t take him too long to get everyone’s attention at his new school.  

Behind that boyish smile beats a lion’s heart. Brave and loyal, he would do anything for those he cares about. He hates bullies, and always makes it his duty to fight for those who can’t defend themselves.

Not very good at hiding his emotions, he tends to wear his heart on his sleeve. And despite his cheery disposition and friendly nature, he can be a hot head. His short-temperedness always seems to rev up when he perceives an injustice, and has gotten him in trouble from time to time.

He and his twin sister, Abby, grew up in a small town in California with their mom, stepdad and three siblings. His whole life he’d excelled at sports. Wrestling. Football. Lacrosse. But his favorite sport has always been basketball, outshining everyone else on the court. Being a natural athlete and having that five-star smile, he was always treated like royalty at school…until the day he got in trouble. Suddenly he found that all of his friends, everyone that told him they’d always be there for him were nowhere to be found.   

But Nick will soon learn that true friendship can come in the most unlikely of forms. Your real friends aren’t necessarily the people who share your talents or your interests. True friendship is something that stays strong, especially when tried by fire. And he and his small group of new friends will be tried harder than they could ever realize.

All Nick wanted to do was start over in this new town, a place where nobody would know about the mistakes he made. Now faced with an impossible choice, he and his new friends have to make a decision: accept their fate or choose to ignore it.

Nick’s bravery is about to be put to the ultimate test.  Can he accept his destiny? Can he come to terms with his past? What will happen if he messes up? Being the leader in such a dire situation is not all it’s cracked up to be…

Illustration by Jenny Ahern (Instagram: @aeonpigments)

Character Profile: James Stump

James Levi Stump is a sixteen-year-old junior that attends Force-Pointe High School. He has always been highly intelligent, boasting an impressive IQ of 160. Spending most of his free time reading medical journals or looking under the microscope at school, he’s never had much of a social life. In fact, he’s never had a social life at all. As smart as he is, there’s one thing he has never excelled at: social interaction.

For nearly all his life, James has only had one friend: Kelly Azusa. Their families have always been extremely close, and the two of them have known each other since they were in diapers. But, while Kelly quickly made friends when the duo started elementary school, James never saw the need. Kelly always stayed close to him, though, and even tries to get him to come out of his shell and make some more friends, but James never does. He gets anxious whenever he’s put into a social setting, he even sits as far away from everyone as he can at lunch.

His interests are almost exclusively academic. His greatest joy in life is reading medical journals about immunology and infectious diseases. If he had his way, he would spend all his time in a lab, looking at specimens under the microscope, or delving into his research and working on his projects. He excels at biology, biochemistry and statistics, as well as English and history.

The only class he struggles in is physical education…mostly because of the physical part. It’s not entirely his fault, though. His lifelong tormentors, a group which he refers to as the Hyena Gang because of their idiotic laughter, love to cause him trouble whenever they can, and phys ed is the perfect time to do it. They can tackle and trip him all they want and they never get in trouble.

James’ life of loneliness and isolation is about to change in a drastic way when two new students arrive at FPHS, even more drastically than he realizes. As he starts to make friends with the two new kids, he notices that he and his new group of chums are being followed by a strange woman that nobody else seems to notice. Is she really there, or is she simply a figment of imagination?

Unfortunately for James, the woman is the least of his worries. Something is creeping behind the walls and in the vents of the school, something more terrible than he can even imagine. And whatever the things crawling around the school are, they’re draining the students and faculty at the school of their energy.

As if life hadn’t become complicated enough, James and his friends suddenly find themselves face-to-face with the strange woman, who offers them a choice, a choice that will decide the fate of everyone at their school, perhaps everyone in the entire city—but no pressure.