"Behind the scenes"

This was written prior to the novel and shows an early draft of the main characters. It contains spoilers to the extent and nature of Jon's unusual powers and background, so you may not want to read it until later. But since some of my friends have been following the story from its inception, I include this for completeness. Don't blame me if you read it and regret it.


Name: Jon S. Rye (nickname DarkEyes).

Age: 20.

Sex: Male (or "not yet"...)

Hair: Black, short.

Build: Slender, average height for a Scandinavian..

Eyes: Black. (Deep blue when wearing contacts.)

Ethnicity: Norwegian.

Backstory: Jon was born out of wedlock, his father is unknown. His mother committed suicide shortly after his birth. He spent his first two years with his maternal grandparents, who blamed him for their daughter's death and hated his guts. After two years, he was transferred to a foster home. He was at this time small, weak, bruised and malnourished. He spent the next six years being sent from foster home to foster home, none of them wanting to keep him because of his disturbing eyes. From age 8 to 12 he lived with a strongly religious family. They firmly believed him to be conceived by a devil, but since he was half human they thought he could still be saved. He got along well with Rune, a boy his own age, and his only childhood friend. Spending much of his time on Bible reading, prayer and meditation, he learned to turn his mind inward. Sadly for his foster parents, what he found there was not what they had hoped. Around the age of 12 he started to develop psychic powers, and they eventually gave up on him. He lived with some other foster parents after this, none of which became close to him, and at the age of 16 he started to live alone. At this time he got his blue contact lenses and moved to another part of the country where no one knew him. At high school he excelled in classes but was always alone. After school, he has worked as an independent software developer.

Powers: Jon has a wide range of "superpowers", none of which are useful in catching criminals or saving the world.

Dark Sight: Jon can see through walls, or clothes, or skin for that matter, within a radius of approximately 10 meters/yards. (This just might be useful in a medical profession, but he gets sick seeing blood. Still he keeps toying with the thought of becoming a doctor one day.) He can also see in the dark. The second sight does not show colors, all things are shown in a color he calls "twilight blue". In the night, he can extend the radius of his night-sight to about 100 meters, although the further he stretches it, the greater the chance that it will snap back to the original 10 meters radius. Seeing through objects is much harder to extend.

Teleportation: As well as seeing through walls, Jon can move through walls, or anywhere else within the 10 meters radius. He moves instantly from one place to another, no matter what might be between. He can extend this radius to about 100 meters when there are no objects inbetween, but the longer the distance the greater the chance of failure, and he will arrive as exhausted as if he had run the same distance at his best speed.

Telekinesis: Jon can move objects with his mind. He is fairly strong in this, but lacks control. He can easily break a window or even a chair by looking hard enough, but he could not pick up a pencil with his mind. He would most likely throw it across the room, possibly crush it. For this reason he rarely ever uses or even thinks of this power. It is for emergency only.

Heat resistance: While avoiding open flame, Jon is unaware that you cannot drink boiling water. Nobody has told him, so far.

Tactile telepathy: When touching another person, Jon can read their thoughts and emotions. The chance is less if there is a thin layer of clothes between their skins. During direct skin-to-skin contact (which is rare) the telepathy may kick in spontaneously, which is how he discovered it in his childhood.

Dark healing: Jon can heal minor wounds or even cure everyday infections like diarrhea or common cold in himself or others. The problem is that the cure is worse than the problem: The affected area is wracked with excruciating pain, "like black fire" according to the only other person he has tried it on.

Jumpback: Jon can jump a few seconds back in time. This happens automatically in the most dire emergency, but can also be done consciously with hard concentration. He rarely ever does, though. It leaves him exhausted, but worse than that: Each jump seems to shunt him into a slightly different parallel timeline, where he will find some familiar elements gone or replaced. This could be some of his books or CDs, or even his phone number could be different. So far the details have been minor, but after a few tries he is very reluctant to ever use it again unless lives are at stake.

Personality: Jon is shy, accustomed to rejection. Even cats and dogs hate his guts. He avoids violence and confrontation at all costs, partly because he does not trust himself. He is frequently plagued by nightmares about committing over-the-top violence. Despite this, he is actually quite lonely and can be found on numerous message boards and IRC channels, where he feels safe. On the Net, nobody can see your eyes ...

Anne-Linn Haug ("Haugtusla")

Age: 18.

Sex: Female.

Hair: Bright red, thick, braided.

Build: Somewhat pear-shaped feminine. Barely average height.

Eyes: Green-blue depending on light.

Ethnicity: Norwegian.

Personality: Anne-Linn is idealistic, romantic, shy and awkward with strangers but very active and a leader type with her few friends. She loves ballads and renaissance music and plays keyboard, but has also some experience with flute and violin, and can sing, preferably soprano. She avoids sports but will take walks with her dog Tassen.

(The nickname "Haugtusla" is a Norwegian wordplay ... "Haugtussa", itself a wordplay, translates roughly as either "the underhill female gnome" or "the mentally unstable woman of the hill". It is the title of a famous work by the Norwegian writer Arne Garborg. "Haugtussa" centers on a young girl, living in a perfectly normal hard working farm district, and she alone has the ability to see the invisible: Ghosts, monsters of folklore etc. She is treated rather harshly, as you can imagine. "Haugtusla" on the other hand is composed of Anne-Linn's surname Haug (meaning hill) and the verb "tusle" which means to walk slowly and feebly. A "tuslete" person is someone unimpressive and feeble.)

Marianne Hansen

Age: 19.

Sex: Female.

Hair: Blond, long, straight.

Build: Hourglass, slightly taller than average.

Eyes: Light blue.

Ethnicity: Norwegian.

Personality: Marianne is the party girl. She likes boys, boys like her, what's the problem? Well, the problem currently is that she is engaged, so she can't go all the way with her male friends. But she can still have some fun, right? Her favorite sport is dancing, and she can dance for hours. You are unlikely to play any style of dance music that she doesn't master. She is also competent with clothes and makeup. Her current pet project is to help her friend and coworker Anne-Linn overcome her shyness and virginity (which add up to much the same as far as Marianne is concerned).

Tassen the Dog

Age: 6.

Sex: Neutered male.

Fur: Pale, long, shaggy.

Build: Large, robust.

Personality: Tassen is a bit too fond of food but always willing to exercise with good company. He will listen to you with obvious sympathy and wag his tail or make small agreeing sounds at the right places. Tassen is peaceful, trusting and friendly to everyone ... well, almost everyone.

Total text that is not part of the novel: 1461 words.