Whitney appears to be a normal teenager living in the Washington, DC suburbs. With hazel eyes and long brown hair, she enjoys a life of friends, sports and school and has done a good job of keeping her extrasensory perception a secret. She has to–it’s classified.
As a non-active member of an elite CIA program called Clarion, she will eventually be expected to report to CIA headquarters to help the government achieve its objective: to use psychics to spy on rival military installations and weaponry.
Self-assured and self-reliant, Whitney has been trained in survival skills to complement her psychic abilities. Her father, the director of the Clarion Program, has trained her since she was a child should she ever find herself “in the field.”
She is often on her own since her father travels for the government and her mother mysteriously died in London when Whitney was five. It has been whispered that her mother’s CIA operative cover was blown and her death was not an accident. Whitney keeps the clairvoyant visions she has seen about her mother’s death to herself–her father can’t bear to talk about it and it is easier for Whitney to stay silent about a past she cannot change.
It is not until she meets Reid Wallace, does her carefully crafted and staged world start to turn upside down. Not only is he impossibly attractive but also he keeps causing her to pass out. It is not surprising when she learns he is psychically different –she suspected as much–but it is a jolt when she learns they share the same martial arts instructor, Mr. Parks.
Whitney has been trained as a Shaolin panther stylist in the martial art of kung fu. Panthers are known for being unpredictable strategists who use cunning, not brute strength, to fight. They are masters of timing and this style suits Whitney well. The greatest nemesis of a Shaolin panther stylist is a Shaolin crane stylist although Mr. Parks claims that in tandem they are said to be unstoppable.
Reid Wallace is a crane stylist and a champion in competition. He hasn’t beaten Whitney in a match…yet.
Whitney prides herself on her adaptability and situational awareness. She sees complex and dangerous situations with crystal clarity and has been trained to anticipate obstacles. Incredibly, and for the first time in her life, she takes her hardest tumble in what she thought was a safe environment–her own kitchen. A bite of a seemingly harmless cookie turns into a mistake she will never make twice.
It appears there’s nothing this affluent teenager can’t do well. Reid is smart, athletic and attractive. His tall, chiseled physique is complimented with wavy brown hair and warm cognac eyes. Whitney finds herself addicted to the dimpled smirk that only appears when he is truly pleased.
The first time Reid touches Whitney, her intuition that he is different goes into overdrive. After she realizes he is an empath, it puts new meaning as to why he was always running into her–literally–since every touch let him read her mind.
Reid has been trained through the Poseidon Program–a junior division of the Navy SEALs because of his swimming skills and unusual physicality that give him the stats of a super-athlete. He has been assigned to protect Whitney Forbes as a government asset but getting close to Whitney proved to be an unexpected challenge. His boat, BMW or gleaming image of popularity didn’t convince her to go out with him. Reid learned with Whitney, he has to put himself on the line–an enticing and unexpected challenge he has not had before.
Reid has strong communication skills and is a polyglot. He can speak almost any language and it frustrates Whitney when he chooses to speak Chinese to their martial arts teacher, Mr. Parks, in front of her. Not only because it is rude, but also because it shuts her out. Reid is not afraid of Whitney’s wrath if he believes he is protecting her. It may cost him a claw swipe across his back but that wouldn’t be the first time.
Through his empath ability, he has forged a deep understanding of Whitney. He knows she wants to depends on him but that he will have to earn her trust.
As a trained Shaolin crane, he has the heart of a phoenix and in an emergency he will do whatever it takes to make sure the person he loves will survive–even at his own expense.
Fortunately for Reid, he also has unique blood abnormalities that increase his chances for survival–as long as he does not eat peanuts (he is allergic to them). Reid doesn’t advertise his food allergy because he believes it’s like wearing a target on your back in high school but not telling Whitney puts their relationship in jeopardy.
Reid has an indomitable spirit and he will need tenacity to survive the obstacles ahead.
Blair is Whitney’s best friend and it hasn’t been easy. She has endured starving through wilderness survival camps and rigorous kung fu training with Mr. Parks–ideas Whitney’s father described as “fun.”
Through it all, Blair has proven her ability to hold fast and to be mentally tough. She can absorb pain and suffering but keeps going by focusing her mind on the fact that things will be better tomorrow. When the chips are down, Blair has been known to look at Whitney and laugh, “Well, at least it can’t get worse!”
Like Whitney, she is also trained as a kung fu Shaolin panther stylist. Blair has mastered techniques that involve deception, stalking and long-term planning. She is an incredible illusionist who helps Whitney blend into a normal life while making sure evidence to the contrary vanishes. Blair enjoys being inventive and resourceful. She never goes anywhere without a bag or backpack filled with first aid, duct tape, a flashlight and her Swiss army knife. She is gifted at her ability to memorize and recall information as well as bricolage: the art of building things from whatever materials are available.
Blair is tall and has shoulder-length chestnut ringlets and Irish green eyes. Her cohesive Catholic family always has a place set at the table for Whitney. Blair’s older sister, Eileen, is always slightly amused by Whitney and Blair’s antics and keeps a watchful eye out for both of them.
Reid’s affable best friend and fellow teammate, he looks like he just caught a wave in from Hawaii. His bronze tan makes his brilliant blue eyes even brighter and his curly blond hair is always too long. Patrick’s clothes are as easy-going as his demeanor and he has an affinity for indoor soccer shoes, baggy jeans and International soccer t-shirts.
Always willing to help out when he can, his quiet personality is often overshadowed by Reid’s larger-than-life presence. Hard working and independent, this shy computer genius earns his gas money for his pick-up truck as a waiter at PoFolks Restaurant and is the object of Blair’s affections.
With a penchant for alternative music and moral causes, Ruth is elegantly tall and a natural beauty. She has sparkling aquamarine eyes and a Julia Roberts smile. Ruth raids thrift stores or her dad’s closet for her unique wardrobe and has the self-confidence to wear a counterculture style.
Ruth is an intellectual, driven by accomplishment and academics. She thrives in advanced classes and loves science. She is reserved in large groups but not afraid to speak her mind to her friends who always know they can count on her.
Usually, Ruth drives a Wagoneer but she will also take the “FBI car” out for a spin when Blair deems it necessary for a stake out.
Spontaneous and generous, Shannon has porcelain skin and cat-like moss green eyes. Her hair color is always changing but her loyalty to her friends is unwavering–even though she sometimes says more than she should.
Shannon’s carefree attitude allows her to live for the moment and have fun. Known for her artistic flair, salty mouth and pin-up girl style, she prides herself on being informed about high school gossip and Whitney uses this “intelligence” to her advantage whenever possible.
As Whitney’s father and the head of the CIA’s Clarion Program, Stuart sacrifices for his career and country have been deeply personal. His wife, Ellen, has been murdered and he is afraid for his daughter’s life.
Prepared for the worst, he has ensured Whitney is fully trained in all areas of survival. While not involved in Whitney’s life on a daily basis, he is always working behind the scenes to ensure she is protected and surrounded by trustworthy guardians. He has auburn hair and blue eyes.
Dr. Reginald West
Reginald West has steady blue eyes and a neatly clipped beard. He has a habit of running his hand over his bald head when he is thinking and he has a wry sense of humor.
A neurologist and parapsychologist, he is adeptly equipped to be Whitney’s physician–especially since he is also a fellow psychic.
Dr. West and Whitney share a similar brain wavelength. Sometimes they have conversations no one else can hear and, ironically, Dr. West often talks in medical jargon no one can understand. His white physician coat pockets are overloaded with pens, small medical reference books and medical instruments and he can be over-absorbed by his work.
Dr. West and his friend, Dr. Stephen Cohen, met at Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research lab. They rocked the science community when they used string theory to prove ESP did exist. He then relocated to work for the Clarion Program in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ten years ago, an experiment went wrong and caused the death of a friend and fellow psychic, Marlin Steele. The by-product of this experiment was the discovery that those drafted into the Clarion Program had pure energy in their DNA. The evidence for the most precious commodity on Earth had been found and Dr. West learned of a diabolical plan to harvest from the Clarion psychics–dead or alive.
He left Clarion to take the chairman position of The Division of Perceptual Studies for the University of Virginia and to run his own private medical practice.
Dr. West vowed to do anything to protect those he had unknowingly put at risk and he is being put to the test. He has faked his own suicide to give Carson Noir a false sense of security and is trying to raise an underground army to fight back against the looming threat of genocide.
Dr. Stephen Cohen
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology theoretical Physics Professor, Dr. Cohen is a co-founder of string theory.
He is Reginald West’s best friend and met him at Princeton. Together, they rocked the science community when they used string theory to prove ESP did exist. Dr. Cohen does not have psychic abilities himself, but he lends his intelligence and sense of purpose to the Sunrise cause.
Dr. Cohen has bushy gray hair and glasses. He has always been in love with a geologist who travels the globe.
Mr. Parks is Chinese and known for his tracksuits, bright white sneakers and love of Michael Jackson music. His black hair is parted on the right side and he has thick glasses. Few people would know he is a Hung Gar kung fu master and a Shaolin dragon stylist…and that is by design.
He has a permanently broken pinky finger that sticks out at an impossible angle. It is a reminder to him that timing is everything and that he was seconds too late to save his wife, Chen, from hanging herself during the fall of Saigon. With no family of his own, he is a martial arts teacher, spiritual beacon and Taoist counselor to Reid, Whitney and Blair.
A true fighter, her ability to persevere in the most inhumane conditions has left her with an unmatched spirit to overcome any obstacle. She has a warrior mindset and the gentle touch of a grandmother.
Helga is a solid woman with a slight limp and always wears a Swiss Army watch. She has warm brown eyes and wears her brown hair in a bun. When not undercover, she prefers understated tailored clothing in quality fabrics.
Karen is pledging Zeta, one of Gramercy’s high school sororities, and thinks she has the golden ticket for admittance since her mother was once a Zeta president. Karen runs with a wild crowd and is on the soccer team with Whitney and Blair. For Whitney, any time with Karen is too much time, and she does her best to avoid her.
Karen acts as if she is entitled to Reid’s attention and has no problem asking him for favors–like getting a ride to school when there was nothing wrong with her car. Recently, she even turned up at a party wearing one of his t-shirts and she was sure to let Whitney know it. Kevin has alluded to Whitney that “everyone knows Karen is in love with Reid” and that they have spent time together at a party “behind closed doors.”
These are reasons enough to repel Whitney from Karen, but what disturbs her the most is that Reid closes his mind to Whitney whenever Karen is around. It makes it hard for Whitney to completely accept Reid’s assurances that Karen does not warrant any of Whitney’s concern.
Kevin is a self-proclaimed “Mr. Nice Guy” with white blond hair and light blue eyes that seemed to refract light like water in the Caribbean.
This teammate of Reid’s is competitive with Reid on and off the field and his insecurity is signal to Whitney he could be dangerous. She wonders what lengths will he go to in order to feel better about himself and that makes her watch him carefully. Her intuition tells her he is not what he seems.
Carson is a tall and slender. She has a dark, pixie haircut and penetrating eyes. If she were not so diabolically ruthless and always wearing a permanent sneer of superiority, Whitney might have been able to see why Dr. West almost married her.
Consumed by power and greed, this newly appointed CIA director will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants. The trouble is, what she wants may cost the lives of thousands.
As a Tanzanian with albinism, Vlad does not appear African. He has blond hair and white skin. He always wears sunglasses and he is overweight. It is his look of disgust and hate that reviles Whitney she meets him–not his appearance.
He has eagerly partnered with Carson as her right hand man, finally finding someone who recognizes his talents for psychological violence. Carson channels his vindictive hatred of himself into total evil.
Vlad was subjected to a vicious childhood. People with albinism are hunted by witch doctors because it is believed certain body parts of albinistic people transmit magical powers. This superstition has caused people with albinism to be persecuted, dismembered and killed. Vlad and his mother, who also had albinism, lived in a state of constant fear.
Socially and economically isolated, Vlad’s mother chose to sell Vlad to a wealthy Russian. This man displayed Vlad for entertainment value far away from his African homeland and he has never recovered from the humiliation of his identity.
Whitney does not fully understand Vlad’s loathing of her but she does know he the kind of person someone becomes when no one extends a hand. She questions if she will be brave enough to reach out to Vlad as she already senses this might be something she must do.