Blood is Vic’s telepathic dog. Vic and Blood have been together for three years, each helping the other survive in post-apocalypse America. Blood is a ‘‘skirmisher,’’ which is a dog that is bred for intelligence, telepathic ability, and an acute sense of smell. He is descended from a German shepherd named Ginger, who detected drugs for the Los Angeles Police Department, and a puli named Ahbhu, who was the product of an experiment to develop telepathy in dogs. Crossbreeding such dogs resulted in skirmishers, who were used in the last world war for their telepathy and their ability to smell trace amounts of fuel, poison gas, and radiation. Although Blood can sense the presence of certain kinds of people (especially women and dangerous gang members), he is a typical skirmisher in that he has lost his ability to hunt. As a result, he must rely on Vic to find food for him.
Blood is highly intelligent and well-educated. He teaches Vic reading, history, math, and culture. He and Vic often tease each other, as old friends do. At the same time, he is a product of his harsh environment, and thus can be fierce and violent. His relationship with Vic is important, and he is threatened by and suspicious of outsiders like Quilla June.
Quilla June Holmes
Quilla June is the girl sent to the surface to lure a young man back to Topeka. She is a teenager who is described as having a pretty face, thin build, medium height, long reddish hair, blue eyes, and a soft voice. Her family originally came from Oklahoma before the war, but now they live underground in Topeka. She is brave because she agrees to go to the surface alone, knowing that ‘‘downunders’’ like herself are routinely raped and killed.
Quilla June seems timid and gentle at first, but her true nature soon becomes clear. Once she and Vic have sex, she is insatiable. Her capacity for violence is first revealed when she knocks Vic...
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