Alex is a free spirit. In the past, we would have called him a hippy. But he has to work, so he’s a nerd at ESP, a computer technician. Alex has a reputation for slacking off. Even when he’s taking a break from his job, he still manages to capture a psyche-scan which has massive implications for his bosses.
But Alex couldn’t care less. His main form of entertainment is teasing Hogstein. Their banter keeps him from losing his brilliant mind. It’s all good-natured fun. And he’s a likable kind of guy.
However, Alex has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about criticism. When challenged, he will always bite back. He knows he’s good at what he does, and he doesn’t like anyone being in authority over him.
(He would be the scribe taking down Jesus’ words in his interview with Pilate.)
Norman (Piggy’s real name) is a simple-minded soul. He is also the butt of the office jokes at ESP. He is Jewish, so his nickname is a bit too ironic, but he tries not to let it interfere with his work.
Piggy’s job is to round up and arrest anyone caught outside after curfew. In his encounter with Benjamin, he finds a sympathetic ear about his feelings of guilt for what happened to Jesus 2,000 years ago. His intention to release Benjamin are thwarted at the last moment.
Piggy isn’t meant to be the comic relief in this story, but one cannot help but smile at the way he comes across. His heart is in the right place, even if nothing works out for him.
(He would be Herod interviewing Jesus in the Easter story.)
Stewart is a whiz-kid. He is super smart at decoding puzzles. He might be too clever by half, because in his search for clues, he makes some up.
His job at ESP is to take suspected encoded psyche-scanned transmissions and uncover the hidden message. It’s a long, slow process, involving many permutations and combinations of words and sounds. But, as they say, ‘if anyone can, he can.’
Stewart is also very young, so he doesn’t understand that what he invents could have deadly implications for others. It’s just a fascinating job to him.
(He would be the one to make sense of Jesus’ death after his resurrection.)
Thomas has a craziness about him. A defrocked minister, he is a virtual outcast from the COMMUNITY. While penitent for his many sins, he has a strong belief that God speaks through him. But being penniless, he has no food, lodging or even shoes.
His thoughts were psyche-scanned before the beginning of the story. The ESP officers wonder if they were a coded message because his words were in rhyme. So he becomes a suspect because of an accidental capture of his thinking processes.
Strictly speaking, Thomas believes in Christ’s Second Coming. He has studied his Bible religiously for most of his life. He can quote chapter and verse of great swathes of scripture and he studied Hebrew and Greek in seminary. And he thinks the Devil is out to get him.
(He is the one being crucified.)
Joe is a mystery. He accepted the COMMUNITY digital implants, so he can access all services, like food and shelter, but he prefers to live outside, ‘under the stars’.
Joe is also a pacifist. He means no harm to any man, and he befriends Thomas Benjamin, just because he’s an outcast. Joe left his reservation behind to come to Vancouver, not to seek his fortune, but to see how the other half lives.
Under psychological pressure, he will reveal too much, but later will totally regret doing so. He’s a straight-shooter, so it would have been impossible for him to lie, anyway.
(He would be the friendly thief hanging next to Jesus.)
Skip is second in command at ESP in Vancouver. He’s the middle management, the middle man. Skip is completely devoted to his boss Jack Armstrong. Skip is also still in the “closet”.
In the first scene, Skip tries to downplay Benjamin’s importance, knowing full well that he’s probably trouble for the COMMUNITY. When Armstrong’s interest picks up, he then suggests that Benjamin can’t be left to his own devices, and that he needs to be brought in for ‘reconditioning’.
Skip is great at what he does: changing people’s thinking under interrogation. He’s not a sadist, but he sees himself as the last resort before a suspect is put to death (E-E’d). He is psychologically clever and has had very few rejects.
(He would be the one who tortured Jesus before his crucifixion.)
Jack is lonely. He’s the head of the ESP in Vancouver, and is married to the job. He has no social life outside of work, so he always seems to be at the office.
But Jack has a secret side. An ex-astronaut, he’s had a view of Earth that most people haven’t. To him, it’s like a precious jewel. He is also a romantic poet and a ‘true believer’ in Biblical prophecy.
He thinks that cracking one last big case will catapult him into a better position in the COMMUNITY. But he sees Henry Evergreen as a dictator and wants to bring him down.
(He would be the equivalent of the Centurion in the story of Christ’s crucifixion.)