Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kenji Nakayama

For April, Stone is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries. A separate page with a list of all these entries, plus Character Profiles and Book Synopses will appear on the right hand side of the page in coming weeks, detailing the people, places and things of the Stone Soldiers universe.

Character Profile: Kenji Nakayama
(A Stone Soldiers Encyclopedia Entry)

Kenji Nakayama, a first-generation Japanese-American, was born with a rare psychic ability: to see his own future. Taking the form of vivid visions, indistinguishable from real life, Kenji's glimpses of the future often revolved around terrible events, providing him a glimpse of calamities yet to come.

In 2013, Kenji experienced his worst vision yet: the end of the world. Visiting his parents in Illinois over Thanksgiving break, the young college student witnessed first-hand, over and over, the rise of the dead as zombies turned America into a land of the reanimated (Armageddon Z).

Even with his power to return to the present and attempt to right wrongs yet to happen, Kenji found himself trapped in an apocalyptic loop, unable to save his loved ones or even himself. Finally though, he found salvation in the form of the Stone Soldiers. Operating from their base in Florida, their ranks swollen to dozens and dozens of petrified soldiers, Detachment 1039 was waging an ongoing battle against the undead, rescuing those they could and trying to keep South Florida, and the Fountain of Youth, in the hands of the living.

After convincing those in the apocalyptic future of his abilities, Kenji returned to the present, this time abandoned his attempts to help others and going straight to the one group of people who could stop the end of the world. With Kenji's help, the Stone Soldiers managed to locate the source of the undead outbreak and the nefarious entity behind it. 

Following the events of the post-Thanksgiving, averted apocalypse, Kenji accepted a position with Detachment 1039, employing his powers to foresee horrific events and guide Detachment 1039 against the forces of darkness. 

Unlike the Oracle-class psychics employed by the NSA, who receive visions in the form of dreams, Kenji experiences something that has been likened to psychic time travel. When in a vision, Kenji's only way to separate the future from reality is to attempt to read a novel. Like in a dream, hhis psychically-enhanced subconscious is unable to create the text of novels he has not yet read. By accessing a library, Kenji can quickly determine he is in a vision, then will himself back to the present, or continue his vision to learn as much as he can about impending events. 

Beyond his abilities, Kenji Nakayama is an above-average college student, gifted in technology and instilled with a die hard work ethic by his father, a career corporate man. An Honor-roll student, Kenji's hard work is aided by his eidetic memory, which enables him to remember everything he has seen or heard--something he sees as a curse, as it means he can never forget the many horrific futures he has been forced to live through, but which will thankfully never come to pass. 

Look for Kenji's return to the Stone Soldiers series in the upcoming Book #8, Terrorcota

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