Jillian Jaspers is a character we meet in the prologue during a conference where she demonstrates her scientific achievements to a room full of financiers. While she disappears from the readers view for the first quarter of the book, don’t write the prologue off as just filler fluff. Jillian is a highly intelligent and motivated woman that not only spent her entire career researching genetic modifications in plant and animal life to enhance their survival in austere conditions, but she also achieved a celebrity status for the American people as the first astronaut to live on Mars.
Jillian’s big break arrived when Jacob Densy, Unicore’s young and inspired CEO, finances her visions for a self sustaining Mars. In a letter to her parents that was later published as part of her memoirs, Jillian writes:
“Now that the date has been set, I really am nervous about never seeing family and friends again… but at other times, when I compare those sacrifices to my life-long dream, I know in my heart it’s the thing I have to do.”
Without giving any spoilers, I want to make sure the readers understand just how motivated Jillian is to her cause. She has sacrificed to much to let any distractions change her course: the mission, her vision, and Jacob’s financing compose Jillian’s entire world.