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Niamh Corbett

on 5 May 2014

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Ben Merchand
Benjamin 'Ben' Marchand is son of General Marcus L. Marchand. Marchand is the commander of Fort Delta in Massachusetts. Despite his father's role in the military, Ben is an ordinary teenager with normal teenage problems. Shortly before the hijacking of the bus, Ben falls in love with a local girl and is heart broken when she treats him cruelly. During the hijacking, Ben is placed under guard because of his relationship to his father, but his safety is never truly in danger until his father calls upon him to play a role in the hijacking.

Ben is called to his father's office in the middle of the night and asked to complete a very important task. The hijackers have asked for proof of their leader's capture. Ben is to deliver this proof. Ben was assigned to deliver a stone to prove that Sedeete had been captured, Artkin asks to have a stone from his rooms delivered to him on the bridge. This is when Ben gets shot in the chest.

Ben has been away at boarding school since the September after the hijacking, which would have been just a few weeks after it occurred. He attends the same boarding school as his dad did. He is nervous about this meeting with his father, he is afraid that he has let his father down because he did something wrong during the hijacking.

After the Hijacking it is clear that Ben is having suicidal thoughts. Ben feels as though he let his father down because he told the hijackers the time of an impending assault on the bridge under torture.

Ben commits suicide by jumping of the bridge that the hijacking occurred on because he felt like he had let down Inner Delta and his dad. When in reality the information Ben thought he revealed was false, as his dad knew that he would be tortured into telling the hijackers more about Inner Delta.
Miro is a 16 year old boy who has been raised to become an terrorist by a man named Artkin. He is assigned his first task to prove his manhood by killing for his cause. Miro is assigned to assassinate the driver of a school bus full of young children. Miro, Artkin, Stroll and Antibble made a plane to hijack a school bus. Miro and Artkin had been studying the route for weeks they knew exactly the time when the bus left. Miro’s job was to kill the bus driver, which had to be his first killing. The bus driver’s name was Kate.

Miro had planned to kill the bus driver. He knew exactly how he would like to do his first death. However, when they hijacked the school bus Miro saw that the bus driver was a woman. They needed the women for the care of the children so Miro’s first death failed. Later in the book when Inner Delta attacked the bus, Artkin was killed. Artkin was like a father to Miro. Miro thought he had killed Artkin because he didn’t tell Artkin of all the police around the bus. Miro tried to escape together with Kate. He manage to make it deep into the forest where he shot Kate. In Miro’s mind he killed Artkin first, so this was his first death. He left Kate's body in the woods and headed toward the road where whilst he was walking a truck driver pulled over and Miro seized this opportunity. He stole the mans truck and drove all the way to Boston to start a new life.

Kate Forrester (bus driver)
General Marcus L. Marchand
General Marcus L. Marchand is a part of the secret government organization called Inner Delta and is the father of Ben Marchand.

He calls Ben to his office in the middle of the night and asked to complete a very important task. The hijackers have asked for proof of their leader's capture. Ben is to deliver this proof. He assigned Ben to deliver a stone to prove that Sedeete had been captured, Artkin asks to have a stone from his rooms delivered to him on the bridge. This is when Ben gets shot in the chest.
The general thinks about the day of the hijacking, all they knew and all they needed to know.
As the general worried and waited to meet with Ben, he thought of all the things had learned because he was the commander of Inner Delta.
The house phones had been tapped and the general often listened to Ben's private conversations.
The School Ben attended was designed by the general and he often got detailed reports on Ben's activities.

The General gets news that Ben had run away immediately he regrets his actions with Ben during the hijacking and wishes he would return so he could ask forgiveness. The general continues to search for his son, asking the dean about him.
The general recalls the orders that finally came down from Washington during the hijacking and the conversation he had with Ben when he told him he wanted him to deliver the proof to the hijackers.
The general recalls taking a phone call and writing down nine-thirty as the time for the assault on the bridge.
The general recalls driving up to the command post with Ben and learning he would have to remain with the hijackers until the negotiations were concluded.
The reader later learns that the general has had a mental collapse and is not at Ben's boarding school, but in a mental hospital as he could not cope with his sons suicide.

Kate was the driver of the bus hijacked by Artkin, Miro and other terrorists. Kate figures out that one of the children called Raymond, has been fake sleeping the whole time. She now has someone to talk to and could use him to get off the bus and away safely.
Knowing that Miro is the weak link in the operation Kate attempts to "win him over" by talking to him about his past.
Kate remembers that she has a spare key to the bus, that at the right time after she retrieves the key, she could drive away with all the kids. She gets the key and hides it in her shoe.
Kate learns more and more about the terrorist and almost everything he says makes her dislike him more and more. 
Kate finds a chance to start the bus when Miro is outside, but doesn't drive far away, because the bus suddenly stops
As she fails, Artkin searches her but finds nothing suspicious.
Night comes, children fall asleep, Kate understand Miro hates her as he got blamed for her failed escape attempt yet she still manages to hold a short conversation with him.
When Inner Delta attacks the bus Miro holds Kate in front of him and they run into the woods. She tries to comfort him and then tells him that Artkin is his father. They manage to get deep into the woods where Miro becomes distressed by Kate telling him Artkin in his father and shoots her out of Anger. Kate's body gets left in the woods.

Artkin was like a father to Miro as he raised and teached him to become a terrorist. After weeks of planning Artkin along with Miro , Stroll and Antibble sucessfully hijacked the school bus. Once on the bus Artkin feeds Kate copious amounts of false information which makes Miro uncomfortable.
Artkin feeds all the children with dope that he had hidden in cake. Later on Artkin notices Raymond, one of the children was fake sleeping and forces him to take a drug.
Artkin wants a proof of Sedeet's capturing. They capture and torture Ben when he comes with proof that they have Sedeet.
The terrosrist get fed false information by Ben. Ben said The attack would come at 9:30 when in reality, it would come at 8:30. Because of this Arkin was caught off guard when the attack hit and was shot with a sniper.

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