The Principal Characters of One Regret
The Researcher: Holly Desmarais
Holly Desmarais's genius was obvious from an early age. After an incident in which she corrected her second grade teacher on a math problem, she was tested by her new school and scored in the ninety-seventh percentile of a test intended for eighth graders. She was a straight-A student all through high school and received her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard University. After that, she enrolled in the join Ph.D.-M.D. program at Harvard.
During her first year of med school, Holly discovered the puzzle of the Temporal Cortex, a set of cells within the human brain whose purpose was unknown. She discovered that activity within the Temporal Cortex caused brain activity in the past; effectively, the Temporal Cortex traveled backwards in time. She had discovered that the Temporal Cortex was responsible for premonitions. Unfortunately, she couldn't convince anyone of her findings.
After receiving her doctorate, Holly went to work for Biosyne, Inc. There, she researched the effects of certain compounds on the Temporal Cortex with the hope that they could be used to treat degenerative brain conditions. In pursuit of this goal, she developed a means by which short messages could be imprinted on the Temporal Cortex, effectively giving her the ability to use a person's own brain to send a message back in time.
Along with her fellow doctor Sam Kersey and the computer expert Tiana Sinkovic, Holly formed One Regret for the purpose of collecting Temporal Cortex samples to further her research into degenerative brain conditions. Holly acts as the liaison between One Regret and Biosyne and generally oversees all of One Regret's functions.
Sam Kersey is the son of two doctors practicing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was a fine athlete growing up, enjoying baseball and basketball, and became one of the best high school pitchers in the entire state. When he went undrafted after his senior year of high school, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in its pre-med program. He eventually lost interest in baseball but excelled in college. He was admitted to the M.D. program at Harvard shortly after Holly Desmarais started her program there.
Holly fascinated Sam and they quickly became best friends. He provided technical assistance for her research while becoming one of the top surgical students at Harvard. After he received his degree, Sam followed Holly to Biosyne, where he was responsible for the delicate surgical tasks concerning the Temporal Cortex.
At One Regret, Sam performs two vital functions. He is the only one who counsels One Regret's prospective patients, effectively using his charm and knowledge to convince desperate patients to go through with the life-risking procedure. He also is responsible for operating on patients, removing their Temporal Cortexes and imprinting the messages on the Temporal Cortex to be sent back in time.
Tiana Sinkovic is the daughter of Peter and Nadine Sinkovic, two jet-set gamblers from Romania. In her youth, Tiana was home schooled and exposed to the exciting and dangerous lifestyle of people who made their living off of the poshest casinos in Europe. She quickly became adept with computers and math. She was accepted into the computer science program at MIT.
At MIT, Tiana found work for the law firm of Anders, Shipley and Schulman, LLP. Her computer hacking skills were second to none, and the law firm employed her to uncover information from targeted defendants. When Holly and Sam needed a list of passengers on a train involved in a horrible accident, they were referred to Tiana. Soon afterwards, Holly and Sam offered Tiana a job at One Regret.
At One Regret, Tiana is responsible for the recruitment of patients. It is her job to find people who are in such desperate straits that they would be willing to risk their lives in exchange for the possibility of reversing the decision they most regret.