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Caleb Ashley Poore is a fictional character appearing in Nathaniel J. Nelson's 2017 horror novel Quantum Flight 888. A minor character early on, Caleb develops into a point of view character and later becomes the central figure of the novel.

Biography[]

Conception[]

Caleb was conceived early in the year 2000 by Maryanne Henry Poore and her English teacher, Neil Munster, who she had seduced in the hopes of raising her grades. Neil believed Maryanne loved him, and was shocked when she turned him into the police for statutory rape. Neil was unaware of Maryanne's pregnancy, and spent fifteen years in prison.

Maryanne's death[]

Shortly after Caleb was born, his mother committed suicide, leaving him in the care of her parents, Henry and Annette Poore. Her death caused friction between them and they split up, with Henry adopting Caleb and moving them both to Brunswick, Maine, while Annette remained in Bowditch. Henry raised Caleb on his own and elected to homeschool him, presumably recognizing Caleb's limited intelligence and psychic abilities. Henry allowed Caleb to learn at his own pace, to the point where he considered himself to be in second grade at fifteen years old.

Imprisonment[]

When Caleb was fifteen, his house was raided by a SWAT team and Caleb was brought to a government facility in Boston, where his psychic powers were tested by Jason Dufresne, Martin Handle, and Agent Kowalczyk. Caleb read Handle's mind, revealing truths about his life: that he'd had a little brother who died, and that he was secretly a pedophile. Furious at this, Handle attacked Caleb, who defensively shut down Handle's brain, accidentally killing him. After this, Caleb was Tased by the other agents and experienced a vision of Maryanne, who told him he had a mission to kill his father.

A month later, Caleb was set to be transported from Boston to Los Angeles aboard a commercial airliner, for the purposes of keeping him calm and passive. He was attended by Agent Kowalczyk, who he was juvenilely attracted to and referred to as "Agent," unable to pronounce her surname. Jason expressed misgivings about the flight number – 888, the supernatural Malevolent Number, but Agent Kowalczyk dismissed him. Maryanne appeared to him again, and reminded him of his mission: he apparently used his psychic abilities to draw Neil Munster (recently released from prison) to Flight 888 and their discounted tickets.

Aboard Flight 888[]

Early on in the flight, Agent helped Caleb to the lavatory. They were mistaken by other passengers for a couple joining the "Mile-High Club"; in reality, Caleb experienced a confusing emotion while in the bathroom, which, coupled with the plane's turbulence, caused his powers to lash out and kill Annie Moreland. Agent kept him calm as they stayed quietly in their seats, hoping to avoid any more deaths.

As tensions grew throughout the plane, Caleb's emotions grew stronger and he accidentally killed Olivia Lillee. After this, they were briefly interviewed by Delilah Arain, who was trying to find a connection between the deaths. Agent Kowalczyk shooed her away, hoping to keep Caleb calm. As Caleb came closer to a mental breakdown, his father, across the cabin, started losing his sanity, hallucinating Maryanne's face and becoming more in-tune with the supernatural forces aboard the plane.

However, when Eva Van Savage quit her flight attendant job to side with the passengers, and tensions continued to rise, Caleb killed seven more passengers at once. After this, the cabin broke out into a screaming match between Craig Bennecker, Joshua Teller, and others, which eventually resulted in Neil's murder of Eva by supernatural means. After this, Agent revealed herself and her sidearm, posing as an air marshal. She was forced to leave Caleb alone when Joshua, Delilah, and Joan Krantz overpowered her and tied her up; Caleb was then approached by Jessi Gibson, who believed he was the key to everything.

As Craig Bennecker threatened to kill Delilah, Jessi followed Caleb into the vestibule, where they were both able to see Maryanne's ghost. Neil appeared and Maryanne killed him, causing Caleb to lose his mind and his powers to surge across the plane, sending everyone into a coma and their Psyche's last chance.

Caleb himself was also transported into a fantasy world, made up of a graveyard whose headstones bore the names of the other passengers. He was greeted by the ghost of his father, now fully sane, who told Caleb he was proud of him despite him being Neil's greatest mistake. Neil left the cemetery with Maryanne, knowing full well she meant to punish him for his sins. Caleb was then transported through the fantasy worlds of the other surviving passengers, giving each of them a hint that they weren't where they were supposed to be. Realizing the plane was going to crash, Caleb forced himself to wake up.

He gained entry to the cockpit by psychically puppeteering the co-pilot's corpse. He tried to wake up the co-pilot (the pilot, Jared, being dead) by entering his fantasy world, but he was unable. Instead, Caleb steered the plane himself, reading through the co-pilot's memories of training. He communicated with ground control over the radio and successfully landed the plane at LAX.

As soon as the plane had landed, it was boarded by a SWAT team who Tased Caleb and dragged him away.

Appearance[]

Caleb is a thin fifteen-year-old boy with blond hair, gray eyes, and a crescent scar on his chin. On the flight, he is seen wearing jeans and a baggy shirt, whose sleeves he usually pulls up over his hands.

Personality and traits[]

Caleb is quiet, introverted, and unintelligent: a result of his massive psychic abilities. Despite being fifteen years of age, he often talks like a much younger child. The government agents who test him claim he has the intelligence of a seven-year-old, although he is able to take in massive amounts of information through telepathy. In the book, it is implied that Caleb is going through his sexual awakening, and that standing with Agent Kowalczyk in the plane lavatory caused him to feel aroused, which led to his powers going berserk.

Caleb maintains a strict sense of politeness, cringing away when others used foul language. It was Martin Handle's swearing – along with his threats – that led Caleb to lash out and accidentally kill him. When inside Delilah's fantasy world, Caleb covers his eyes to avoid seeing her exposed bra and legs. Caleb is shown to be a fan of the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, which focuses on a young boy with mystical powers. Despite his unintelligence, Caleb is a good learner, and was said to have checked out a number of books from his local library on a variety of subject.

References[]

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