Callahan is one of the main antagonists of the Rain of the Ghosts series. Also referred to as The World's Scariest Tourist and The World's Most Dangerous Tourist, Callahan is an Australian treasure hunter hired by Setebos to procure the nine zemis. He scours the islands aboard the Bootstrap.
Callahan's sole raison d'être is money. That is all he cares about, and, in a way, his greed works as a vicarious moral compass, as while he shows no qualms about murdering three thirteen-year-olds, a bum, or his dog, the mere possibility of that compromising his ventures, and thus his paycheck, will stay his hand.
Not surprisingly, Callahan is rather stingy when it comes to spending his money. Despite being promised $50,000 for each zemi he could find, he outsourced the search for the second one to Milo "Cash" Long for merely $2,000. His adulation of money is also juxtaposed by his total lack of respect for human life, as evidenced not only by the disregard he displayed toward his subcontractor's demise, but also by the relief he felt for not having to pay him anymore.
Callahan is an extremely prideful entrepreneur. He rejects the idea of admitting to any kind of errors, or coming off as needy in his dealings. One of his mottos is "nothing makes you lose the money's respect faster than sounding needy".
As a professional scavenger, Callahan is skilled enough to be able to tell if someone is following him. However, he can be prone to sudden bouts of rage, which can sometimes get the best of him, if not restrained. On one occasion, he resisted the urge to kick Rain's door down over an affront, but on another, he wailed on a malfunctioning engine so intensely that he didn't see Rain and Charlie slipping past him. Callahan can also be prone to overconfidence in his fortitude, as evidenced in his certainty that he could take down Alonso Cacique with ease. In fact, it was this sense of arrogance (and a good dose of greed) that blinded him to the fact that Rain had pulled a double switch on him and he got stuck with a fake zemi.
Callahan is a sturdy man with long gorilla-esque arms and hands. He is considerably over six feet, has tanned weathered skin, a spiky blond crewcut, and icy blue eyes that accented a permanent scowl.
Not much is known about Callahan's past, but at one point in his life he was a soldier.
The first zemi
At some point before September 4, Callahan was hired by Silas Setebos to find nine zemis in the Ghost Keys.
He tracked down the first zemi to the Nitaino Inn, when it was still in Sebastian Cacique's possession, and on September 4, he tailed Rain Cacique back to the Inn. When she spotted him, Callahan reassured her that he had a reservation at the Inn and was merely trying to get out of the rain. He checked in and Iris Cacique took him to his quarters. His demeanor gave Rain the creeps, so much so that she dreamed about him that night: both of them were chasing after her gold armband.
Later that night, after Rain's first encounter with the Dark Man, Callahan heard a huge commotion coming from her doorway. He asked what was going on, but Rain curtly slammed the door in his face, after declaring it was "family business". Seething in rage, Callahan resisted the urge to kick the door down, but ultimately decided against it, as whatever was happening wasn't his concern. He went downstairs, passing Judith Vendaval without giving her so much as a glance, and left the Inn. Outside, he stared at Rain's window for a moment before going about his business. During this excursion, Callahan passed Charlie Dauphin, but neither noticed the other.
When he returned, Callahan arrived at his room to find it in a complete shambles. He pulled a jackknife from his boot and proceeded to investigate. After inspecting an empty bathroom, he spotted Rain in the balcony and pulled her back into the room. Upon seeing it was only a girl, he stowed the knife away, but still wasn't about to her go that easy. At that point, her father walked in and demanded Callahan to unhand Rain. The treasure hunter contemplated taking Alonso down but shook the urge off. He accused Rain of rummaging through his stuff and she accused him of stealing her armband. Callahan, of course, denied doing such a thing and Alonso asked Rain to apologize, but she stormed out of the room. So, Alonso apologized for her, but Callahan didn't want to hear it. The innkeeper tried to make amends by offering to relocate the Aussie, but Callahan still had to replace the armband with a forgery, so he backpedaled and insisted on staying.
On the next evening, Callahan checked out of the Inn. At some point between this and the prior confrontation with Rain, Callahan had commissioned a counterfeit armband in order to make the swap without raising suspicion, and planted it to be found among the laundry, which Iris did. When he was settling his tab, Rain walked in and Iris readily showed her the armband. Callahan promptly demanded an apology from his accuser, which she did, begrudgingly. He left the Inn, smug and self-satisfied, carrying a duffel bag with the real armband inside.
Callahan trotted off completely oblivious of two things: that he was towing 'Bastian's ghost behind him as if tethered to the armband inside his bag, and that Rain could see it and was tailing him. Callahan boarded the Bootstrap and stored the duffel inside the hatch. He went over a chart of the Keys, circled a rendezvous point at sea and sailed off, unaware that Rain and Charlie were stowing away below deck.
En route to his destination, and without notice, the engine stopped working. Callahan scurried down to the main cabin (where Rain and Charlie were hiding inside the closet) and opened the engine room. He switched on the lights but couldn't see the eight ghosts standing in a circle around the engine, willing it to stop. He reached over a wrench and attempted to unfasten a bolt that held the engine casing in place, but two of the ghosts didn't allow it to budge. Amidst his distraction, Callahan couldn't see Rain and Charlie trying to slip away behind him, but he heard the muffled cry of Charlie's when he lost grip of the air tank slip and let it fall on his foot. Callahan turned around, wrench aloft, but didn't see anyone. He resumed his work but still suspicious.
As he tried to fix whatever problem the engine had, he inadvertently smashed his thumb against the engine's casing. In a paroxysm of anger and frustration, Callahan started slamming the wrench against the bolt repeatedly. Thanks to the resulting racket, his stowaways managed to slip away unnoticed. However, he did hear the loud clank coming from outside resulting from Rain and Charlie's air tanks colliding as they attempted to climb down the boat. Callahan rushed outside wielding the wrench and a harpoon, and no sooner did he spot the two teens in the water than he dove in. He didn't waste any time: he took aim and shot at Rain, grazing her left arm below the shoulder.
Callahan didn't have a second harpoon, so he swam after the teens with the steel wrench in hand. Underwater, he reached for Rain and after some wrestling he lost the grip of the wrench, but managed to snatch Rain. He took her regulator for himself and dragged her to surface. He had Rain at his mercy and his jackknife in his grip, when suddenly the engine of the Bootstrap restarted and the cruiser began to slowly pull away from them. Callahan took off after it and boarded. He turned off the engine and scanned for the teens with the spotlight, when it dawned on him: the zemi. He dashed to the main cabin and rummaged through his duffel. Relieved, Callahan held the zemi up, unaware that he had been served a dose of poetic justice and now it was him who was in possession of a fake armband. Callahan took solace in the prospect of settling the score with Rain on some other occasion and set course to his rendezvous.
The treasure hunter met with his employer on the open sea north of the Ghosts. Setebos arrived on a cruiser, but Callahan, blinded by his spotlight, could see nothing but a dark male silhouette. The British asked for the zemi but Callahan demanded his payment first. He got his $50,000 in one hundred dollar bills. Only after counting it all did he hand over the armband. He secretly wished for Setebos to drop it in the ocean, so that he could extort another sum only to retrieve it again. When Setebos asked if the artifact was genuine, Callahan wondered for a brief moment whether or not Rain could have swapped them, but he chose to push those doubts aside. Setebos then reassured the Aussie that he would get the same quantity for each zemi he could find, plus a bonus for finding the ninth. Callahan saw as the silhouette vanished in the distance, and with his prize tucked under his arm he took the Bootstrap back to harbor.
The second zemi
Setebos told Callahan that the second zemi would incorporate the image of a bat and it could be found somewhere around the archaeological dig on Sycorax Island. He had also given the Aussie a Spanish text from 1566 that mentioned a gourd. So, while still occupied with searching the first zemi, Callahan subcontracted Cash to look for it. On September 8, he phoned Cash for his daily report, but the call was answered by a constable. Callahan assumed Cash had gotten himself caught and, without so much as a second thought, he left him to his fate.
Before setting off in search for the zemi, Callahan went for a supply run. Later on, at 2 a.m., Callahan received a call form Setebos, who wanted to know if the man found dead on Sycorax Island was in any way connected to Callahan and their venture. The Aussie begrudgingly admitted to having outsourced the search, but he wasn't overly concerned about the news of Cash being dead. In fact, he was relieved, as now he didn't have to pay him. Callahan posited that Setebos was worried about competition, but the English contractor was actually thinking that the zemi might be lost. Callahan was quick to assuage his concerns and assured him he would take over the search that night.
Cloaked in darkness, Callahan sneaked to the dig site to continue the search. During the following three nights, from September 9 to 11, Callahan excavated about a quarter of the dig but he didn't find anything.
On September 15, Callahan ran into Rain outside Rusty's Wholesale Market. He balked at killing her in a public place in broad daylight, and simply wended his way back to the harbor. Callahan easily spotted Rain tailing her, but he didn't care. He climbed aboard the Bootstrap, and when he was about to depart, he turned to Rain, who was hiding behind a sign, and announced he was hunting zemis and invited her to tag along. Rain's rejoinder made Callahan contemplate killing her right there, but the presence of a bum and his dog deterred him, and he set off to sea.
On the next day, Callahan arrived at Back Bay. He spotted Rain, Charlie and their escorts close by. He was ready to take them all out, should they interfere with his search. He made his way through the jungle (unaware that 'Bastian was following him), when suddenly he spotted the rising smoke and heard the distant crackle of a campfire. Callahan pondered to investigate it for a moment, but ultimately decided not to stray from his search.
Callahan reached the cave and searched for the gourd, but couldn't find it. Later on, he intercepted Rain, Charlie and Miranda Guerrero as they were leaving the cave with the jar. Holding them at gunpoint, he demanded what he believed to be the zemi. Rain handed him the gourd without much resistance. Before slipping back into the jungle, he still fantasized about shooting the three teens, but that would attract undesired attention and he didn't want anything to interfere with his zemi-hunt. So, he merely warned them not to follow him.
Thursday night, Callahan waited for Setebos in the Florida Straits (unsuspecting that the Cash's ghost was tagging along). He wondered about the true value of the artifact he was holding. Ignoring Charlie's warning earlier, Callahan proceeded to open the jar, but all he saw inside was ash and seafoam.
Setebos eventually arrived and the two made the customary trade. Callahan asked for hints for the location of the third zemi and Setebos instructed him to look in the cemetery on San Próspero. He would email him the details, so Callahan headed to Próspero Bay.
- Main article: Silas Setebos
Callahan apparently never actually saw Setebos. In both their meetings, Setebos shone his cruiser's spotlight right in Callahan's face, so the only thing he could see was a silhouette. All his prior dealings with Setebos were presumably done via long distance communication. Callahan finds his dismissive tone and prissy English accent annoying.
- Main article: Rain Cacique
Callahan despises Rain. For some unknown reason, even to Callahan himself, she gets under his skin and makes him slip up when he's around her. He regards her as nothing but a meddling kid, who leaves a bad taste in his mouth. Callahan has tried to kill her once and fantasized about it on other occasions.
Rain of the Ghosts
- Chapter 3: "Snakes"
- Chapter 4: "The Ghosts" (dream)
- Chapter 5: "Sunset"
- Chapter 6: "Fishing" (no dialog)
- Chapter 9: "Searcher"
- Chapter 13: "The Last Summer Rain"
- Chapter 14: "'Bastian"
- Chapter 15: "Healer"
- Chapter 17: "Rendezvous"
Spirits of Ash and Foam
- Chapter 6: "Something in the Air"
- Chapter 10: "Night Moves"
- Chapter 11: "Days Gone Bye"
- Chapter 23: "Bad Taste"
- Chapter 27: "Warm Soft Tails" (dream)
- Chapter 29: "Off Punta"
- Chapter 31: "Tears"
- Chapter 32: "Dreams Lie"
- Chapter 42: "Stick-up"
- Chapter 45: "Flame and Surf"