Hailey Phoenix has never had an easy life. When the Marking program began in Spokie during Hailey’s infancy, her mother Dianne decided not to Pledge, choosing instead to remain an Unmarked, stay-at-home mom. Her father supported them both through his job as manager of a nanomaterials factory about an hour and a half away from their home. Hailey’s early years were happy ones, although her family never had very much money. But her father’s death changed everything.
Mr. Phoenix, like many other men, fought during the States War. That conflict left psychological scars on many veterans, and Mr. Phoenix was no exception, developing a drinking habit in order to deal with the pain. His favorite drink, however, was nano-enhanced. Those nanoenhancements caused the heart attack that killed him when Hailey was in sixth grade.
Hailey’s mother disliked the Marking program, but she found that she could not ask unlimited favors from family friends. When their food ran out, Mrs. Phoenix reluctantly Pledged and managed to get an entrance-level job at the nanomaterials plant that Mr. Phoenix once managed. Hailey had to grow up quickly, learning to cook suppers for the two of them (Mrs. Phoenix had an extremely long commute and would usually return home coughing up nanodust). She also focused on finding joy in small things—sculpture (made with garbage or scraps from the plant) and long evening walks in the hills outside their hometown of Spokie.
During one of these walks, Hailey met Joanne, a member of the Dust. Hailey was about eleven, and Jo fourteen, at the time. Soon Hailey and Jo became friends, and Hailey began spending time with the Dust. Since Hailey’s mother had been Markless for many years, Hailey did not mind that her new friends were Unmarked. When they shared their belief that the Marking was partially a way of removing potentially dangerous people from the population, Hailey believed them. She shared her newfound beliefs with her mother, who took pride in Hailey’s courage.
“It is crazy. But it’s true. At least…we believe it’s true.” —Hailey Phoenix
Hailey’s relationship with Logan and Dane is uncomfortable. Once the best of friends, Hailey’s fifth-grade crush on Logan, coupled with Dane’s lasting crush on Hailey, caused the threesome to split up. Hailey still tries to be friendly to the two boys, but most of the time she hangs out with other students. Erin Arbitor, however, changes this scenario entirely. Hailey first meets Erin while Erin is searching for her lost iguana. Since Erin doesn’t yet know her way around Spokie, Hailey helps her locate her lost pet. It is just after they have found the iguana, Iggy, that the two meet Dane and Logan, who have just discovered the wire left by Blake.
After the playground meeting with Logan proves a failure, Peck has Jo contact Hailey and ask her to keep the Dust updated on Dane’s and Logan’s schedules. Hailey tries to set up a time when she and Logan can go on a walk, hoping that she can take Logan to meet Peck with no further trouble. Unfortunately, Dane thinks that Hailey is still romantically interested in Logan and orders Logan to stay away from her. Hailey, however, goes to see Dane as well, and she spends the afternoon at his house. Later that night, Dane realizes that someone is watching him. He calls the police immediately, showing Hailey and the Dust that nothing but an outright kidnapping is likely to give Peck a chance to talk with Dane.
Hailey wants to simply be honest with Dane and Logan, but Logan’s friendship with Erin keeps her from being able to simply tell them what is going on. As a result, Hailey gives the Dust the information they need to kidnap Dane at the Battle of the Bands. With Dane out of the picture, Hailey convinces Dane to go on a walk with her. She takes him to Peck’s warehouse, where Peck tells Logan the reality behind the Mark. Hailey helps convince Logan that Peck is telling the truth, but she cannot convince Logan to remain with the Dust rather than attempting to learn Lily’s location from his Marker.
SneakEditLogan is gone—where, Hailey does not know. But she and Peck remain in contact, using Morse code, in order to try to reunite Logan with the Dust. Erin, surprisingly, provides the lead that Hailey has been waiting for. At that point, Hailey realizes that it is time for her to leave home. As much as she loves her mother, she is nearly thirteen, and she cannot remain within the Marked community forever. Disguising herself, Hailey finds her way to the Ruins in New Chicago, where she saves Logan from being caught during a surprise DOME raid. What Hailey does not know is that in escaping, she and Logan have walked into a trap. Erin wants Logan back, and she believes that once DOME has arrested him, all of their problems can be straightened out. DOME agents trail Logan and Hailey as they travel to the Hayes’s farm.
After only a few hours at the farm, DOME agents descend, killing Papa Hayes and forcing Logan to jump into the freezing stream to escape. Hailey and Dane, separated from the rest of the Dust, rescue Logan from the stream. Hailey soon recognizes, however, that Logan is suffering from hypothermia. She tries to help him get warm, but Dane mistakes her attempts to save Logan’s life as evidence of a lingering crush on him. As the three of them make their way toward Beacon City on the Unmarked River, Dane remains irritable, frustrated with the relationship that he thinks he sees between Hailey and Logan. Hailey’s attempts to explain her motivation are to no avail. When they stop at an underground Markless village in the Appalachians, Dane decides to remain behind. His feelings for Hailey are getting in the way of Logan’s mission to save his sister, and he believes he can do more good as a radio host in the village than he could if he went with Hailey and Logan. To the surprise of Hailey and Logan, Hailey's mother and Logan's grandmother have teamed up to produce a pro-Markless radio broadcast. By broadcasting, Dane can help Logan and Hailey remain in contact with their families.
Logan and Hailey canoe toward Beacon City. Once in the city, they spend several days trying to find the location of the Markless community. Reunited at last with Peck and the Dust, they try to figure out where Acheron, DOME's secret prison, is located. They fail until Erin arrives with news—Acheron is the hill on which Beacon City was built. Erin has more to say, but Logan and Peck are not interested because of her earlier betrayals. Peck, Logan, Jo, and Eddie then attempt to break in to the prison while Hailey reminds behind with Blake, Rusty, and Tyler, who is tasked with guarding Erin and her fellow hacker Shawn. The prison break fails, but Erin’s plan to empty Acheron succeeds, with the help of Dane and other Markless radio hosts, including Hailey’s own mother. Hailey participates in the second Acheron rescue mission, which succeeds in rescuing Logan and Jo.
When Erin falls ill with Project Trumpet, Hailey accompanies Erin, Peck, and Logan on their trip west to find Dr. Rhyne, who invented the virus. Hailey stays in Dr. Rhyne’s laboratory with the others, hoping that the doctor will be able to find a cure. But then another problem confronts the Dust—the long drought that has dried the American State to its core may begin killing the Markless if rain does not come soon. Lily briefly kidnaps Logan in a POD to ask for his help in ending the drought, and Logan defends her plan to Hailey and Peck. A teenager named Connor Goodman is attempting to destroy the Lahoma weather mill that could send rain across the continent, and someone needs to stop him. Both Hailey and Peck agree to help, albeit reluctantly, and Hailey and Logan contact Hailey’s mother and Logan's grandmother to ask for information on how the weather mill operates.
Before they leave for Lahoma, Peck leaves them on a quest of his own. Hailey, however, remains with Logan. At the weather mill, when Connor is not cooperating with Logan, Hailey places herself in front of the missiles that Connor is trying to set off. Connor relents, allowing Logan to reprogram the missiles to shoot into the sky. They successfully end the drought, but Hailey does not attempt to return to the Dust with Logan. She senses that her mother needs her, and Lahoma is as near Spokie as she is likely to get.
In Spokie, Hailey finds her mother dying. Her mother’s lungs, ruined by years of breathing in nanodust, are failing her. Hailey nurses Dianne Phoenix through fever and delirium, finally laying her mother to rest in their yard. Then she travels east again, grieving when she hears of Logan’s death sentence. She arrives in the Appalachian village where Dane lives, and the two of them have a joyful reunion.
Hailey is twelve years old at the beginning of Swipe, turning thirteen after Dane and Logan.
Hailey has always had a different mindset than most other kids in Spokie. For one thing, she never minded the Markless (so long as they were not robbing her), since her mother was Markless for many years. Since Hailey has never had more than one parent working at a time, her family never had much money, and Hailey does not look down on people who have less than she does. In any case, after several years of surviving on Mrs. Phoenix’s meager wages, Hailey and her mother have little more than lentils and garbage sculptures lying around the house.
Hailey is a very caring person. Her father’s death and her mother’s difficult job situation have forced her to be mature beyond her years. She frequently helps her mother while she is at home, doing her best to find ways to make her mother happy. She senses when Mrs. Phoenix enters her final illness, despite the fact that her only contact with her mother was through brief tablet conversations during which they did not discuss her mother’s health.
Family and RelationshipsEdit
Hailey and her mother are extremely close. She has no other nearby relatives.
Hailey is a very talented artist, despite the fact that she has few materials to work with aside from garbage. Her mother entertained dreams of her becoming famous for her artwork. Hailey never took those dreams seriously, but her skill is obvious.
Hailey is also an expert at stealth, able to come near people without their noticing her presence. It is this capability that helps make her an excellent spy.