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Hephaestus issues a weekly comic to miners for training


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Lore Impact: Small. Miniscule

Species: Aesonoids. Humans mainly

Short Description: Mining with Hephaestus Industries entitles employees to free weekly issues of METEOR CRACKERS, a comic serial telling the story of a small Hephaestus mining team in slice-of-life format, while also educating readers on various hazards and edge situations that may or may not have been covered in initial training. Education, entertainment, recruitment! Edutainuitment?

How will this be reflected on-station?: It won't! Unless someone wants to add a compilation magazine as a comic book skin?

Does this addition do anything not achieved by what already exists?: No, it's useless

Do you understand that the project may change over time in ways you may not foresee once it is handed over to the Lore Team?: Sure, but what if I say no?

Long Description:

Ayumi is a Konyanger, the main perspective character, and a new member of the team. In some of the early issues, clear hints were dropped that she might be a shell. It's unclear if this was retconned, was never the plan, is simply no longer mentioned, or is being left intentionally ambiguous. She uses a suit cooler, but it might just be for comfort. She gets along better than the others with IPCs, but she's a Konyanger, so what? She acts very human, and a big deal has been made about one time where she blushed. We never see her bleed.

Ester is a Martian migrant (Violet Dawn is not mentioned one single time in the whole comic), a skilled veteran who flies by the seat of their pants. They can barely read Basic, and haven't actually studied any of Hephaestus' instructive manuals or guidelines, which is framed as a moral failing. Nonetheless, they get shit done, and usually end a mission with the greatest yields. When they don't, it's because the events of the issue have left them in medbay. See also: Darwin Collins, Leo Barnes

Dnyaneshwar, or Yanesh, is a Gadpathurian who could recite every manual ever written on any subject, and lives strictly by the books. He doesn't get along with Ester, though it's framed as mere personal differences - his origin is rarely given focus. In a recent special issue, he lost an arm while saving Ester from their own mistakes. He doesn't like to talk about it. By the way, readers, his new Hephaestus prosthetic is AWESOME and FAR SUPERIOR to his natural arm, and it almost feels like the writers have started exaggerating its capabilities for comedy. It dispensed fresh coffee in issue #471. He just did that and no one said anything.

 

A standard plot involves a difficulty faced by the group, and different solutions presented by Ester and Yanesh. Ayumi must decide whether to err on the side of Ester's intuition, Yanesh's established knowledge, or a compromise to defeat the obstacle. Yanesh is never exactly wrong on any subject, but is sometimes at a loss, and his methods can be improved when combined with Ester's. Ester is sometimes outright wrong, but always has a plan that sounds good.

In an encounter with a space shark, Yanesh might ask Ayumi's help to distract and flank it, while Ester might recommend drawing it out of the way with a makeshift radio beacon. Yanesh insists that Ester's method is dangerous and will not hold the shark's attention for long, to which Ester recalls a time when it worked for them. Ayumi asks Ester to distract it with their beacon so that she and Yanesh can go at it from each side. They all successfully bring down the shark in a cool action sequence in which none of the miners get hurt.

While Hephaestus's written guidelines are perfect and will never lead them astray, adding on practical experience ensures the best outcomes. Ayumi learns to recognize and synthesize her coworkers' talents to complete assignments as safely and successfully as possible, while learning to appreciate them as friends. Inexplicably, the METEOR CRACKERS' work takes them to all corners of the Spur, from Leto's cursed asteroid belt to the Nralakk Federation to Pluto to Light's Edge, providing variety in encounters and background characters. Caprice Sun has entertained a rumor that they will, somehow, have a special issue in the Sedantis system someday soon.

 

Hephaestus miners are given digital access to most issues as they're published for free. "Special issues" focus on developing the story above teaching best practice and are paywalled to all, but Hephaestus employees enjoy discounts. Printed magazines require a subscription.

Issues are published in TCB, Sol Common, Martian and Xanan Freespeak, and Sinta'Unathi. While the human-language audio versions obviously have to work around the original material being a comic, it manages to play to its strengths and loses little, and Ayumi is played by a well-known Konyanger VA. Yanesh's voice actor is, charitably, not as authentic. The Sinta'Unathi audio version started just months ago and is dramatically worse, using synthesized voices; there are no voice credits, but many speculate that it is played by vaurcae.

This might be documented under Human Entertainment Media and linked to from Hephaestus.

Edited by Sniblet
audiobooks. this is so never going on the wiki but i want to write about it
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