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Hephaestus Industries a megacorporation based in the very foundation of Humanity's power, funding and producing an utterly absurd degree of manufactured goods. They are known to create Humanity's orbital superfactories which output the vast majority of consumer commodities galaxy-wide.
Hephaestus Industries is the largest blanket commodity manufacturer in the known universe. Its reach extends across Human space and virtually all modern, and often antique, utilities owe their creation to it. It is the most sought after fabricator of heavy-duty industrial equipment and starships.
Hephaestus is managed with direct authority over its largest shareholder, being CEO Titanius Aeson, who exercises total control over the corporation and its assets. His own oversight is delegated to a board of directors, whose sway over the company are so minuscule that they are not worth mentioning.
Current CEO: Titanius Aeson
An odd case amongst megacorps, the “Fighting Titan” of Hephaestus Industries is a former lower-level foreman on a Hephaestus orbital platform that has, through dedication and cunning, worked his way up to the top of Hephaestus. Aeson is a respected, and slightly feared, figure in Hephaestus that cuts an imposing figure at two meters and height and a build resembling one of Hephaestus’ G2 robots. A booming voice and infamous love of cigars contributes to Aeson’s reputation as a literal titan of industry. Aeson’s status as a man that rose from the ranks is why the modern Hephaestus Industries is viewed as one of the better companies to work for in the engineering sector, with significant benefits being given to retain workers and ensure even hazardous work is done.
Motto: Hephaestus is the anvil upon which the world is shaped.
Headquarters: HAS Olympus, Mars, Sol
Official Languages: Freespeak, Tau Ceti Basic, Sol Common
Possessing no major interstellar subsidiaries, Hephaestus Industries largely focuses on local business and companies being absorbed into its whole - usually rather willingly. This process is not perfect, however, and the major work forces absorbed by Hephaestus are generally separated into the corporation's major "departments," which contain upwards of hundreds of millions of employees in some cases.
Hephaestus Industrial Division
Hephaestus Industries boasts the largest and most powerful industrial division in the known galaxy, dominating the market with very little competition. This is thanks to their orbital super structures that act as factories and shipyards, large enough to be considered cities in space. They also possess a sizeable industrial fleet that partakes in mining and freighting operations, mostly to supply the rather consumptuous factories. Asteroid mining is currently their largest supplier of raw materials, with planetary mining operations following not too far behind. The industrial division leads in starship design as well, as they have supplied the Sol Alliance Navy with most of their fleet, to which they receive many commissions for. Hephaestus, however, lacks their own advanced design of engine, and relies on cooperation with Einstein Engines to supply sub-light engines, warp drives, and bluespace drives for their starship designs. Any starship purchased within the human core systems was likely assembled at a Hephaestus Industries orbital factory.
The industrial backbone for most of human controlled space. These gargantuan orbital facilities go unrivaled in their ability to produce almost any type of product imaginable: computers, vehicles, starships and starship parts, robots, robotic prosthesis, tools and circuitry, luxury goods, plasticware, and much more. If it can conceivably be assembled on an assembly line, Hephaestus' orbital factories can mass produce it. The size of these facilities can be compared to that of a small city, with enough infrastructure inside to be able to support a crew of 100,000. The interior operation of the facilities is best described as ‘clockwork.’
These facilities are largely overseen, assisted, and somewhat controlled by several handfuls of AI assemblies. This efficient integration of intelligent computer software and assembly line hardware can be attributed to Hephaestus’s brilliant scientific minds in the research division. Both safety and productivity increased twofold upon the integration of intelligent computers in their stations.
The crew complement of these facilities consist mostly of assembly line operators, though another majority are maintenance staff and tertiary supply staff. Another smaller number is the administration board, which consists of line managers, quartermasters, chiefs of staff for each service available (engineering, security, medical), and a small table of overseers which oversee the macro operation of the station whom report to a single foreman - all of which receive orders from the administrative stations in the same system.
Hephaestus Research Division
The research division works in tandem with the two other divisions of Hephaestus Industries; improving safety of workplaces, increasing efficiency, increasing the humanity of their AI systems, and reverse engineering stolen or otherwise acquired technology. Although the latter would likely not be generally known by the public, there have been rumors leaked from previous Hephaestus researchers that the company does steal technology and engineer it for their own production and use, though the claim has been denied many times. Their researchers were responsible for the integration of AI systems in the orbital superfactories, resulting in the increase of safety and efficiency. The research division also actively uses AI in their projects, as a synthetic mind assists in calculations and theorizations.
The research division can be credited for many contributions to not only the company, but to humanity as a whole. The commercialization of androids has led to a huge profit but questionable outcome as some believe that such a large number of synthetics can easily lead to the theorized technological singularity. Hephaestus denies this theory as well.
Hephaestus Robotics Division
If the industrial division is the backbone of both Hephaestus and the galaxy in which it resides, the robotics division is the face. The robotics division is responsible for the advanced robots seen working the assembly lines in their orbital factories, robotic prosthesis, robotic chassis, and state of the art artificial intelligent platforms. The division itself is composed of experienced scientists to work up an idea, and highly skilled engineers to bring these ideas to life. The robotics division also dominates the market in commercial synthetics, selling both androids and robots to other corporations and public organizations alike, as well as using them for their own gain, such as a highly efficient asteroid mining robot controlled by an artificial intelligence. A robotic security force is also a common sight in almost every one of their installations. Such machines require tamper-resistant hardware as well as ‘manufacturer only’ access systems to prevent rival corporations from stealing their designs. Nanotrasen attempts to compete with Hephaestus’s superior commercialization of synthetics, but lacks the industrial capacity to produce any amount that surpasses Hephaestus.
The Hephaestus robotics division created the first IPC, or integrated positronic chassis, around the same time the first artificial intelligences were coming online in human space. As their model was currently the only one at the time, it reigned as the superior chassis for any positronic intelligence that was selected to be unbound. Other corporations started to adopt and design their own, and with the help of a major leak in corporate security, Hephaestus lost its place at the top of the line with IPC models.
Originally founded in the year 2137, seven years after the advent of Warp technology, Hephaestus Aeronautics was formed out of a conglomeration of several failing aerospace companies. They combined their assets and expertise in an attempt to retain a niche in the FTL market. With humanity in a growing state of adventurousness, Hephaestus profits by designing and selling warp drives, with heavy competition between themselves and Einstein Engines.
When the Second Great Depression struck in 2260, Hephaestus had no other option than to file for many massive bailouts. Barely saving their company from the pit of bankruptcy, they shifted their focus from warp travel to industrialization. As the years passed, they secured more and more industrial centers from many other small producers, both land-based and orbital. Recognizing Hephaestus’s presence along with the growing unrest in the frontier at the time, the Sol Alliance promised them commissions for providing them with machines of war; starships, arms, and armor. Hephaestus gladly obliged.
Every handful of years, another smaller production company, and their assets, seized by Hephaestus. By 2400, Hephaestus Industries had become the number one producer in all of the inner colonies, owning almost one hundred percent of the heavy industry. Owning two gargantuan orbital factories in the Sol system, and another under construction in Tau Ceti, it was clear who the industrial powerhouse of Humanity was. Nanotrasen was quick to step up to the plate, however, and when they claimed the rights to the Romanovich cloud and discovered the pivotal resource Phoron, Hephaestus was forced to find another avenue of profit once again.
After the discovery of the Skrell, and the introduction of artificial intelligence, Hephaestus began shifting its research focus from mineral processing and engine design to robotics. Dedicating several research stations to this project resulted in their facilities, mainly their factories, being overhauled to remove unnecessary systems and make way for streamlined central intelligence cores, as well as dedicating several lines of production to the creation of commercialized workforce robots.
Hephaestus Industries is the largest provider of heavy industry for the Inner Colonies, lead by the charismatic and firm CEO Titanius Aeson. They are also supported by an advanced robotics division that produces new technology for artificial intelligence and commercialized robots for the working and military world. Recently, Hephaestus Industries has pledged to bring forth another wave of colonization of the frontier, and promises support for struggling colonies. This isn’t coming from the bottoms of their hearts, of course. These colonies would be bound to provide resources to Hephaestus in trade for the company’s support.
Although they deny it, they also actively participate in corporate espionage - stealing technology from other corporations to claim as their own, or even sabotaging the efforts of other corporations to gain a position of power over them. Despite, or perhaps because of all of this, they remain the second largest and most wealthy transstellar corporation in the galaxy, with a net worth of 420 trillion credits.
Hephaestus Industries also has many subsidiaries, such as the Xion Manufacturing Group which manufactures equipment for construction, agriculture, waste handling and demolition.
Relationship with Unathi
Hephaestus Industries is the largest recruiter of Unathi in the galaxy, contracting thousands of them for heavy duty tasks. Due to their status as a recognized Izweski Guild, they have elevated powers over lands they own on Moghes and Ouerea, allowing them easy access to a large amount of resources in the Unathi's specific region of space. Whether attracted by the promise of leaving war-torn Moghes, or by the simple aesthetic of Hephaestus Industries, peasantry have begun to praise the company for its ability to give thousands of jobs to hungry Unathi.
Unathi are often extremely accepted into Hephaestus workplaces, and most working class humans find these xenos stubborn mindsets endearing. This has made many Unathi 'nationalistic' for this company - treating it as their ancestors would treat a kingdom.