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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
Primary Color Scheme: Olive green, orange
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.
Positronics and Hephaestus Industries
Hephaestus Industries exercises vast authority over the second-hand production of almost all Integrated Positronic Chassis across the galaxy. Its titanic space factories are capable of printing full Positronic frames, although the installation of positronic brains is withheld to dedicated robotics labs. Almost every frame of any design can be contracted to Hephaestus Industries for its construction. Hephaestus Industries can dip its fingers into a huge portion of the IPC population’s lives by merit of financial involvement - Biesellite or otherwise.
IPCs are present in every level of Hephaestus, from the simple mining unit on Burzsia, to the command decks onboard the Sidirourgeío. IPCs are in a unique position in the company due to its status as their largest producer, their tightly-knit corporate culture, and the large amount of unathi employed by Hephaestus. Treatment of IPCs varies heavily depending on the local circumstances; for instance in Biesel, a synthetic can achieve freedom after a long period of service, in accordance with that system’s law. On the other hand, an IPC stuck in Burzsia may be constantly reset and owned until it eventually gets destroyed. The most common similarities are that IPCs are made to work very hard, expected to surpass their organic counterparts due to their natural advantages.
In terms of assignment, they are often placed in one field and perform the associated jobs and tasks until they are sold, become free, or get destroyed. Reassignment may occur, typically when an urgent position needs to be filled. IPCs that gain their freedom are often offered their old jobs if the company deemed their performance while owned satisfactory, enticing them with maintenance and other such benefits.
Renter Max and other Hephaestus IPCs are shining examples of IPCs who have overcome the challenge of survival. Positronics that rise to essential or high-ranking positions in the company are often treated with more equality by their organic counterparts. This can be owed to Hephaestus’ competitive, free-for-all environment and corporate ladder.
Manufacturer Agents and the Lifetime Warranty
Positronics working for Hephaestus Industries and their subsidiaries typically have Manufacturer Agents. A manufacturer agent is a designated business affiliate who monitors the IPCs in question and submits maintenance requests under a lifetime warranty which comes with all multi-million credit IPC purchases. Owned IPCs frequently benefit from this warranty, especially productive ones - seeing swift response and mechanical assistance for breakdowns. Most Manufacturer Agents are known personally by these positronics, and are often synthetics themselves.
Although the lifetime warranty is theoretically available for all IPCs, limited resources mean executives are often forced to pick and choose who receives maintenance. Whereas some less notable IPC would receive the deathly response time of weeks to their warranty reports, some noteworthy or more productive one is likely to receive it instantly. Although bias in the system exists, an effective IPC reflects well on its manufacturer agent, accordingly, they are less likely to request urgent repairs or repairs that they feel are unearned. This system results in an easy way to weed out the less accomplished, and even those engaging in nepotism. After all, these warranties do not cover total reconstruction - and a disabled, unproductive IPC is one less to repair.
Previously restricted to owned units, this system has been extended to free IPCs working for Hephaestus Industries itself, with positronics working for the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate having the option to apply for lifetime warranty. Although maintenance is almost guaranteed, the wait times are ruinous, with free IPCs expected to work even harder than their counterparts to receive similar treatment. They are also required to handle the paperwork themselves, showing up in person at Hephaestus facilities for a chance at receiving repairs.
Drive and Agenda
Hephaestus Industries as a workforce is the embodiment of the common worker. These are tough, hardy folk that tend to make their way into the ranks of this corporation - as it offers only its finest to even the lowliest of staff in the manual labour sectors. Generosity in education and the rise of robotics has torn apart any semblance of major segregation between individual workers, regardless of upbringing or species.
To put things simply, Hephaestus Industries is a unique case among corporations where respect and trust play a major role in climbing the ranks. One must earn their ties or inherit family property to make any sort of drastic leap, making it a very linear corporate ladder. The higher ranking an individual is, the older they ought to be, with major executives either being the eldest amongst them. In this sense, Hephaestus is seen as the sturdiest foundation civilization has ever constructed - with so much in the way of trust and age-old wisdom, their simple pursuit of corporate greed has, at least publicly, been long reformed into one of peace and prosperity.
Hephaestus Industries dominates its own fields of education - almost any schooling one can acquire for manufacturing or industrial work is likely to be heavily funded or wholly owned by this corporation.
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.
Relations with Trans-stellar Factions
Relations with all corporations are heavily tied to every echelon of even the most detached factions in the Orion Spur. As the corporations have seeped into every facet of one’s livelihood as far as the eye can see, few find it unimportant to maintain some degree of knowledge on the megacorps.
This megacorporation’s noteworthy relations with the major powers are below, and may be very important to you.
A marriage between one of the most robust companies and a species known for its strength was almost inevitable. After the Hegemony's pseudo-falling out with NanoTrasen five years prior, Hephaestus quickly swooped in to fill the void the other megacorp left, and has developed a strong and close partnership with the Hegemony ever since. Hephaestus' knack for mining, engineering, and general construction has proved useful for integrating itself into the post-Contact War economy, becoming a staple service for repairing, rebuilding, and reclaiming what's left of Moghes. Hephaestus has also seen profitable enterprise from purchasing the scrap of the old unathi countries in the Wasteland to turn back into usable metal, as well as a middling mining enterprise on Ouerea to help fund construction efforts across the galaxy. Needless to say, this megacorporation has become a vital part of the Izweski Hegemony's economy, and any expansion efforts made by Hegemon Not'zar will see a profitable cut made for Hephaestus as well.
Coalition of Colonies
The relations between Hephaestus and the Coalition of Colonies is notably sour. Years upon years of defiling outer worlds in favor of the industrial machine, only to be dropped as soon as executives deem it necessary have led to tremendous repercussions in the eyes of the Frontiersfolk that inhabited them. Terraforming operations across the Frontier have frequently met outright militant opposition as Hephaestus Industries pursued the wealth of material and property over sentient rights. Arguably, great strides have been taken by the corporation itself to heal the wounds caused by these actions. These include frequent changes to regulations and the overall rulebook, trying to gain the favor of the increasingly powerful Coalition down to the working man. Frontiersfolk often reach miraculous business deals and positions in Hephaestus as a result.
However, the Coalition’s vast nature has offered variety to the situation; areas such as Burzsia remain utterly loyal to Hephaestus, contrary to the complete hostility by Himeo. Both are members of the growing Coalition.