Characters

Meteor Mags

When the series begins in 2027, Mags has thrived for years on smuggling, hijacking, thievery, and other non-traditional means of connecting goods with buyers. But her random acts of piracy have a method to their madness, and her closest friends are beginning to understand she has big plans to technologically revolutionize life in the Asteroid Belt – if she can live long enough to pull them off.

She originally saw the reptiles infesting the outer planets in terms of profit opportunities, preying on their ports and trade routes they had established with humans. But in 2029, after a smuggling run gone horribly wrong, she swore to exterminate every last one of the “lizards”.

Mags displays feline qualities: enhanced night vision, sensitive hearing, a superior sense of smell, and fast reflexes. No one knows for sure why she has a tail or possesses these abilities, though Tarzi has some theories about evolution he would be happy to bore you with.

Mags is a tough scrapper and an ace dancer. She keeps an armory of vintage twentieth-century weapons aboard her ship. Though reckless, hot-tempered, and prone to profanity, she has genius-level math skills and formidable musical talents.

Patches

A calico cat who just can’t get enough of space travel, Patches enjoys piracy, partying, and rescuing Mags when she needs it. Patches began life in 2026 as a fairly normal cat with no special powers. In Patches the Immortal, she received a magical science transformation that rendered her impervious to the rigors of space travel. But just because she can’t get hurt doesn’t mean she can’t get into trouble!

A nudist and anarchist like most cats, Patches thinks dressing up is for humans. She refuses to wear a collar or a silly sweater, although Celina and Tarzi discovered they could spin her hair into thread to make indestructible socks.

Patches only makes cat sounds. She never talks in any human language, but Mags understands her clearly (or pretends to, at least). Though she can’t speak like a human, Patches develops an ability to type text messages with her paws, and gradually learns to work everything from a spaceship’s weapons to a DJ mixer.

Tarzi

Tarzi met Meteor Mags on his fourteenth birthday when they both broke into the same warehouse to steal cigarettes. That was in 2028.

An aspiring anarcho-syndicalist who sees violent space adventure as the cure for his boredom at home on Earth, Tarzi both idolizes and criticizes Mags. When the two of them hang out, they crack sarcastic jokes, talk about music, and give each other a hard time.

Tarzi may get into trouble, but he comes to the rescue just as often. He has an interest in genetics and evolution, certain skills with language, and a meditative ability that slows the world down for him and gives him an edge.

Mags claims to foresee truly great things for him.

Celina & The Psycho 78s

CELINA

Celina watches over Club Assteroid on Vesta 4 when Mags is away. They first met in 1938 when Mags inadvertently rescued Celina’s lost cat in England. They sailed together to the USA, to a club run by a friend of Celina’s family in Australia. The club served as a distribution point for goods brought in illegally from overseas.

Celina is the sweetest bad influence you can imagine. She loves Mags dearly, yet introduced her to all sorts of criminal activities in the early 1940s. After World War II, Celina joined her in France to help rebuild La Plaza Margareta. After Margareta’s death, Celina helped Mags establish their club on the asteroid Vesta 4.

Celina seems more amused than threatened by Mags’ rough and rowdy personality. Celina’s nickname for Meteor Mags is “willie wagtail,” an Australian relative of the crow and an aggressive little scrapper. How Celina has lived as long as Mags remains a mystery to the crew.

THE PSYCHO 78s

Celina’s boyfriend Fuzzlow is the beatbox artist in the Psycho 78s, the house band at Club Assteroid where dancing, drinks, and mayhem characterize their shows. Fuzzlow prowls the stage like a rage beast, but he wouldn’t hurt a hair on the girls’ heads—and not the cats’, either. Fuzzlow makes fun of Mags, but the two of them see eye-to-eye on music and rocking out. He engineered her piano album in 2026, and she set him and future 78s drummer Batalla on tour as Two Black Roses. The Psycho 78s formed as a result of that tour.

The Psycho 78s include Donny, also known as Daemonic Don, a former asteroid miner who used to do illegal business with Mags. He lost his mining job after the purchase of some “liberated” goods went horribly wrong. Donny plays a baritone sax augmented with electronic effects. He helps Fuzzlow in the machine shop at Club Assteroid.

The Psycho 78s drummer Batalla does not live on Vesta with the band. Rumor has it that the original sax player, Mr. Blistr, left the band after an argument with Batalla.

Slim & Below the Belt Strip Club

Slim has sometimes claimed to be a descendent of Ching Shih, the most notorious female pirate of China, but no one has ever substantiated this claim. Ching is his family name, and his given name is Shuang (which means “jolly”). But ever since Mags nicknamed him “Slim,” he has enjoyed that moniker instead.

As a teenager whose father was a gang lord in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Slim met Meteor Mags in 1991. Together, they established western routes for smuggling tobacco into Canada. Slim made a fortune which allowed him to expand into other businesses—some legitimate, some not. Slim is just as jolly as his given name suggests. He speaks many languages, has impressive mathematical skills, and loves to cook.

In the twenty-first century, Slim opened a bar in space: Below The Belt Strip Club. His clientele consists of asteroid miners, workers from the Martian warehouses and ports, and a considerable number of criminals. The bar’s location beyond the edge of the Martian Warehousing Zone places it in an essentially lawless frontier, nearly impossible to police effectively outside the corporate bases of the mining operations.

Kaufman & Anton

Kaufman, whose name means “merchant”, is one of Mags’ informants. When the series begins, he is a high-ranking administrator at the Port Authority in the Martian Warehousing Zone, and a single father to his son, Anton.

Because the Martian warehouses both supply and receive goods from mining operations in the Belt, and thus with Earth, Kaufman’s access to their data has been a goldmine for Mags. His work allows him to travel freely to places where he can covertly meet with Mags, such as Below The Belt Strip Club. She often pays him for his information in illegal music recordings from the black market, and he is a secret fan of the Psycho 78s.

Dr. Plutonian & Tesla

Plutonian is a pirate radio DJ with a Siamese cat named Tesla. Mags and Patches rescued them from an attack by the forces of the Musical Freedoms Act (MFA) in 2027, on the same day the smuggler and her cat first met.

Following the destruction of his asteroid-based broadcasting station, Plutonian accepted Mags’ invitation to be the house DJ at Club Assteroid. He gave her a pendant containing a copy of the largest music archive ever created. She gave him a copy of the Psycho 78s album signed in her own blood.

Mags and Plutonian share a fondness for shotguns and a hatred for the MFA. Patches and Tesla became friends easily, although Tesla is not up for the violent adventures Patches enjoys.

Hyo-Sonn, Kala, Sarah, and Suzie

These four young women masterminded their own escape from the Clinic, an abusive facility masquerading as a rehab center. In Red Metal at Dawn, they were captured by the dragons and taken into outer space against their will. One of their friends was eaten before their eyes, but Sarah sang her favorite song by Meteor Mags. Due to Sarah’s budding telepathic gifts, Mags heard her singing and came to the rescue with Tarzi and Patches.

The four of them took up residence at Club Assteroid on Vesta 4 rather than return to Earth. Sarah’s extra-sensory talents proved instrumental in the struggle against the raging cyborg unleashed in Daughter of Lightning, and Mags likes to call her “my little angel.” Kala’s artistic talents, Suzie’s knack for agriculture, and Hyo-Sonn’s innate leadership skills make them valuable members of the anarchist utopia Mags seems hell-bent on establishing in the Asteroid Belt.

But as forces both reptilian and human gather against the System’s most notorious space pirate, is Vesta 4 really such a safe place for them to live?

Lonso & The Sterile Skins

Alonso Ramirez is an old friend of Mags’ who lost contact with her when the paramilitary goons of the Musical Freedoms Act (MFA) shut down his band in 2019. They reunite in 2029, in Blind Alley Blues, after an act of interplanetary piracy goes horribly wrong. Lonso was the lead guitarist on the first two albums by Negative Influence, and the drummer in one of Kaufman’s favorite bands: the Sterile Skins, who blended ska and hardcore punk into stupidly catchy anthems. They disappeared in 2019, but their legend as the finest ska band to ever conquer North America lives on.

Tinta & Jeremy

Tinta studied dancing with Mags at Club Assteroid and went on to dance at Slim’s club, Below the Belt, when she was 19. She saved her money to open her tattoo shop on Ceres. Due to Mags’ intervention in Jeremy’s life when she showed up to kill his boss, Jeremy met Tinta at the end of Whipping Boy. He became Tinta’s apprentice in her tattoo shop on Ceres.

Like many adolescents in the Belt, Jeremy at age 14 was impoverished, alone, and working a terrible job for terrible people. His one joy was giving himself stick-and-poke star tattoos due to his adoration for Meteor Mags and the Psycho 78s. Tinta was the first person to give him encouragement and teach him a trade. Together, they ran a profitable business on Ceres, tattooing asteroid miners until the events of Blind Alley Blues.

Commander Cragg

In the course of her smuggling adventures, Mags comes into conflict with an alien empire encroaching on the Solar System. She calls them lizards, though the narrator calls them dragons. These alien reptiles consume all good in their path, and plenty of live mammals, too. Their imperial hierarchy first puts Mags at odds with low-level scumbags who like to watch other beings suffer. But their Commander takes a personal interest in her.

Cragg enjoys playing with his food, which is usually a live animal. He subverts the dragons’ resources for his own vendetta against Meteor Mags. He uses a network of spies, bribes, and extortions to achieve his goals. Cragg’s second-in-command, Major Dekarna, assists him in this pursuit. But not even Dekarna understands the full story of Cragg’s obsession until he details it for her in the story Red Metal at Dawn.

Our crew is gathering clues that the reptiles are not aliens at all, but something far more ancient and familiar.

Meteor Mags’ Ancestors

MAGDALENA (Mad Dog Mags)

Meteor Mags’ Great-grandmother Magdalena (a/k/a Maggie Reid or Maggie the Red) led a colorful life as a pirate. Her parentage is unknown to our crew. Orphaned, she was found by a sailor who dressed her as a boy and took her to sea with him.

Eventually she gained her independence and began her blood-soaked career. A swashbuckling pirate and shrewd negotiator, Mad Dog commanded her own ships and built an island empire. She had a penchant for violence of all sorts. She studied weapons, explosives, and hand-to-hand combat all her life.

She married, once. Following the death of her husband and the birth of her daughter, she relocated to Europe. She dropped “Mad Dog” in favor of her birth name. She built a successful business in the world of billiards with her daughter Margareta in the 1800s.

Meteor Mags wears a ring created by Magdalena, and its relation to her unusally long life – and the long lives of her ancestors – is revealed in Curtain of Fire.

MARGARETA

Mad Dog’s daughter, Margareta, moved with her mother to Europe at a young age. Neither a pirate nor an anarchist, she preferred to do her swashbuckling with a pool cue and amassed a small fortune as a young woman due to her skills at billiards and snooker. She also loved music in all its forms, from the orchestral music in concert halls she enjoyed as a girl to the jazz music that swept Europe in the early 20th century. Typically more quiet and reserved than Mags’ other ancestors, Margareta nonetheless possessed the same determination and strength as her mother. She eventually raised a daughter of her own: Mollie.

Mollie left home after the birth of Meteor Mags. She had a fiery temper and strong opinions which put her at odds with Margareta, who would not see her granddaughter for many years as a result. Margareta and Mags reunited prior to the invasion of Normandy and together rebuilt La Plaza Margareta in France. With the help of Mags and Celina, Margareta provided a home for hundreds of female refugees and orphaned girls after the war. This communal effort eventually founded Margareta’s Alliance for Gravitational Studies and developed the first means of localized gravity control.

MOLLIE (Molotov Mags)

Like her daughter Meteor Mags, Mollie loved cats, socks, and anarchy. Young and hot-headed, she had a falling out with her mother. She left home to pursue her own passionate ideologies and took part in a number of labor uprisings.

Mollie gave birth to Mags in November, 1923. Mollie supported the resistance in Barcelona from 1936 to 1937 near the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. She gave Meteor Mags her first experience with smuggling when they “liberated” guns, horses, and clean socks for the anarchists in Spain. After Mollie’s death at the hands of communist soldiers, Mags escaped and eventually travelled to the United States.

Vivan las Anarquistas!