Mablin, space cutebold technician by Accelerando

Mablin, space cutebold technician

Accelerando

22 March 2016 at 17:35:55 MDT

Mablin is a big shy nerdy kobold, about 4′ tall (big for a kobold). She putters around in a little spacecraft (pictured near-foreground) equipped with a hibernation pod that she, like many of her fellow deep-space contract workers, uses to skip the days when she’s out of work and cut life support costs.

Mablin is a contract worker for space stations - specifically-not-specifically, she’s a technician of unspecified expertise in various fields for which she gets work aboard the various Station-States making up the spaceborne metal economy around Baprimin, primary planet of the exomoon Plalgis. She’s trying to save up to get a nice place for her girlfriends and enbyfriends, many of whom are Sleepworkers like her - workers without regular pay who spend inordinate amounts of time in torpor, an unpleasant hibernation-state that is used to skip time between paying jobs.

Mablin is one of a recent generation of spacers living in the aftermath of S&K, a federation of Plalgis nations that has come to dominate much of the business surrounding the Skyhooks, airborne space elevators that serve as loading docks for aircraft trading Plalgis goods for asteroid metal. Through a series of disruptions and sabotages forcing the Station-States of Baprimin’s asteroid moons to borrow federation resources, S&K pushed the Station-States to devalue their metal exports in order to continue receiving advanced equipment and replacement parts, and to accept a swath of regulations known as the Nemba Concords that effectively brought their domestic economies under S&K control.

Within this situation, a force of underpaid contract workers was developed as a means of lowering the cost of station upkeep - skilled laborers would be paid more than most but kept on the move by an employment system pushing them toward ever-changing locations of work, necessitating that they own and maintain a personal spacecraft into which they are forced to sink much of their income. Sleepworkers, as they’re colloquially known, can end up spending significant fractions of their lives in torpor for this reason, as it cuts down on life support needs and maintenance costs.

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