|“||My name is Juno Steel. I used to be one of those guys who cleaned up this mess for the uptight types. Now? Well, now I mostly spread the mess around.||”|
Juno Steel is a private eye whose best quality is making enemies. He works with his secretary Rita to solve various cases, ranging from murder mysteries to finding lost objects. He is bisexual and nonbinary, and sometimes refers to himself as a lady, though uses exclusively he/him pronouns throughout the podcast. Juno often provides angst ridden one-liners throughout the show and often makes self-deprecating jokes.
Early Life EditJuno spent the first four years of his life living in Halcyon with his mother, Sarah Steel, and his twin brother, Benzaiten. After his mother lost her job and "got bad", his family moved to Oldtown, a derelict area of Hyperion City, where he met his childhood friends Mick Mercury and Sasha Wire. Since the drinking age was so low, they liked to get some drinks in a bar known as the Pour and Floor ("because they pour until you hit the floor!") and joke with Sasha’s little sister, Annie Wire.
Juno’s mother was an alcoholic and abusive towards both of her children, Juno especially, even going so far as to try to convince Benzaiten their misery was Juno's fault. Juno frequently ran away from home, escaping into the Oldtown sewers and befriending the mutated rabbits there. Unable to see Sarah as anything other than a monster, Juno moved out, but Benten stayed with her. When Sarah eventually killed Benten after mistaking him for his brother, she called Juno over to her apartment and confessed.
He eventually became part of the notably corrupt Hyperion City Police Department (HCPD) to try and do good in the world. He had been accepted into the HCPD at the time of Benten's death. He met his secretary, Rita, on his first day as a detective partnered with Det. Puck Falco (they/them). He won the HCPD sharpshooting contest three years in a row. He made it as far as squad captain there, but he only lasted for a day as such, after apparently botching a case involving his precinct's own Captain Hijikata. Juno and Rita eventually went on to establish their own private detective firm about fifteen years before the series began.
Roughly twelve years before the series began, Juno had a long bender at Valles Vicky's Vixen Valley. He racked up such a tab that it took him ten years to pay it off, working for Vicky personally. On one of those jobs, he ended up mugging the president of Venus by accident. Working for Vicky apparently earned Juno some degree of a criminal reputation, as implied by Buddy Aurinko later.
Juno Steel is contacted by Agent Sasha Wire regarding the death of Croesus Kanagawa, head of Hyperion City's most popular crime-family-slash-enertainment-network, and a death threat addressed to him. To aid in his investigation, Juno is accompanied by Dark Matters Agent Rex Glass. Together, they investigate the crime scene and question Cassandra Kanagawa and Cecil Kanagawa, Croseus' twin children, and come to the conclusion that Cecil is not the culprit. Cassandra Kanagawa had pushed Croesus into the case holding the Death Mask of Grimpotheuthis after confronting him over the next month's stream schedule, which tore him apart. Min Kanagawa had set up the whole fiasco to take control of Croesus's media empire and boost their media ratings, though Juno lacks any evidence to prove her guilt and is forced to let her walk away.
Following the investigation, Juno stops by his office to lock Grim's Mask in his safe. Glass accompanies Juno back to his apartment and, after a bit of flirting, kisses Juno. Juno then handcuffs him and accuses him of attempting to steal Grim's Mask before Croseus' murder and taking the keys to his safe from out of his pocket during their kiss. Juno demands that Glass tell him his name, though Glass refuses. After Glass is arrested by the HCPD, Juno finds a piece of paper that gives Juno his true name, Peter Nureyev, and tells him to watch the streams for "one last glimpse" of him. Realizing the significance behind the note, Juno turns on the video feed to see that Nureyev had escaped exactly where he said he would. The smell of the thief's cologne would linger in Juno's apartment for weeks afterwards.
A few months later, Juno is approached by Julian DiMaggio, the Saffron Prince of Mars, to track down his missing husband, Anthony DiMaggio. After breaking into the DiMaggio estate for evidence of adultery and coming up with nothing, he runs into Alessandra Strong, a fellow private eye. She reveals that she has been hired by Anthony DiMaggio to retrieve an item from the house. Juno pulls her into a kiss to steal the item from her pockets, which vaguely resembles a crystal with something moving inside of it. The Prince abruptly calls Juno on his comms, revealing that Anthony had appeared in his bed, stabbed with a knife, and that the police had taken him in for questioning.
When Juno visits the Prince in Hoosegow, the Prince explains that the item was a genuine ancient Martian artifact. Upon being swallowed, the pill will enable the user to read other people's minds. The Prince also reveals that a researcher named Dr. Lillian Strauss also knows about the pill, and Juno and Alessandra head out to investigate her apartment. They find Strauss tied up in her laboratory, but before Juno or Alessandra can do anything, a gunman from another building kills her. Rita eventually reveals that, through some research, she has discovered that Christopher Morales, a man who was linked with Saffron Pharmaceuticals, doesn't actually exist on Mars. The two PIs make their way to Morales' address and start getting romantic during the stake-out. They are interrupted by a bright red light and loud noise from the building. Juno enters the building and chases after who he thinks to be Nureyev, Morales having been his alias. He ends up being cornered by a group of guards and, in a panic, swallows the pill to prevent it from falling into their hands. He falls into a dream-like state, experiencing a bunch of hazy visions as well as a mysterious voice telling him that "I will have what I want."
Juno wakes up in the hospital, seemingly recovered from the aftereffects of the Martian pill. Rita reveals that the building supposedly occupied by Morales had been used to house real Martian teleporters, which would explain how a dying Anthony suddenly appeared in the Prince's bed. Juno then speaks to Alessandra about the status of their relationship, revealing that he is still not over Nureyev and that their relationship will not work.
Juno asks Rita to keep tabs on the status of some ancient Martian artifacts, one of them being the Throne of Architeuthis. Rita notifies Juno that the owner of the throne, Samantha Cartwright, has died and that the chair is no longer in her possession. Alarmed, Juno asks Rita to look into retrieving Dr. Strauss' files, only to find out that her apartment has been burned to the ground.
On his day off, Juno meets up with his childhood friends Mick Mercury and Sasha Wire in Oldtown. Their reunion is interrupted when an unknown entity forces the three of them to participate in a twisted recreation of the events in which Annie Wire, Sasha's younger sister, had been killed twenty-five years ago. To prove that she was cool enough to hang out with them, Annie was forced to go through three "trials" that Sasha, Mick, and Juno came up with, which ultimately ended with her disappearance. Juno ultimately blamed himself for her death, as he was the one to come up with the final trial. The three are made to go through the same trials that they made Annie go through all those years ago, all while being stalked by some robotic monster-like entity.
After the completion of two trials, Mick is attacked by something, injuring his leg. Sasha attempts to contact Dark Matters for backup. However, a growing sandstorm is interfering with any communication and preventing them from leaving Oldtown. Juno suggests that they try to escape via the sewers. He bribes a Martian rabbit into helping lead them out of town, but the rabbit runs off after hearing a disturbance in the water. The gang is then surrounded by hulking robotic creatures. Mick is dragged away by one of the robots. Hoping that Mick might be found in the location of the last trial, Sasha and Juno make their way into the old munitions factory Annie disappeared in.
Juno is captured by one of the robots and brought face-to-face with Annie Wire. When Sasha arrives to save Juno, Annie blames Juno for her death, yelling at her sister to shoot Juno. Juno doesn't speak to defend himself, ready to accept his fate. Unexpectedly, Sasha shoots Annie to reveal that she has been a robot as well. A sudden announcement then rings out in the factory, and the two are greeted by someone named Agent Burgess, who reveals that Dark Matters had been the one conducting the entire ordeal. It has been a test for Sasha to see if she is mentally and physically fit for her promotion within Dark Matters. Furious, Juno begins to accuse Burgess of endangering innocent lives, but Burgess just laughs in his face. Sasha tells Juno to stop, and when Juno protests further, Sasha criticizes him for making the whole situation about himself. He hadn't been the only one responsible for Annie's death, and he certainly isn't the one responsible for Mick or Sasha being hurt that afternoon.
Juno later has a few drinks with Mick. Despite Mick's attempts to help him, Juno still blames himself for the misfortunes of everyone else he has been involved with recently, including Cassandra Kanagawa and Dr. Strauss. Mick accuses him of being full of himself and selfish for wanting all the glory and heroism and tells him to actually do something instead of sitting around and moping. Juno eventually relents and agrees with Mick.
Following his discussion with Mick, Juno first goes and tries to explain to the new police chief, Captain Omar Khan, what has happened. However, due to his lack of evidence, prior history with the department, bad attitude, Rita blowing up a fusion heater while trying to make popcorn, and the fact that Juno starts to read files on Khan's desk, Khan does not agree to help him.
After this, Juno and Rita go to Valles Vicky's Vixen Valley, a "one-stop shop if you’re interested in fine dining, good conversation, beautiful people, and contraband from across the galaxy." Valles Vicky, a fence whose last favor to Juno took him ten years to pay back, agrees to get Juno in contact with someone knowledgeable in Martian artifacts if he agrees to help catch the person who's been stealing her cars, as her distribution is key in her business.
Vicky and Juno stake out one of her cars and find that the person stealing them is Todd, one of Vicky's Vixens. Following the car into a hidden garage, the two get gassed and, upon waking up, find themselves changed into tuxes. They're at a party being thrown by an old girlfriend of Vicky's, Ingrid Lake. Ingrid wants to get back together with Vicky after recently having been "reformed" from Hoosegow, and when Vicky tells her that she won't get back together with Ingrid due to having a wife and kid, Ingrid tells Vicky that if she doesn't change her mind by midnight, she will kill her and herself. Juno and Vicky manage to stop Ingrid in the nick of time and Vicky tells Juno that she'll tell her contact to get in touch with him. When he arrives back at his apartment, he finds Peter Nureyev, Vicky's contact, who tells him they have to leave immediately.
While Juno is still hung up on his and Nureyev's last meeting, he doesn't trust the man. Still, he ultimately realizes Nureyev is his only shot at stopping the mysterious woman behind the plot he has begun to unravel from gathering all of the Martian artifacts that have been going missing.
Nureyev tells Juno that the final Martian artifact, the Egg of Purus, is on a speed train called the Utgard Express, the most secure lockbox on Mars. The mysterious woman, named Miasma, has hired him to steal it off of the train. While Nureyev agrees the bomb shouldn't go to Miasma and that it needs to be destroyed, he's unsure how to get on the train. However, he knows of someone who does, and so Juno and Nureyev go undercover as newlywed thieves Dahlia Rose and Duke Rose to meet Brock Engstrom, a notorious retired criminal.
Engstrom announces that he knows who Juno is (and has a general idea of who Nureyev is, if not his true name) before he and Nureyev start a card game called Rangian Street Poker. The stakes are set that if someone lies, they die. Both players take turns asking each other a question. If the first person accepts the second's question, they play a hand of poker to see who wins and whose question will be answered. Since the second person can't veto a question, they can ask one they know the first won't want to answer in the hopes that the first will veto it. Who is the first and second person switches each time. As the game goes on, it is shown that the question Engstrom doesn't want to answer is how the Utgard Express can be boarded, and the question Nureyev doesn't want to answer is what his real name is. Juno and Engstrom's bodyguard, Valencia, watch the game. Nureyev is losing badly, and while Engstrom all but admits to them that he's cheating when Juno calls them out, they have no real proof, so there are no consequences.
Finally, the two agree to play a hand based on the questions they don't want to answer, and Nureyev trusts Juno to prove Engstrom is cheating so he won't lose. Juno does so by hearing Valencia's thoughts, using the pill's powers for the first time. This causes his nose to bleed. Later, after getting their information and going to sleep, Juno hears an assassin's thoughts, sent after the two of them by Engstrom. He and Nureyev make their escape and head to the train, first stealing Engstrom's car, the Ruby 7, and then getting kidnapped by Engstrom and Valencia in the process. They manage to give the two the slip by causing the train to momentarily jerk using a magnetic pulse Nureyev had set up to stop the train, and then find the egg and stop the train so they can exit it. While they successfully do this, they are almost immediately caught by Miasma. Miasma originally plans to kill Nureyev, but ends up taking him hostage as well when Juno threatens to kill himself if she does not, and she agrees.
Miasma takes the two to their "final resting place," a Martian tomb buried deep underground. There, she tortures Nureyev to get Juno to use his mind-reading ability. The more he does this, the bigger a lump the pill formed behind his eye gets, and the easier it is for her to scan it; by doing so, she eventually hopes to recreate the pill's ability for herself. While this is initially just reading cursory thoughts, i.e. describing cards Nureyev sees, Miasma later makes Juno delve deeper into Nureyev's mind. After having a painful reaction to straining his ability, Juno wakes up in the cell with Nureyev where they discover that the Martians reproduced via genetic cloning, and Nureyev asks Juno to look deeper into his past in the hopes that Juno would trust him, which works.
Unfortunately, this leads to even more pain and bleeding from Juno's eye. Fortunately, Nureyev is able to leverage this into an escape, promising to come back for Juno.
Days pass. Juno is about to be killed by one of Miasma's guards when Nureyev reappears and appears to kill Miasma and her minion. They then find the egg in an airtight chamber and realize it is a bomb. They figure out the way to start it is by using a Martian's handprint.
Miasma, as it turns out, is not dead, having gone through several experiments to turn herself into a Martian. She activates the bomb, which begins to rise towards the surface of Mars. Juno and Nureyev work to try to disable the bomb but are thwarted by Miasma, who reveals she was able to replicate the pill's mind-reading ability. It is also revealed that she can regenerate lost limbs. As the fight goes on, Juno tries to use his ability to figure out how to stop the bomb by reading Miasma's mind, but the attempt is ultimately unsuccessful and costs him his eye. As a result, he cannot aim as well at Miasma as he needs to. Thinking quickly, Juno pins Miasma and shoots her at a closer range.
Juno realizes that if the bomb goes off in the chamber with them, it will avoid wiping out all life on Mars. In an act of self-sacrifice, Juno locks Nureyev outside of the airlock while keeping Miasma away from the control console. In his final moments, Juno tells Nureyev that he wishes he had left with him when they first met. The bomb goes off, and Juno miraculously survives. He reasons that the bomb was actually a "suicide" bomb for the Martians, who all had the same DNA due to their reproduction cycle, and thus does not affect humans.
Juno and Nureyev leave the tomb and, after a visit to the hospital, go to a hotel in Hyperion City where they make plans to leave Mars together. While Juno seems reluctant, he reassures Nureyev he wants to go and says he doesn't even want to return to his office or apartment as he'll have Rita sell his things to make up her lost wages until she can find a new job. The two spend the night together, but Juno leaves Nureyev in the middle of the night.
!!This section requires streamlining and proofreading!!
Juno is incredibly frustrated that the loss of his right eye has impaired his once exceptional blaster aim. His poor shooting has cost him a few cases, and his dour mood is affecting those around him.
He gets a simple case from Maia King, a high profile real estate lawyer. She is working on a case against Babbling Brook Realty for selling apartments with the residents still in them. King says something weird is going on with her cat. Despite Juno's initial skepticism, he discovers that her cat has been switched with an outwardly identical one by a scarred woman Juno dubs "The Piranha." He further uncovers that the replacement cat was altered by Dr. Munrovian to hide a bomb in its stomach—Babbling Brook's attempt to remove Maia King from the case. Juno saves her (but not, to Rita's dismay, the bomb-cat) in the nick of time, but the Piranha escapes when Juno misses her with a stun shot.
Juno receives a mysterious message from Ramses O'Flaherty, a mayoral candidate who promises to reform Hyperion City, primarily by ending corruption in politics and the HCPD. Ramses knows that Juno seeks to "do good" in this world, and that he cannot do it without his ability to shoot. He offers Juno a cybernetic eye, the THEIA Spectrum, in return for protecting him. Something about Ramses is familiar, but Juno can't quite place it.
Juno has the cybernetic eye installed but finds out that, according to Rit'as research, Ramses must have changed identities about thirty years ago. Ramses deflects Juno's questioning and takes Juno to the Fortezza, a prison where "consulting criminals" are kept. Ramses is due to give a speech that day and one of the prisoners, The Proctor, has made an assassination threat against him. It is Juno's job to make sure the Proctor does not achieve her goal.
Juno thwarts the Proctor with the help of Mick Mercury. With her dying breath, the Proctor delivers a mysterious message for Juno to "go to the place every child calls home." Once he relays this to Ramses, he realizes that she means Polaris Park. Ramses happens to be the CEO of Northstar Entertainment, which runs and oversees the park.
Juno and Rita go to Polaris Park and meet Lorenzo Vega and Yasmin Swift. Lorenzo is an engineer who created the park's star attraction, a ride called Andromeda and the Dragon's Peak. Yasmin is in charge of security at the park. Earlier that day, a group of park engineers were fatally toasted by the ride during an inspection, despite the ride not using real fire. Yasmin, Rita, and Juno go into the ride to inspect it.
While walking through the stages of the ride, Juno figures out that Yasmin murdered the engineers. Eventually, he gets a confession out of her with Rit'as help and records it on the THEIA spectrum. After a fight and a chase, Juno corners Yasmin and inadvertently pushes her to her death. During their fight, Yasmin explains that she had been bribed to commit murder in order to pay for her child's healthcare. He is distraught by her unnecessary death and sympathetic to her plight. Vega shares recorded phone conversations with Juno, which reveals that Yasmin had been given a message before she committed the murders: “Look for a woman with one ear outside the First Museum of Colonized History in Hyperion City.” Juno realizes that the woman is the Piranha.
Before Juno departs the park, Vega reminisces, to Juno's displeasure, about his mother, Sarah Steel, who had worked for Northstar Entertainment as a writer during their early days. Vega had largely held her work in positive regard, though he speaks disparagingly of her "moods," and explains that he takes responsibility for firing her after it appeared she had stolen work from another employee. He attempts to offer Juno sympathy, knowing that her mental health and finances declined after that point, but Juno has no taste for discussing Sarah or his childhood.
After staking out the museum for a month, Juno witnesses the current mayor, Pilot Pereyra, meeting with the Piranha to discuss a planned break-in. Juno manages to record some of the meeting but notices a man in a brown jacket watching him from the street. He is interrupted by a member of the HCPD, Lieutenant Loo. Juno is stunned and is brought to a secret location to be interrogated, but Loo is clearly inexperienced. It becomes apparent that they have brought Juno to Omar Khan's home basement in a panic.
Omar Khan interrupts the interogation, and Juno finds out that he and Loo have been planning on catching the mayor for their corruption, but the two don't know when the heist will take place. The operation is covert and somewhat unofficial, as Pereyra has a majority of the HCPD in their pocket. Juno is dismayed to hear Loo and Khan's conspiracy for good has few members and is perplexed that they deny the man in the brown jacket is one of them. He manages to persuade them to release him, and he and Khan go immediately to intercept Pilot, lying that he knows what they plan to steal.
Inside the museum, Khan calls Juno's bluff when Juno's mistakes inadvertently get an innocent security guard killed by Pilot and their gang. To hold off further interference, the gang announces to media outlets that they have taken several hostages. The THEIA's system glitches, leaving Juno without the use of his cybernetic eye. He remains hidden while Khan disguises himself as a gang member and improves their strategic position, Loo providing additional help over comms. Juno and Khan rescue the hostages, the THEIA reactivating just in time for Juno to stun a gang member guarding the last of them. Unfortunately, Pilot and the Piranha escape with a map of the archaic subway system. Juno and Khan part ways, with a good-natured agreement that they work poorly together. Juno tells the listener in a closing monologue that he has pieced together what Pilot is after without specifically disclosing what it is. He closes the episode by calling up fellow P.I. Alessandra Strong to help him.
Juno explains that Pilot is after a legendary city hidden under Mars' surface--the Free Dome, built by the idealogical Erin Marshall D'Arc after she fled from the War to build a sanctuary from the horrors of the galaxy. Juno and Alessandra try to infiltrate the abandoned Martian subway system while following Pilot and the Piranha but are quickly caught. They are held captive to lead Pilot and the Piranha through any traps.
Juno has a dream about Nureyev in which he reveals that he's apologetic and regrets leaving him. When he wakes, Pereyra and the Piranha drag him through several tests created by Marshall Erin D'Arc, Erin's son. It is revealed through intercom recordings he made that Marshall wanted to create the tests so as to only allow people who were "worthy" into the Free Dome. In one, the test of "Chair-ity," most of Juno's blood is drained from his body, only to be re-injected when his life is endangered. The THEIA takes control of his immune response to power him through it, but Juno is severely weakened.
The THEIA regularly gives Juno feedback, frequently requesting control of his body and criticising his choices when he does not give permission. He realizes the Pirahna knows a suspicious amount about the THEIA spectrum, but he can't figure out why.
After the final test, it is revealed that the Free Dome was never finished, and both Erin and Marshall suffered from radiation poisoning due to undomed exposure. The Piranha shoots Pilot dead and traps Alessandra back in the subway system. She reveals that she has been working for Ramses from the beginning and that Ramses has orchestrated everything in order to eliminate Pilot as an opponent for mayor of Hyperion City, thus furthering his own career. Struggling to fight against his own eye, Juno kills the Piranha and listens on the radio as Ramses is elected mayor. In his victory speech, Ramses repeatedly gloats that his "young, heroic friend" will return at any moment from stopping Pereyra mid-corruption. Feeling betrayed and alienated, Juno wanders off into the Martian desert, exposing himself to the dangerous environment and radiation.
After an hour or so, Juno is intercepted by a large man in a brown jacket. He recognizes the man as the person who was watching him at the museum. Jacket tells Juno that Ramses can track and control Juno through his eye, but he offers to help remove it if Juno helps with a job.
Juno reluctantly agrees, and Jacket brings him to the Cerberus Province to meet Buddy Aurinko. The Cerberus Province is a ghetto, exposed to the radiation and sands of Mars, where many people have ended up because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. The extreme radiation poisoning of many of the residents is counteracted by debtors tags which filter the wearer's blood in return for what is essentially slave labour while they die an even slower death.
Juno finally meets Buddy and agrees to keep watch over a business transaction. The transaction is interrupted by a woman with a debtor's tag, and it is revealed that she is Buddy's long-term partner in love and crime, Vespa Ilkay, who has been presumed dead for fifteen years. Vespa fails to steal the goods but stabs the buyer, Rasbach.
Although Buddy insists that Juno can leave now, Juno decides to accompany Buddy to negotiate for Vespa's release. Buddy gives up everything, including the goods, to buy Vespa's contract from Rasbach. Vespa infiltrates the building and interrupts, convinced that Buddy is a hallucination induced by her radiation poisoning. Juno illuminates the room to reveal that Buddy is not a hallucination. In a last attempt, Buddy desperately tells Vespa to meet her by the Cerberus lighthouse, a previous meetings spot of theirs, if she "wants to try again," and Vespa disappears.
Back at the lighthouse, Buddy, Jacket, and Juno all wait for Vespa. Eventually, Vespa arrives in her spaceship to pick up Buddy, and the two have a tearful reunion. Juno, despite grumbling during the wait, is moved to tears himself and leaves with Jacket to give them privacy.
Jacket brings Juno to a surgery clinic constructed by a Doctor Hanataba, whose very existence is questionable. Because the THEIA spectrum is linked to Juno's brain, it has been giving him auditory hallucinations and will only root itself deeper unless removed. Jacket tells Juno that he believes he will go through some form of a spiritual journey while unconscious for the procedure and must succeed at a task to survive. Otherwise, he will die in a matter of days. He admits that this is based simply on personal experience and may be untrue for Juno.
Now unconscious, Juno dreams that he is in his childhood bedroom, joined by his dead twin brother Benzaiten. Ben appears to be around 19, the age of his death, and speaks to Juno playfully and encouragingly. Juno is comforted by his presence, despite knowing both that it is a dream and that Ben cannot tell him anything Juno does not know himself. At first, he is convinced that he must solve Benzaiten's murder; he knows Sarah shot him after mistaking him for Juno in an argument over pills she couldn't find, but he has always wondered if there was a more sinister explanation. However, as time goes on, it becomes clear that he has to unravel the events of the day that Sarah Steel was robbed instead, which she always blamed on Juno, and which Juno pinpoints as the day everything started to get really bad.
Juno only remembers that, as a child, he insisted that Turbo, a TV show character, came into the family home that day and didn't steal anything. However, by picking apart the details he can recall, he uncovers his suppressed memories. Sarah had an upcoming pitch meeting that would make or break her career at Northstar Entertainment. While she was away, Jack Takano, a fellow writer and family friend, came into her office and made copies of Sarah's pitch. He then told Juno that he must never tell anyone what happened really happened, and to instead claim that Turbo had done it. Juno comes to the realization that Jack was Ramses' previous identity and that he had stolen Sarah's work to claim the incredibly popular Andromeda series as his own creation.
Juno comes to terms with the fact that his mother was a complex person: she was simultaneously a mother who loved her children and also abused them, and the two facts aren't mutually exclusive. Juno realizes that there is no great mystery surrounding Ben's death: he continued to live with her because he saw the good in her. After solving the mystery and having a heartfelt last conversation with Ben, Juno wakes up again, the cybernetic eye having been successfully removed.
Brown Jacket returns Juno to Hyperion City on his hovercycle and hurts Juno's feelings somewhat by declining to tell him his name, even now. He does give Juno Buddy's comms number to call if he ever wishes to work for her again, as well as the advice that "We may look back only to ensure we have not walked this path before."
Juno, who has noted the city seems oddly quiet, is disturbed to find Rita is not in their office. He catches up with what has happened in his absence through the news, learning that in the weeks he spent in the Cerberus Province, Oldtown has been put under lockdown. O'Flaherty and his mayoral cabinet have dodged all questions about it, only insisting they wish to do good by creating an "Oldtown solution." Juno is further disturbed to realize the businesses of his past allies and employers have either closed or been targeted for purchase by Northstar Entertainment, ultimately adding them to O'Flaherty's assets. When it becomes apparent none of his friends will answer their comms, Juno decides the best thing he can do is investigate. He tries to imitate the best skills of his friends, providing himself with the gear and outlook he wishes they were there to give him. After referencing Alessandra, Sasha, Benzaiten, Nureyev, and Mick, he concludes that Rita is inimitable, so there is no point in trying to carry a piece of her as well.
He enters the sewer system, making his way towards Oldtown. In the process, he befriends a sewer rabbit he names Small Fry. He chats gently with her and protects her from THEIA robots they encounter, which order him to proceed to meet with Ramses. When they eventually encounter another sewer rabbit Small Fry deems trustworthy, he sends her off to whatever new home the rabbits have found. He has a brief fight with the older rabbit, who sees Juno as an interloper and seems to blame him for the disruption to the city, but they are interrupted by a THEIA bot who tells the bunnies to run off. Juno watches Small Fry leave with pride and sorrow, having become attached to her in their short time together.
The THEIA bot speaks to Juno, and he recognizes that its choice of words resembles Rita's speech pattern. He tells her he knows she's controlling it and apologizes for worrying her, confessing he feels inspired to better himself and heal emotionally for the first time since he left the HCPD. Rita joins him in person at the end of his speech. They hug, relieved to see each other, and leave the sewer to see a sign saying "Welcome to Newtown."
Juno meets and argues with Ramses about his excessive actions and condescending attitude regarding Oldtown. In the process, he admits he has realized Ramses O'Flaherty was once Jack Takano. O'Flaherty insists Benzaiten and Sarah Steel would be alive and healthy if Sarah had accepted money he offered her, claiming he had only stolen her work on Andromeda to leverage Northstar to a salvageable financial state. He accuses Juno of similar stubbornness, which Juno rejects: he is his own person and makes his own mistakes. Ramses refuses to tell Juno what Newtown is, only claiming that "a place can be a solution to all our problems." Juno maintains it's wrong to put residents in lockdown, even temporarily, and tells Ramses to step down as mayor. Rita interrupts the meeting, and she and Juno seek out Mick Mercury for more information.
In the course of their conversation, Mick responds to Juno's apology for an unkind remark by attacking Juno and Rita with a blaster, his voice containing an underlayer of the THEIA. Juno fights back, shooting Mick reflexively with stun bolts. He fears he has killed Mick, unable to find his pulse. As Rita prepares to perform CPR, they discover Mick has cybernetic parts controlled by the THEIA Soul.
Mick|THEIA repeatedly urge Juno and Rita to "give up control to the THEIA Soul" as they barricade themselves in another room. Juno realizes Ramses is controlling Mick, and other residents of the district, in the same way the THEIA Spectrum was able to control Juno. While Rita hacks into the THEIA Soul, Juno and Mick talk, Juno lamenting Mick's loss of delight in storytelling and his hovercycle, while Mick tells him the Soul protects him, has cured his alcoholism, and he's happier with it. He needles Juno about Juno's own mistakes and struggles until Juno wonders whether Mick truly is better off, telling Rita to stop her task. Rita pretends to do so but successfully disconnects the Soul's hold on Mick as he unleashes a fresh attack on Juno. The pair gently put him to bed, and Rita stays with him while Juno rushes to his final confrontation with Ramses.
He discovers Ramses has set up an office in a beautified version of Juno's childhood home. Juno weeps and laughs before entering, only to find Ramses already dead from a terminal heart condition. Juno sorts through his notes, finding a confession of sorts and discovering Ramses had never installed a THEIA device in his own body. Rita phones, urging him to turn on the news: they have 24 hours before Newtown opens, despite Ramses's death, and the rest of Hyperion and potentially Mars will be overrun with Souls. Juno channels Small Fry's courage and Brown Jacket's wisdom before setting out to destroy Ramses's legacy.
Juno and Rita enter an abandoned HCPD station to destroy the THEIA central computer they have realized lies within. After some investigation and one spoiled plan, Juno places his trust in Rita. She allows him to be fitted with a THEIA Soul so that he can carry her virus to the central Tower without being killed by THEIA bots. Juno, under the Soul's influence, sees Rita as a threat to the THEIA and Ramses's legacy and repeatedly tries to attack her. Ultimately, a combination of his slowly uncovered memories of her and the weakening effect of her virus on his Soul allows him to rip it from his neck and free himself.
The pair spend several months investigating avenues to expose Ramses's misdeeds but are stymied by the disorganization that has arisen from the aftermath of the Oldtown Solution, and by genuine improvement in Hyperion's conditions from the new, accessible housing it created. Finally, to Rita's pride, Juno decides he is ready to move on—not just from this case but from Hyperion City and his struggles with it altogether. He tells Rita he will stay if she wants to stay, but if she's willing, he wants the two of them to leave and accept Buddy Aurinko's standing job offer. She accepts with minor trepidation.
Juno meets with Brown Jacket, telling him he will walk from any job he deems immoral, insists on being given the full details relevant to any job he is given, and refuses to accept any orders to kill. After Jacket agrees, he reveals he also wants Rita to be allowed to come. Jacket accepts immediately: Rita, as one of the most accomplished hackers in the Solar planets, is of higher priority to himself and Buddy than Juno is, and he is delighted to recruit her. He also introduces himself to her by name, to Juno's annoyance: he is the famous thief Jet Sikuliaq.
Jet takes them to a rendezvous with the team's spaceship, where Juno discovers the team includes Buddy, Vespa, and Peter Nureyev. His heart leaps with a little bit of excitement, fear, or a little of both.
Juno, Peter and Vespa go on a mission that goes wrong and find themselves surrounded by Dark Matters agents. The main plot however, focuses on Jet and Rita confronting Jet's dark past.
Juno and Vespa struggle to work together, while an unknown intruder is taking out the ship's crew one by one.
Rita, Peter and Juno use three robots Rita build to steal a book from a high security server farm in the Outer Rim.
Detective Juno Steel is practically a walking noir trope: stubborn, cynical, gets into a lot of trouble, and usually pisses people off within five minutes of first meeting him. Underneath all that, however, is a person who genuinely cares about others and their well-being. No matter what, Juno Steel has always strived to “do good”, to the point of him having a martyr complex. Many of his problems and otherwise “disagreeable” behaviors can be traced back to his traumatic history and the relationship he had with his abusive mother, Sarah Steel.
Juno idolizes the idea of being a hero, of being able to “do good”—saving or helping others and making sure that they can’t be hurt again. If he tried to help other people, maybe, just maybe, he’d be able to stop himself from hurting them. He considers himself the hero of his own story, the protagonist, the one who has to be better than the bad guys in order to win. However, this need to help other people also feeds into his self-destructive tendencies. Juno is frequently reckless, throwing himself in harm's way if it means that someone else won’t get hurt. He readily takes a knife in the arm for someone, even if it means he becomes dangerously close to bleeding out, and even throws himself in traffic at one point to rescue a client’s cat. It’s heavily implied that Juno sometimes actively seeks out harm. The only time that Juno allows himself to feel “good” is when he’s actively working to save people.
When he fails to rescue someone or when his actions inadvertently lead to someone getting hurt, he feels immense guilt. Even if he only had a small role, Juno almost always blames himself for the whole incident. He even blames himself for Annie Wire's death, despite the fact that he and his friends all contributed to her death and the fact that they were all thirteen years old at the time. Of course, it’s easier for him to admit and believe that he's a terrible person instead of trying to brush off his involvement in the situation. When he’s in these depressive spirals, he frequently drowns his guilt in whiskey until he passes out, something he inherited from his mother. His fear of hurting other people also leads him to push other people away before he has the chance to hurt them.
As cynical as Juno is, there is a part of him that wishes and hopes that there is some good in the world. Even when all hope seems to be lost, he wants to be able to help others. Juno wants to believe that, maybe, just maybe, not everything is terrible and that he might be worth something to someone out there, which is why his work as a private eye takes up almost every aspect of his life. His cynicism wavers sometimes when he feels that there's something to be hopeful about, such as Peter Nureyev or the prospect of the Free Dome existing.
Juno is a renowned sharpshooter, having won the sharpshooting contest for the HCPD three years in a row. Several people have made remarks on him being able to make shots otherwise thought to be "impossible", like shooting a laser through each of the Camera Men's lenses and activating a switch by shooting it. However, after the loss of his eye, Juno has been unable to shoot accurately. Juno is also an excellent detective, poking his nose into places it doesn't belong, making astute observations and deducing the truth based on them. However, his attitude frequently gets in his way, and he frequently draws the wrong conclusion based on his unreliable worldview.
Juno also understands Japanese, having translated "hanataba" to "bouquet of flowers" during Juno Steel and the Monster's Reflection (Part 1). He reportedly had to learn the language for a museum con several years ago.
Juno's mother. Starting off her motherhood neglectful but trying, fondly calling Benzaiten and Juno her "little monsters", she became more abusive after Juno claimed Turbo broke into her office and stole her work. She later killed Ben, thinking he was Juno.
His deceased brother. The two were a good team, even to the end. Ben saw the good in everyone and Juno admired that about him. Benzaiten enjoyed poking fun at Juno's grumpiness, to Juno's irritation. Like most siblings, their relationship could be strained at times and sometimes dissolved into petty arguments, but they always found comfort in each others company and loved each other.
Juno blames himself for Benzaiten's death, due to the fact that their mother only killed Ben for his resemblance to Juno.
Juno's secretary and friend. She helps at any time (willingly or not) with all of Juno's cases. While she annoys him, Juno also recognizes her brilliance. She was his former secretary during his time working as a police officer and was the one to give him his office while Juno was converting into a private eye.
Juno's childhood friend. She got off of Mars and joined Dark Matters, not contacting Juno for 15 years. From their interactions, it seemed like no time had passed at all.
Juno's childhood friend. Juno claims he can't stand Mick since he is the human embodiment of bad luck, but regardless (read: Juno is a softie and loves his friends) Juno always helps out Mick. By the end of Juno Steel and the Day That Wouldn't Die (P2) Juno admits that he admired Mick for his stories of a better life outside of Oldtown, despite knowing they were lies, because they gave the kids of Oldtown something to hope for.
A fellow private eye, initially Juno's rival before becoming his ally and briefly his love interest. During the events of the Prince of Mars arc, Alessandra and Juno worked on a case together and started having feelings for each other. However, Juno realized he was still not over Peter Nureyev, and left on that. They worked together again in the Promised Land arc while tracking Pilot and the Piranha into an abandoned subway. When Alessandra tells Juno that she is engaged to a former colleague from the Solar Military he mocks her. But Alessandra calls him out on his view of relationships and life in general, pointing out that it is harder to go on than giving up and giving in to misery and self-loathing.
Juno's... It's complicated. He came into Juno's life with the name Rex Glass, got Juno to fall in love with him, and disappeared, leaving behind just a name, a scent that will never leave and a broken heart. Peter later returns to sweep Juno off his feet again. The best way to a lady's heart apparently is a case, near death circumstances, and some flirting.
Juno's client, and self-described partner in good. Running for mayor with the hope of a better city can really disgust a cynical PI, but Ramses knows anyone can be bought (like with a fancy eye). After a little while, Ramses may even give Juno a little hope of his own, but it can get crushed by lies.
Juno realizes that Jet is tailing him long before their first real encounter. He calles him Jacket and says that he "looked like someone I might want to buy me a drink or two", implying that he finds him attracktive.
Jet saves Juno, when he is stranded in the Martian destert and takes him to Buddy Aurinko. Though he seems emotionally uninvolved he cares a lot for Juno, helping him through the difficult process of removing the THEIA Spectrum and crying when Juno returns to Hyperion City. Juno first mocks Jet for his advise, but after they part he sems to miss Jet's guidance.
Buddy is the head of the Aurinko crime family. She had been observing Juno for some time, before she got in touch with him and offered him a place among her crew.
Vespa is the long lost love of Buddy Aurinko and member of the Aurinko crime family. She and Juno do not seem to get along. This is reinforced by Vespas hallucinations of Juno being mean and spiteful about her condition. Like Juno Vespa has experiences with mental health and abusive parents. She eventually comes to the realization that Juno has never called her "crazy", which could be a hint of them improving their troubled relationship.
Puck Falco Edit
Juno's partner at the HCPD, who has left Hyperion City when they transferred to another planet. They have become estranged with Juno, as mentioned by Mick in Juno Steel and the Man of the Future (P2). When getting irritated with Rita at his first day at the job, Juno asked her if she was a prank set up by Falco or Diamond.
First mentioned in Juno Steel and the Promised Land (P3), Diamond is a person from Juno's past, possibly entangled in the events that led to Juno leaving the HCPD. Juno, Rita and Mick briefly mention Diamond, often implying bad memories for Juno. In Juno Steel and the Man of the Future (P2) Rita states that "Diamond was gone before [Juno] left the HCPD".
Episode Appearances Edit
|Episodes Featuring Juno Steel|
- Juno is terrified of heights, blood, and relationships.
- Juno collects bad art, is a decent cook, and a terrible gambler.
- His birthday is supposedly December 24th. However, this is considered non-canon, due to the fact that the Martian calendar is inconsistent and does not line up with the Earth calendar.
- Juno owns a wedding gown that he never got to use. By the creator's own admission, he looked great in it.
- As stated by The Penumbra Podcast official Tumblr account, "if Juno had cause to share a bunk bed with a gentleman friend, he would certainly choose the bottom bunk. Also his preferred mode of transport is submarine. He is not good at playing dominoes."
- ↑ Official Tumblr
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Man of the Future (Part 1)
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Kitty-Cat Caper (Part 2)
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Day That Wouldn't Die (Part 1)
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Midnight Fox (Part 1)
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Time Gone By (Part 1)
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Monster's Reflection (Part 1)
- ↑ https://thepenumbrapodcast.tumblr.com/post/149994558491/what-is-juno-scared-of-other-than-heights#notes
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask Update (Part 1)
- ↑ The Rita Minute 3: Happy Birthday, Mista Steel!
- ↑ Juno Steel and the Lesson Learned (Part 2)
- ↑ Season 2.1 Q&A: Fan Questions Answered!
- ↑ https://thepenumbrapodcast.tumblr.com/post/149789151346/does-juno-prefer-to-top-or-bottom-inquiring