Belters are the hardscrabble colonists who work in the asteroid belt, harvesting minerals and ice (for water). Very much the proverbial Third World of the solar system after Earth and Mars, the two superpowers which have become dependent on their resources but give little in return. Their capital and largest port is Ceres, the dwarf planet/largest object in the belt. Routine mining runs also harvest ice from Saturn's rings.
Most Belters at any one time actually live on their ships, mining resources in the asteroid belt. Several of the larger asteroids such as Ceres and Vesta are major hubs for shipping and commerce, as well as a few large artificial habitats such as Tycho Station. Full scale agricultural colonies also exist in the Jupiter and Saturn systems, though these outer planets get lumped in with the Belters as well due to their very low gravity. In the Jupiter system, Ganymede and Europa are major breadbaskets, while Callisto is the location of a major MCRN shipyard (the fourth major moon, Io, wasn't heavily colonized due to volcanic activity). In the Saturn system, Titan is a major settled colony as well. Numerous smaller mining and scientific outposts are scattered throughout the other smaller moons and into the Uranus and Neptune systems - but just "outposts", not big enough to be considered colonies.
In the first episode, Ceres and the rest of the belt are technically a United Nations protectorate governed by Earth, though everyone fears that Mars is imminently going to make a push to capture the belt from Earth - and Earth will launch a full scale war in retaliation to take it back. The winner of such a fight is uncertain, but the Belters will lose either way. Meanwhile, an underground resistance/terrorist movement has gained widespread popularity in the Belt, wanting to set themselves up as a third independent nation known as the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA).
- Asteroid Miners: Belters have this as one of their major occupations. Poorer Belters work as "rock hoppers" moving from asteroid to asteroid to try and find enough harvest-able material to sell in order to survive.
- Belters have to resort to drugs or hormones to compensate for growing up in microgravity, and they don't always work well. Detective Joe Miller has ridges along part of his spine where the bones didn't quite grow properly, for example.
- Asteroid mining can be quite dangerous and loss of limb accidents are not uncommon, resulting in a disproportionately large number of Belters using prosthetic limb replacements. Keep in mind, the technology to completely regrow a severed limb exists back on Earth, but it's too expensive for hardscrabble miners in the asteroid belt to afford - another reason why prosthetic limbs are disproportionately common.
- Conlang: The Belters speak a patois that features words from Russian, Turkish, German, and others (Chinese is also heard in station announcements) with incorporated hand gestures (due to the need to communicate in spacesuits). Officially it is called "Belter Creole". They also continue to speak English, using an accent that sounds vaguely Afrikaans.
- Fantastic Slurs: While officially called "Belters", people from the inner planets also use the less polite terms "Skinnies" and "Long Bone" for them, referring to how they grow tall and thin from living in microgravity.
- On the flip side, Belters refer to people from Earth and Mars as "inners" and "inyalowda."
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: While the various asteroid and Jovian/Saturnine moon colonies are officially governed (and definitely taxed) by Earth, Mars, or both, neither superpower can be bothered to police them. Municipal law enforcement is carried out by private security contractors like Star Helix and CPM. Some outfits are better than others, but even the best are corrupt as hell, and the "cops" tend to be thugs with badges. Less scrupulous companies like CPM will even recruit directly from street gangs. Needless to say, the OPA rarely needs to bother hiding their activities.
- Libertarians IN SPACE!: The Belters are a hard-hitting Deconstruction of this; the no-margin-for-error conditions of deep space has produced that bizarre combination of civic pride and steadfast independence prized by this philosophy; Belters instinctively look out for each other and don't go crying to the authorities when something breaks, they fix it - by any means necessary - as they happen. However, the nasty side of this is that they're prone to vigilantism; heroic actions like aiding in the assault on Thoth Station, grey actions such as the summary murder of administrators who won't keep the air filters clean, and villainous ones such the indiscriminate spacing of "Inner" refugees.
- Light Worlder:
- Belter stations like Ceres and Eros are artificially "spun up" to maintain an internal gravity of 0.3-g and most native-born Belters will never experience anything stronger. Inhabitants require hormone boosters to increase bone-density and muscle mass (although brittle bone disease continues to be a problem).
- Belters who haven't received hormone treatments have long and thin bones and are significantly taller than the average human.
- Smaller Belter settlements don't even have gravity and some Belters will spend their entire lives in zero-g. There are numerous adverse health effects that come from such lifestyles and most die young.
- Belters can't handle Earth's gravity for long and need to be kept submerged in tanks of water in order to ease the strain on their bodies. Because Belters struggle to simply breathe and stay upright in Earth gravity, forcing them to endure it is considered a violation of their human rights, although the UN will use gravity torture in black sites.
- No OSHA Compliance: The Earth corporations that the Belters work for cut corners everywhere, resulting in very unsafe work conditions, particularly for asteroid miners. Basic necessities such as water and air are tightly controlled and constantly being shorted. The Earth corporations so frequently outfit Belter habitations with crappy third-rate air scrubber units, which barely recycle air to breathable levels, that it is not uncommon for many Belter children to receive irreversible brain damage from hypoxia.
- Space People: While manyif not mostBelters live in settlements on the larger asteroids or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, a lot of them live on space stations or eke out a meager existence as "rock hoppers" mining small asteroids for whatever precious metals they can find, thus spending most of their lives in zero-G (with the associated negative physiological effects). The dependence on commercial shipping coupled with the fact that even the largest settlements are surrounded by hard vacuum means that many jobs in the belt will, by necessity, involve EVA. Miller actually gets some shit from Diogo and the rest of the OPA boarding party for being a Belter who has never done a spacewalk.
- Space Trucker: Shades of this, with a modern twist. They're working-class miners and truckers, getting squeezed by big corporations from Earth and Mars. They're not just a straightforward Expy of truckers in space, but their own unique hybrid culture.
- Tattoo as Character Type: Cultural. Several Belters such as Naomi have a stylized tattoo around their necks that feature an off-center gap, symbolizing contact burns from the helmet connection collars of older space suits that Anderson Dawes sports.
- At least two other Belters have the stylized anarchy symbol of the OPA on them.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: When lifelong Belters speak English rather than Belter Creole, the resultant accent often sounds like a fusion of Afrikaaner and Chinese. It also varies, as some Belters like Miller speak English as their first language (though they are still at least conversant in Belter Creole) and therefore have more normal-sounding American/Canadian/British accents.
- Younger Than They Look: Belters have the lowest natural life expectancy in the system, roughly around 60 years, which means most Belters are actually a good deal younger than they look. Lack of decent medical care and a lifetime in low-G and thin air takes its toll.
Star Helix Security
Detective Josephus Miller
A detective with the Star Helix aboard Ceres Station. A native Belter who's never been off Ceres, he dresses like an Earther and has a certain amount of disdain towards his own kind.
- Adaptational Villainy: The pilot has him accepting bribes to look the other way for someone who is using shoddy air filters, then threatening to space the man when people become deathly ill as a result. In the books the man who got spaced after tampering with air filters was a story that Miller told after the fact to demonstrate how heinous this was from a Belter perspective, and Miller never solicited or accepted bribes in the book.
- All for Nothing: His quest to find Julie Mao, since she dies mere moments before he finds her.
- Anti-Hero: Miller's a cynical, sardonic, corrupt prick, but one who genuinely tries to do the right thing and strives for redemption.
- The Atoner: He treats his increasingly-personal search for Julie Mao as a way to make up for his crimes, symbolically cashing in the poker chips he had collected as bribes to pay for his trip to Eros.
- Badass Baritone: He has a deep voice, and is generally shown to be pretty handy in a firefight.
- Back for the Dead: He returns near the end of Season 4, quite some time after he died saving Earth from Eros, when the real Miller wrests control of The Investigator's construct, after the latter made it very clear he doesn't give two shits about the lives of everyone on Ilus. The return was short-lived though, as he needed to shut down Ilus's structures and prevent mass deaths. With Elvi Okoye's help, he "possesses" one of the protomolecule robots and jumps inside a Void Bullet shutting down the protomolecule structures, but very definitively and permanently dies as a result.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: At the beginning of the series, Miller looks down upon his fellow Belters and particularly the OPA, viewing them as overly idealistic terrorists. After a long period of Character Development, he starts working with the OPA and even bonding with a few members, though he's still very cynical about the organization.
- Blood from the Mouth: He and Holden start spitting up blood after they're subject to severe radiation poisoning.
- Boomerang Bigot: He dresses as if he's from Earth, works for Star Helix (an Earth corporation), and generally behaves as if he's superior to most Belters despite being a Belter himself. That said, when he riles up the CPM mob at the end of season 1, he drops back into thick Belter Creole and deftly taps into the crowd's mood.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He's widely regarded as an incompetent joke, but he turns out to be a very competent detective when he has reason to to do his job.
- Character Development: Miller starts off as a drunken, cynical self-professed "thug with a badge", before his search for Julie Mao turns into him trying to redeem himself. By Season 2, he's begun genuinely fighting for justice for Eros and working with and befriending the people he previously looked down upon, all the while trying to act like the same cynic he started out as.
- Characterization Marches On: He's much more jokey and expressive in Season 2, contrasting the generally dour personality he exhibited in Season 1.
- City Mouse: He explicitly calls himself a "City Belter", more accustomed to life in the urban sections of Ceres than the wide expanses of open space.
- Combat Pragmatist: Miller is very prone to using the element of surprise on his enemies, generally via ambushes or using the element of surprise.
- Cool Hat: His fedora, although in-universe its considered pretentious by the Belters.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Miller has ridges along his spine, the result of his bones not fusing properly due to his being given cheap medication as a child and are the mark of someone who was raised as a ward of the state. He later tells Holden that he was a street kid who would steal chips from pachinko parlors to survive. He eventually joined the Star Helix because he decided that he'd prefer being the one handing out beatings rather than the one receiving them.
- Deadpan Snarker: Miller always has some deliciously snarky quips for any occasion.Havelock: Why do you wear the hat?
Miller: Keeps the rain off my head.
- Decoy Protagonist: Miller is played by the biggest and top-billed name in the cast. He gets a lot of focus among the characters, driving the narrative with his search for Julie Mao as the hard-boiled detective in a mystery. He makes a Heroic Sacrifice early on in Season 2, concluding his story and his search for Julie. Afterwards Holden and the Rocinante crew start to get a lot more focus.
- Dirty Cop: He's happy to take bribes from slum lords and to hand out gratuitous beatings.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Bitten so badly by it, that it sends him tilting at very dangerous windmills.
- Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied that a lot of Miller's attempts to mimic Earthers is to cover for his own insecurities and overcompensate for having grown up as an abused street rat.
- Genre Refugee: He's a classic Hardboiled Detective right in the middle of a science fiction setting.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He becomes far more unhinged after discovering Julie Mao is dead, making his entire journey and efforts to save her completely pointless.
- Guttural Growler: He has a very gravelly voice.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The guy has a real knack for these, as he's done it not once, not twice, but four times:
- In "Godspeed", he decides to stay behind on Eros to manually detonate a damaged nuke while the Nauvoo is heading in to ram Eros into the sun. He ends up not having to bother due to circumstances changing.
- In the following episode, "Home", he talks Julie Mao, who has been assimilated by the protomolecule on Eros and is now guiding the asteroid, into diverting its course into Venus. He stays with her and even infects himself just before they crash.
- Following the events of "Home", Miller's consciousness is adapted by the protomolecule to be a tool to figure out why it's creators aren't responding. This causes problems for the people on Ilus when his random switch-flipping triggers a planet-wide tidal waves that wipes out the settlement and forces everyone into the alien structure for shelter, as well as shutting down all fusion in orbit causing ships to lose altitude. The real Miller is eventually able to reassert himself and break free of the protomolecule's programming, and he uses that freedom to disable the protomolecule once and for all by linking it up to all of the tech on Ilus, then passing through the "artifact" which kills anything protomolecule-related. Including himself.
- In season 4's penultimate episode Miller takes over the Investigator, activates all of Ilus's ancient machines, and feeds them into the "eye of god", killing him for good, shutting down all the alien technology, and finally making the planet safe for human habitation. After it's all over, Jim sends the last globule of protomolecule left straight into Sol, making his last sacrifice very much permanent.
- Hypocrite: Played With. Protests the killing of evil scientists because they could provide useful information alive only to immediately kill their leader in retaliation for Eros. This being said, Miller correctly points out that keeping him alive to spout his beliefs would have probably been an even worse idea.
- Hard Boiled Detective: Dresses the part, complete with trilby, and drinks like one. It's implied he's deliberately styling himself like one.
- Iconic Outfit: His dark suit and fedora.
- Irony: Miller clearly looks down on the OPA, particularly in the first season. When he starts working with them in Season 2, they prove a much better fit for him than Star Helix ever was.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's abrasive and corrupt, but he occasionally shows a gentler side and there are limits as to how much illegal activity he'll ignore. He genuinely tries to reform himself during his search for Julie, although considering how that turned out it's an open question whether any of it will stick.
- Kick the Dog: After Havelock is hospitalized following a Belter uprising, Miller berates and mocks him and insults his girlfriend Gia right in front of him. After Havelock snaps and berates him in turn, Miller has the decency to look ashamed.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The only people upset when he shot Dresden were Holden and Fred, and they only really cared about losing a potential advantage over the protomolecule than anything else.Miller: I killed the mad scientist. Boo hoo.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's very cynical, and in fact proudly so, but he'll still do the right thing on occasion, especially if he's made to feel guilty over something.
- Large Ham: Not generally, but when he's playing the rabble rouser to stir up the crowd on Eros, Miller goes up a few levels in ham.Miller: BLOODS ON THE WALL, BERETNAAAAS!
- Last-Name Basis: Is referred to almost exclusively as 'Miller', even by close friends, confidants, and his love interest.
- Nice Hat: His signature fedora, which he eventually abandons before leaving Ceres for the first time.
- Odd Friendship: Aging, intelligent, and cynical former detective Miller and idealistic, moronic wannabe-gangster turned OPA thug Diogo turn out to get along swimmingly.
- Oh, Crap!: When his spacesuit is punctured by debris in "Godspeed", Miller seems to nearly have a full-on panic attack before sealing it.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: old to Havelock's young.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: When scavenging weapons at the Blue Falcon on Eros, Miller throws away a semi-automatic in favor of a revolvernote .
- Street Smart: He knows his way around Ceres and the OPA, which makes him a foil to both Havelock and Holden.
- Talking the Monster to Death: He's able to talk Julie Mao into diverting her transformed self into Venus by being honest and dedicated with her.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. Despite being on the side of good (albeit very much an Anti-Hero), Miller has probably the highest personal body count of any lead, and doesn't hesitate to shoot first and attack by surprise.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: He almost does this to a Ceres landlord, and it later almost happens to him at the hands of Dawes.
- Together in Death: He and Julie Mao die together as she directs Eros into Venus, where it won't hurt anyone.
- Token Evil Teammate: Downplayed when he joins the crew of the Roci. Miller's by no means evil, but he's far more willing to kill than anyone else on the crew, with the exception of Amos.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He's far more affable and jokey in Season 2. Of course, this means he's still a massive prick. Baby steps.
- Turn in Your Badge: Miller is fired by Shaddid after he starts digging in the wrong places.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He utterly hates space, which is fairly ironic considering he's a Belter.
- Wild Card: When he joins the crew of the Roci, Holden starts to see him as a threat due to his unpredictable nature and his more personal agenda.
- Working the Same Case: Miller and the crew of the Rocinante become entangled in the same mystery (of what happened to the Scopuli and the Canterbury), but approach it from different angles.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He might be corrupt and callous, but Miller does seem to have a soft spot for children. When a landlord's cost-cutting results in the deaths of several children, Miller very nearly throws said landlord out the airlock.
- Wrong Line of Work: A hilariously ironic case. Miller really doesn't like the OPA, but when he allies with them, it proves to be a much better fit than Star Helix.
The captain of Star Helix Security's Ceres detachment.
- Corrupt Cop: She's on the payroll of Anderson Dawes and the OPA. She doesn't even bother hiding it after firing Miller.
- Da Chief: Of Star Helix Security on Ceres.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: A non-fatal example. When Miller comes to her with secret files, she ascertains who else has seen the files and then confiscates them before firing Miller.
- Jerkass: An extremely unfriendly and abrasive woman. She doesn't even seem to give a shit about half of her cases, which is telling since most of her paychecks come from Dawes.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After she fires Miller, she's never to be seen again.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Non-lethal version. After Miller twigs ever closer to what actually happened to Julie, Shaddid immediately destroys the evidence right in front of Miller's face and fires him on the spot.
Miller's green new partner on Ceres. Unlike everyone else on the station, he's an idealistic. Which also makes him the only clean cop around.
- Demoted to Extra: Plays a far more prominent role in the books, even becoming a POV character in the latter books. Here, his role is incredibly small and that of an Audience Surrogate. His role in the Ilus arc is split between Fayez and Wei.
- Fish out of Water: He's an Earther on Ceres, meaning he's viewed largely with disdain by the Belters.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Non-fatally by OPA thugs.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: He's the young to Miller's old.
- Platonic Prostitution: With Gia. She instead teaches him how to talk and move like a Belter, though he still pays for her time.
- Put on a Bus: He gets injured during a Belter uprising on Ceres. When Miller leaves for Eros Station, he leaves Havelock behind.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Miller shows up in his hospital room to berate him and Gia, Havelock tells him in no uncertain terms that he's a horrible cop and that the lessons he's taught Havelock completely fly in the face to what a lawman is supposed to do.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Subverted. Havelock is impaled with a bolt by OPA thugs, and the scene is shot in a manner that suggests he was killed, but it turns out he survived.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's set up in the first episode like he's going to have some influence on Miller's character arc, but ultimately doesn't have all that much. Then Jay Hernandez was busy on Magnum, P.I. (2018) by the time he comes back in the books, so he became a Decomposite Character.
A detective and Miller's former partner.
- Action Girl: Played with. She guns down two OPA thugs trying to space Miller, but vomits shortly afterwards and freaks out for a bit because it's the first time she ever killed someone.
Crew of the Canterbury
Shed Garvey the med-tech aboard the Pur'N'Kleen ice hauler, the Canterbury (which supplies water for the Asteroid Belt's residents). Even though he's closer to an EMT than a doctor, Shed is all the crew has got as he's called upon for everything from social diseases to life-or-death surgeries. When the Canterbury was gutted to clear the way for cargo, the medical bay was removed, so Shed now has to operate at a dining table in the galley. In addition to his official medical duties aboard the ship, Shed also provides more 'recreational' supplies to the crew.
- Actor Allusion: to Royal Pains, being affiliated with medicine.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Getting decapitated by a rail gun is probably not pleasant.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Joined the Canterbury crew to get away from a drug dealer he owed money to.
- Decoy Protagonist: He's set up as one of the main characters, being one of the few survivors of the Canterbury's destruction and getting a ton of characterization and moments to shine, only to be suddenly killed midway through the fourth episode.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Non-fatally. When Alex's vac-suit starts crapping out, he shares his own oxygen with him. He nearly dies as a result of it.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Gets his head blown off during the attack on the Donnager, in the middle of trying to calm down Alex.
- Mauve Shirt: He's set up as a main character, only to die early on in the first season.
- The Medic: Responsible for patching treating the Canterbury crew's various injuries no matter how big or small.
- Motor Mouth: When he gets a little nervous... words happen. He gets nervous quite a few times.
- Nice Guy: He's shown to be pretty friendly and affable.
- Off with His Head!: His entire head is blown off by a railgun.
- Phony Degree: Faked his MD so he can work on a ship as far away from a drug dealer as possible. That said, he does seem to know enough to be a competent medic and trauma surgeon.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Much goofier than the rest of the characters, even after the Canterbury incident.
- Sacrificial Lion: After being set up as a main character, he gets half his head blown off by a rail gun.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He serves as the Plucky Comic Relief among the Canterbury survivors. He gets his head blown off right around the point when it becomes clear how high the stakes are.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Seriously, who names their kid "Shed?"
The Captain of the Canterbury.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a competent and respectable captain, but he has a weird fondness for tiny ceramic kittens. He has dozens of them lined up in a shelf in his quarters. Jim could never figure out what the deal was with them.
- Good Is Not Soft: He's a good guy, but he has shit to get done. When he sees the distress call, he promptly orders his crew to ignore it and wipe it from their records. It's a reasonable move given that the area was rife with pirates, and he had ice to deliver to Ceres - a political powder keg.
- The Good Captain: Reasonable and good to his crew. Pretty much everyone likes him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He appears only once in the first episode from dying in the destruction of the Canterbury.
Navigator Ade Nygaard
The Canterbury's navigator.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the books, her last name was Tukunbo.
- Decoy Protagonist: She's set up as the Deuteragonist to Holden, only to die at the end of the pilot during the destruction of the Canterbury.
- The Heart: She is quick to remind McDowell of their obligation to investigate the Scopuli's distress signal, despite the potential risk to the Cant.
- Race Lift: Ade Tukunbo was Nigerian in the books; Ade Nygaard is white in the show.
- Zero-G Spot: Ade is introduced having sex with Holden while floating several feet above their bed due to their ship's gravity.
The Executive Officer of the Canterbury.
- Does Not Like Shoes: That or....Earthy Barefoot Character. He breaks all the plant pots in his room and starts stomping on the soil barefoot. More reasonable explanation is.....he's lost his fucking mind.
- No Name Given: As befitting a cameo role.
- Sanity Slippage: Too long in space causes him to lose his sanity entirely.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Shot up his entire quarters with a revolver, and damn near shot Jim too.
A prospector and Diogo's uncle.
- Defiant to the End: After being left to die by a Martian Navy patrol ship, Mateo puts Diogo in a spacesuit and spaces him so he'll drift into an occupied ship route and be rescued, then proceeds to throw the remains of an asteroid at the ship. The Martians blow him up in retribution, but he winds up becoming a martyr for the OPA.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's only around for one episode.
A childhood friend of Miller and former member of Star Helix. In the present, he's relocated to Eros where he works as private security/dock inspector for the CPM.
- Anti-Villain: He's a ruthlessly pragmatic coward concerned with self-preservation, but he's also a genuinely decent man who is one of the few members of the CPM that isn't a "thug with a badge", and it's hard even In-Universe to claim that his methods of dealing with the protomolecule are anything but the correct course of action.
- Bait the Dog: He is a considerable improvement over the "gangsters for hire" that largely make up the CPM, and it's implied that he had to leave Ceres because he grew a conscience and crossed the wrong people. When pushed into a corner he turns out to be considerably more morally ambiguous. He's perfectly willing to kill a survivor on Eros for a mere suspicion that the guy had become infected, and wants to leave Holden and Miller behind, even pulling a gun on Naomi to try to force the Roci crew into leaving.
- Beard of Evil: Downplayed. Evil's pushing it, but he's definitely ruthless and cowardly.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He initially comes off as a very chill guy, but he's entirely willing to kill or abandon others to try to save his own skin.
- Cowboy Cop: Apparently engaged in this on Star Helix, which led to him getting fired.
- Dirty Cop: Zigzagged. He and Miller entered Star Helix to "be the boot" instead of the ass. However, in the past he apparently got fired for not toeing the line. However, he discourages Miller from making his mistake and to look out for himself. He ultimately falls back into the Dirty Cop role when he tries to take control of the Rocinante to escape Eros.
- Friend on the Force: Miller uses the connection with him to get information about what is happening on Eros, and hopes that Semi can use his connections to do things like cover up or shield Miller's involvement in various things.
- I Did What I Had to Do: When he realizes how bad the situation on Eros is, he adopts this mindset all the way. Shooting infected survivors to make sure nobody else gets infected, leaving people behind, it's all fair game.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- He kills a shady Eros civilian traveling with the group to the Roci on the mere suspicion that the man had become infected. Thing is, the guy almost certainly was really infected with the Protomolecule, and given how contagious it can be, not doing something about him would have more or less guaranteed a horrifying death for the entire group. And given the guy in question had first used a child that wasn't his to win sympathy points with the crew and then acted indifferent to the girl's fate afterwards, nobody was really inclined to speak up for the guy after Semi reveals what he did.
- Both Amos and Miller regard his attempt to force the Roci into taking off early, without Holden and Miller, as this. Is it the right thing from a moral standpoint? No. In terms of pure pragmatism and survival? Yeah, it probably is the right call. Unfortunately for him, he makes the mistake of pulling a gun on Naomi, and Amos responds by shooting him at the first opportunity.
- Kick the Dog: When he, Amos, Alex, Naomi, and a few other survivors make it back to the Roci, he wants to leave right away, giving Holden and Miller no chance to catch up, not even the time Naomi promised Holden.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: He pulls a gun on Naomi, then orders Alex and Amos to prepare for takeoff. Amos acts like he's going along with the orders, and moves behind Semi. While Semi is in the middle of lecturing Naomi about how he will go through with shooting her, Amos shoots him in the back.
- Pet the Dog: He's absolutely furious when he sees some of the gangster cops in CPM abusing civilians, and tries to put a stop to it. When one of them shoots a civilian, Semi immediately starts firing on all the CPM guys there.
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: He grows considerably morally ambiguous and pragmatic after the protomolecule breaks loose on Eros, though it's deba
- Street Urchin: According to Miller, he and Semi grew up as this, desperately scratching out a living. As Miller tells it, Sematimba was the one realized that if they didn't get in with the powers that be, they'd spend their whole lives being ground underfoot by the authorities. This set in motion them getting into Star Helix on Ceres and becoming cops.
- We Used to Be Friends: Subverted. Miller and Sematimba are still friends in the present and Miller carries no resentment for Sematimba's attempts to abandon him on Eros. In fact, Miller thinks he made the right call.
Dr. Praxidike "Prax" Meng
A Belter botanist on Ganymede Station. When Ganymede is caught in the crossfire of a Earth and Mars battle, he finds himself taken to Tycho station and begins a search to find his daughter, Mei.
- Adaptational Backstory Change: In the book series, he came to Ganymede as a child and is unfamiliar with Belter slang; in the series, he states that he was born and raised on Ganymede and speaks Belter creole just fine (in fact, it saves his life).
- Adult Fear: His daughter is being held by a group of people with dubious morals that likely want to experiment on her with a dangerous virus.
- Bait-and-Switch: Shortly after he's introduced he pulls a sealed sample container out of his pocket that emits a blue light when he checks its content, heavily suggesting he's involved in the protomolecule conspiracy one way or another. It's just a soybean sprout he was probably carrying on him as part of his job when Ganymede went to hell.
- The Chew Toy: Life is not kind to him. His daughter contracts a rare disease, he's taken millions of miles away during an attack, leaving Mei alone with a doctor who may have been using her for his own experiments. Then he watches a group of Inners get shoved out the airlock. And that's before he encounters the crew of the Rocinante.
- Deadpan Snarker: He can get very snarky when if fits the situation, like when he witnesses Holden smashing the Roci's coffee maker to pieces in a fit of rage.Prax: You should try tea.
- A Degree in Useless: Thoroughly averted. You might think an agricultural specialist has no use on a spaceship, but he rigs up multiple banks of small plants to back up the ship's air-recycling system, greatly improving the Rocinante's safety and endurance. He's also able to predict the collapse of Ganymede Station before the panic sets in, allowing Naomi time to save some people aboard the Weeping Somnambulist. Prax generally looks for ways to be useful, and is smart enough to find quite a few.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He initially sees the Roci crew as dangerous thugs who dragged him on a half-baked mission that he nonetheless needs to find Mei. In return, they consider him spineless deadweight that they're helping in order to find The Conspiracy. After saving Holden from the Hybrid, they've warmed up to each other considerably.
- Foil: To Jules-Pierre Mao. Both are scientists desperately searching for their daughters after a tragic incident, hoping for their safe return. However, Prax is a Belter without any power who nonetheless holds more of an ethical backbone than the manipulative Mao.
- Gender-Blender Name: In some sense. He's probably named after the moon Praxidike, which naturally has no biological sex. However, its namesake is a Greek goddess (or in some accounts, a facet of Persephone) of vengeance and judicial punishment, which makes it a pretty Non-Indicative Name in his case.
- Green Thumb: As a botanist, his job was to help develop new plant strains to grow in Ganymede's agricultural domes. He says that he is better with plants than with people. Aboard the Rocinante, he cobbles together a plant-based air-filtration system to ease the burden on the ship's limited air scrubber supply.
- Honorary True Companion: After everything they've been through together, it's outright stated that he's now a member of the Rocinante's crew. He however elects to go back to Ganymede to try and help rebuild it. His departure hits Amos especially hard.
- Nice Guy: Is nothing less than polite to everyone he meets. And even when he knows his daughter could be brutally tortured and experimented on, he makes the call to save Draper and Avasarala first. He's also one of the very few persons in the show, if not the only one, who never shows any of the rampant racism between Earthers, Martians and Belters.
- Non-Action Guy: Poor Prax starts out as a peaceful botanist in an agricultural colony at the ass-end of the solar system, only to be forced to take several levels in badass very quickly when events conspire against him and his family. Amos goes out of his way to teach him to use a pistol, and doesn't let Prax out of his sight when they're in danger.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Has a PhD in botany, hence his quote. Amos still calls him "Doc" and he tries to help wherever he can.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Nobody ever calls him by his (admittedly unwieldy) full name.
- Papa Wolf: When he finds his daughter's backpack, he opens fire on a room full of armed people.
- Put on a Bus: After the Time Skip in "Delta-V", he and his daughter leave for Ganymede Station to aid in the rebuilding effort.
- Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Finding and rescuing his daughter becomes more or less the sole driving force behind his actions once he learns she might still be alive. It reaches its crescendo when the team arrives on Io where it becomes clear that Prax will stop at nothing to get Mei back safe and sound.
- Science Hero: Slowly evolves into this. He's the one who masterminds a plan to lure the Hybrid out of the Roci by comparing it to his plants. He similarly uses his science know-how to improve the Roci's air filtration system, with wall-mounted trays of carbon-dioxide-absorbing plants; Amos takes to calling the trays "Prax panels".
- Self-Made Man: You could count the number of Belters who have doctorate degrees in anything on one hand. Due to living in the ass-end of the system with no rights, no money, and no empathy from anyone, it's nearly impossible for Belters to receive any kind of meaningful education outside of ships and mining. And yet, Prax built himself up as one of Ganymede's most respected scientists. The only other Belter who comes close is Naomi, who holds a few advanced degrees in engineering.
Prax's daughter, who lives with him on Ganymede.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the shit she went through, she was finally reunited with her dad and went back to Ganymede.
- Ill Girl: She has a disease that's apparently common to children being raised in the low-gravity environment on Ganymede.
- Living MacGuffin: Prax is determined to find her, which is what leads him to join the Roci's crew.
- Never Found the Body: She's presumed dead following the Ganymede incident. It's not until Prax reaches Tycho Station and studies the security footage that he learns she's still alive.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Dr. Strickland intends to feed her and the other children to the protomolecule, both to study it and to create hybrid soldiers. Fortunately, she's rescued before that happens.
- Put on a Bus: She and Prax return to Ganymede after the events of "Immolation".
Another Ganymede child who has the same genetic condition as Mei. His intentional infection with the protomolecule is shown in gruesome detail.
- Adapted Out: In the books, Katoa is part of the Mazur family; his mother (Lucia) and sister (Felcia) play significant roles in season four's Ilus story. Because Prax's interactions with the Mazurs didn't make it into the show, Katoa's relation to them is never established on-screen.
- Body Horror: Katoa both causes it and experiences it as the protomolecule takes him over. One of the first signs that an alien intelligence has touched him is that he kills an attendant and disassembles the corpse. Then, as his conversion progresses, his own body becomes entirely inhuman.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: In contrast to Mei and the other test subjects, Katoa is irreversibly infected well before the Roci gets to Io.
- The Corruption: Katoa goes through a textbook case. Mercifully, his human consciousness disappears by the time he becomes a full hybrid and gets killed by Bobbie.
- Tortured Monster: Katoa's conversion into a hybrid is stretched across several episodes, emphasizing how frightening and painful it is for him and how merciless Strickland and Mao are for putting him through it.
A young slingshot racer from Ceres out to make a name for himself and prove his love to his girl. When the Ring finishes building itself outside of Uranus's orbit, he sees his chance to make history by being the first to go through it.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: His death is easily the most gruesome the series has shown on-screen to date. Just as he enters the Ring, his ship is rapidly decelerated by the Slow Zone. His slingshotter was going at roughly 900 km/s, and in a split second was immediately decelerated to just 600 meters per second. However, the Slow Zone only affects the hull of the ship — everything inside, including Manéo himself, was still traveling at 900 km/s. The resulting, unimaginable g-force and sudden vector shift tore his body apart. Face first. All that's left of him is a flightsuit mangled by the bloody parts of his skeleton that his seatbelt managed to hold in place. In a case of very dark comedy and Memetic Mutation in the Expanse fandom, Manéo is typically associated with a red splat (like a bug on a windshield), as that's literally what the rest of him is. A calculation of the g-forces involved can range between a rough minimum of -857g if the given time of deceleration was 1s, to a maximum of a whopping -85,656g if the deceleration was at a near-instantaneous 0.01s; this leaves no wonder why that poor sap was turned to sap.
- Hot-Blooded: Even more so than your usual Belter, the man is pure undiluted testosterone.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: The Slow Zone rips his body apart right before he could finish his Badass Boast.
- Love Makes You Dumb: He flings himself into the Ring in an ill-conceived attempt to show off to his girlfriend.
- The Power of Rock: His theme song is "Highway Star." 'Nuff said.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears in a single episode, and only a couple of scenes at that, but it's his death that leads to the activation of the Ring, changing the lives of everyone in the Sol system forever.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Also counts as his Leitmotif. Whenever he's about to do something historic/reckless, he plays (and headbangs to) a badass "Belter cover" of Deep Purple's "Highway Star."
- Time-Passage Beard: He grows a long unkempt beard during his appearance, helping viewers track how long he's been in space.
- Too Dumb to Live: When you fly into an untested alien ring just to show off, you can't exactly complain about the result.