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“These are your final orders. You will launch your pod. You will make planetfall. You will survive. You will return to the fleet. And you will find out what happened here. Is that clear?”

The HEL Jumper is an online web serial novel written by Reddit user /u/SabatonBabylon. It follows the adventures of HEL Jumper 1st Lieutenant Russell Winters on planet Mara. After an accident destroys his ship, The Lancer, he is the only human alive within lightyears. After making planetfall, he meets a native sapient lifeform named Veera. Marooned on an alien world, Winters must use everything at his disposal to improvise, adapt, overcome, and survive.

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HEL Jumper contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Veera qualifies once she explode's a raider's torso with a gun and trains with the guards.
  • Adult Fear: Veera can cause quite a lot of these. In the beginning she is a starving orphan who has been outcast from the village.
  • A.K.A.-47: Winters' guns have been the subject of much debate, as they are not fully described in the story proper. This does not stop readers from debating which space version of a modern gun he uses.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Alien civilizations must meet certain criteria in order for them to qualify for uplift, the civilization found on Mara is quite a ways from that point.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Averted, as The Lancer was looking for planets that harbored Earth-like life.
  • Ascended Meme: A fan nickname for Veera, "Feather Kitten" is now in the story proper, as a pet name Russell gives her, and as official merchandise.
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  • Artificial Intelligence: Each HEL Jumper is partnered with a VI, or "Virtual Intelligence". A VI is a non-sentient general A.I. who's job is to assist their HEL Jumper in completing their mission. (E.G. steering the drop pod, monitoring sensors and vital signs, Etc.) While VIs are given names and personalities in order to make the HEL Jumpers more receptive to their assistance. VIs are strictly non-sentient by law due to the risk of a true (sapient) A.I. turning evil.
  • The Berserker:
  • Boldly Coming: Winters the human and Veera the cauthan eventually decide to join at the hip, in chapter 69 to boot.
  • Cat Folk: Cauthans are feline-like humanoids with feathers on their heads, like hair. The male's have scales on their forearms, where the females have feathers on them.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Antoth walks in on Winters and Veera just after they finish in chapter 70. Averted when Veera walks in on a non-sexual intimate moment between Antoth and Ratha.
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  • The Dragon Slayer: Less "dragon", and more giant alien bear.
  • Drop Pod: Winters' entry pod is a drop pod played straight.
  • The Hero: Winters both sees himself as this and is this.
  • Loser Protagonist: Veera definitely counts as this. She is very poor and lives in a run down home, she is malnourished, and a complete social outcast, all through no fault of her own.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Lancer is able to travel faster than light via using another dimension.
  • First Contact: Winters is the first human to make contact with the people of Mara.
  • First Contact Faux Pas: Winters almost immediately breaks the established first contact protocol by revealing himself to the village. The Ghalen also make first contact by hovering over the UN building in a very familiar fashion.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Veera's father was a respected member of the village, her mother was a part of a nomadic tribe. (It doesn't help that Veera gets most of her looks from her mother.)
  • Hates Everyone Equally: An apt description of Ratha.
  • Heart Warming Orphan: Veera. Both her parents are long gone and she will melt your heart.
  • Humanity Is Advanced: Humans have basic FTL travel, drop pods, and have met an advanced alien species.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Sort of. The race that uplifted the humans, the Ghalen, never have fought a war.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: The perspective will occasionally shift away from Winters, giving the reader a glance into the psychology of the people of Mara.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Applies to both Winters and Veera, the dorks.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Due to some illegal modifications to Io by The Lancer's mechanic, Shifty, she goes from non-sapient VI to full fledged sapient AI.
  • Irrational Hatred: Ratha gives Veera an especially hard time. The reason for this is that she was in love with Veera's father, and Veera is a constant reminder of what she could never have.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Literally and figuratively. Winters' Aegis II armor is white and metal, and Winters' driving goal is to protect others, with his life if necessary.
  • Mating Dance: Female Cauthans will dance for or with their partners at the harvest festival. It can be formal or slightly more sensual.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: The fauna of planet Mara range from something akin to dumb tigers, to a giant space bear!
  • No Antagonist: There is no real antagonist in HEL Jumper.
  • Praetorian Guard: Vash, the sun priest, has two elite guards. They still don't pose a threat to a trained human fighter, though.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Humanity is kind of this, the Ghalen are Obstructionist Pacifists, and via treaties have leveraged humanity into a kind of Space Police, forcefully stopping any riots or wars that arise in other alien species. Winters remarks that while their stopping the violence, they're not solving what caused it in the first place, meaning they're just moving the problem into the future.
  • Romance Arc: Basically the entire story. It's not just Winters and Veera though, Zolta and Asha pair up, as do Antoth and Ratha.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Both played straight and averted. The reason The Lancer is destroyed is that it came in too close to the sun. Winters then gets in a fairly small drop pod and lands on a planet about 1 AU from this sun. Either The Lancer never could get close to a sun, or the drop pod travels unreasonably far. However this is also averted in that it will take at least a year for Earth to know that The Lancer is missing.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Also an apt description of Ratha.
  • Space Marine: That is a very apt job description of a HEL Jumper's job.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: The Lancer is shaped like a spear tip.
  • Supporting Leader: Antoth is the captain of the guard and often helps Russell with protection of the village.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Veera after recovering from her earlier starvation becomes a complete badass, even joining the guard.
  • Tsundere:
  • The Xenophile: Winter's first instincts are to try and make friends with the people he meets, regardless of who they are.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Ratha. That is all.
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