Treasure in the Core is a space adventure webcomic by Catrina Dennis. The story follows the exploits of Captain Natalia Cordero and her unintentionally-crafted crew as they try to right the wrongs of their past. It contains a diverse cast led by women of color, and is available to read for free on Webtoons, Tapas, and this here website that you’re on right now.
THE STORY SO FAR
Something very, very bad happened six years ago, but if you asked Natalia Cordero what that thing was, you’d receive little more than a sharp glare and a scoff. While the former pirate apprentice may have had her glory days, her current situation is mundane and quiet for a reason. Unfortunately, with the change in lifestyle came a major attitude change, leaving Cordero lethargic, short-tempered, and generally unpleasant to be around.
This has affected her performance at her current job as a cargo runner for Bana, a friend of her old Captain who took her in when she needed to be hidden. After losing too much cargo and ticking off one too many clients, Cordero is called to Bana’s office and given an ultimatum: complete the next job -- and every job after it -- without complications, or face the sad fate of being homeless in outer space.
However reluctantly, Cordero accepts. Her friend Olive Hark, who works as a mechanic at Bana’s hangar, tags in as a crewmate for the ride, and the two are tasked with escorting a young royal named Anzo safely back to his home planet. While it’s a higher-level mission than the two friends were expecting, it’s not that complicated -- until it suddenly is.
Unbeknownst to Cordero, more than one person is after her crew. A bounty hunter eagerly awaits an opening to attack and take the Prince; a law enforcement prodigy is aiming to capture and imprison the last of a forgotten pirate crew. But underneath all of that, a secret treasure rests with Cordero in a place she least expects, and discovering it could change the galaxy forever.
NEW BONUS CONTENT!
Read about Lana Crusoe's final sacrifice in this short story that takes place five years before Treasure in the Core.
MEET THE CAST
Once lively and ready to take over as the Captain of a legendary pirate vessel, she has stopped caring about her quality of life, right down to whether or not she actually completes her job assignments correctly.
In what seems like a final effort to overpower her traumas (and also save her job), Cordero has accepted a mission to escort Prince Anzo back to his home planet of Kah’luhr, unaware of the danger that awaits her.
Olive is a bright and cheerful young genius who loves working on ships and building robots. Friendly, smart and outgoing, Olive perfectly balances the doom and gloom that comes with Cordero’s presence.
Olive is one of the few people who knows what happened to Cordero. The young mechanic, after all, has secrets of her own -- and a secret to uncover that could crush her good heart forever.
The heir to the royal throne of Kah’luhr. He’s made a name for himself when it comes to his lavish travels and often large soirees. Anzo prefers being outside of the palace and away from his royal duties, which is what led him to being in need of an escort back home after causing his exasperated personal pilot to quit.
Now traveling with Cordero and Olive, the pampered Prince is unaware of the bounty on his head, much less who placed it there.
Bana has seen some stuff. With years over and beyond many of their subordinates, Bana has a long, complicated history that involves crossing paths with Teleraan Scarow, Cordero’s former mentor and a notorious pirate himself.
Bana not only rescued Cordero from a dire situation -- they also took Olive in, thanks to their soft spot for abandoned kids. Bana has a large family of their own back home, but rarely brings them up with colleagues.
The Kinnian Operative Vehicle Artificial Intelligence Program, nicknamed VAI, is actually just a microchip inside of an old bomb canister with a few handy modifications, including the ability to float, and functional arms.
VAI’s chip can be removed from the canister and plugged into almost any kind of spaceship -- from there, VAI take’s over the ship’s core, reprogramming it and extracting all information from the ship’s records for safe keeping.
The final member of Teleraan Scarow's crew to fall. Lana was Scarow's right-hand woman and Cordero's first love. She was a tactical and mechanical genius, planning attacks with Scarow while developing tech from the riches they'd plundered (like VAI, which she crafted from an old galactic navy bomb that had never detonated).
Lana is the reason Cordero is alive today, and that, of course, haunts the Captain more than she'd like to admit.
ABOUT THE CREATOR
Catrina Dennis is a writer and not much of an artist who lives in Los Angeles. When she isn’t working on this story, she’s either writing others on her blog or slinging headlines as part of ComicBook.com’s WWG news team. Catrina has been writing for ages and has been of science fiction for even longer; her editorial work has been featured on Syfy.com and the official Star Wars blog, along with several other awesome fan-focused outlets.
Whenever she’s not buried in work, Catrina enjoys traveling, playing video games, reading, and devising plans to get off-planet and into space as soon as possible.
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