Lemminkainen Joukahainen, best known as Lem Jukes, was the son of Ukko Jukes and later the CEO of Juke Limited. He is a main character in the First Formic War Trilogy, and was first introduced in Earth Unaware.
During the events prior to the First Formic War, Lem had been put in charge of testing the glaser. The chief engineer was Richard Dublin, whom Lem replaced after little progress was made in testing the glaser.
After testing the glaser successfully on a small rock, Lem decided instead of progressing in increments like planned that he would test the glaser on a large asteroid. In order to get the job done in a quick fashion, Lem needed to bump the free miner ship El Cavador off the asteroid they were mining.
The attack on the El Cavador caused a death, which wasn't intended. During the attack the free miner crew had hacked the corporate ship, and this knowledge stressed out Lem. Later, Lem would decide to send Podolski to Weigh Station Four in order to retrieve the hacked information when El Cavador showed up to the station.
While eating at a Thai Restaurant on the station, a man named Verbatov threatened Lem because Juke Limited had caused him harm several years early. Verbatov was killed by Chubs Zimmons in order to protect Lem.
A week after leaving Weigh Station Four, the Makarhu was contacted by El Cavador's captain, Concepción Querales, requesting assistance. When Lem first received the transmission, he thought they were trying to obtain revenge for the death of their crew member; however, the real reason for contacting Lem was to ask for help in an attack on the Formic scout ship. After reviewing the information received from Concepción, Lem, Chubs, and Dr. Noloa Benyawe unanimously decided to help attack the Formics.
A vessel from the WU-HU Corporation, led by Captain Doashang, had also allied with El Cavador and the Makarhu for the attack on the Formics. The plan the three decided on was to board the Formic starship, place explosives on the hull, and hopefully leave without being spotted. The WU-HU ship was to connect with El Cavador to transport the women and children off the ship, and stay behind during the attack. Lem contacted Concepción and told her the resources he was able to give for the attack. In the same call, he confronted her about the stolen files, and was surprised when Concepción said she would delete the files with no qualms.
The attack on the Formic ship was going well until a mine went off prematurely. The attack caused the Formics to come to the surface of the ship for repairs and ended in swarms of Formics defending their ship from the crew of El Cavador and the Makarhu. Lem was on the Makarhu during the attack beside the line used to send men to the Formic ship's surface. Lem was horrified by the Formic's suicide tactics and hoped to be able to save some of his men. When four men arrived at the line, Lem ordered the line brought back to the ship; however, three Formics quickly followed and attached to the line. Chubs ordered the line to be severed to save Lems life and then ordered to leave the site of the attack, abandoning El Cavador to its destruction.
After the attack, Lem continued to follow the Formics. However, Lem was unable to contact Earth because of interference caused by the Formic ship. Lem and his colleagues tried to come up with a plan for contacting Earth or discovering a weakness of the Formics. During their brainstorming, another gamma blast from the formic ship occurred. They were able to calculate that these blasts occur every 6 hours, and that the next one would potentially destroy the Juke Limited mining asteroid Kleopatra, which is home to over seven thousand workers.
Lem had tried to save Kleopatra, but Chubs had ultimate authority from Lem's father, so Chubs ordered the Makarhu to stay behind the Formic ship in order to not risk Lem's life, revealing to Lem that he did not have ultimate authority.
Eight months later, Lem gave a speech to honor the dead of the attack on the Formic ship and the Battle of the Belt. During the speech, Lem blamed Chubs for the deaths of the people at Kleopatra by stating that they could have been saved if Chubs let them warn Kleopatra. Lem proceeded to resign as captain because of his shame, giving the official command of the Makarhu to Chubs.
Dr. Benyawe later consulted Lem about his decision, and said that there was already talk of a mutiny against Chubs. Lem had made a power play in order to obtain ultimate power as he should have had as a captain. Chubs then came in to ask Lem about the next step, but Lem let Chubs decide how he wanted to dismiss the offer as captain. After Chubs sent a recording to everyone stating he was declining the offer to become captain, Lem made a statement about how he would gladly retain the title and position of captain on the Makarhu.
Lem began consulting with Benyawe on a new design for the glaser, which would diminish the deadly effects of the quickly expanding gravity waves that resulted from firing it. However, the design was costly due to the fact it would be destroyed every single time it was used, but Lem wanted Benyawe to continue developing the design as a way to fight the Formics. During the discussion of these "shatter boxes," Chubs interrupted with news of a STASA beacon which was emitting a signal. Lem decided to investigate the signal, which would take 18 hours to retrieve and increase their travel time to Luna by 12 days.
The STASA beacon was left by Captain Dionetti, who had left information about the Formic ship and a video of 62 ships that decided to stop the Formic ship on its way to Earth. The conflict became known as the Battle of the Belt. Dionetti was also issuing a warning of peace declaring that no other ship should attack the Formic ship until its intentions were clear due to United Nations law. Lem was severely disappointed with Dionetti's stance and ordered the Makarhu to hasten for Earth.
On the way to Luna, Lem rented out the entire Last Chance station from Felix Montroose in order to send a message to his father. On the station, Lem renegotiated his rate for renting the station from Felix because the station was not in great condition. While renegotiating the rate, Victor Delgado interrupted, blaming Lem for the death of Marco. Lem was able to calm down Victor when Chubs pulled his gun out, and he realized Victor was the one that Concepciòn sent to warn Earth, so he ended up explaining what happened to his family. Lem then left to contact his father, telling him of the time he spent in space over the course of the next several hours. Ukko asked Lem to come to Luna, wanting to know the names of the men who died during the attack on the Formic ship, so he could tell their families. Lem then left the station to head to Luna.
Lem landed on Luna at the specified time by his father. When he went inside to greet Ukko, Lem witnessed a spectacle of women, media, and Juke Limited employees waiting to see him arrive back from his two year mission. After hugging his father, Lem and Ukko quickly left the building and had a discussion in the skimmer where Ukko criticized Lem on his decision making during the mission, while Lem tried to confront Ukko on diminishing Lem's command of the Makarhu. When Lem arrived at his destination, Simona greeted him after his father took him to an interview with Gun Chen. Lem felt Simona was trying to get him to promote the glaser, so he confronted her about it before trying to leave. Simona then explained that Ukko was attempting to keep the United States from attacking the Formic scout ship, so he could launch his own fleet of vanguards and glasers to destroy the threat for good media. Lem agreed to try to prevent the attack, but not by promoting the glaser, as he thought the glaser could backfire. Lem then decided to use his father's glaser mistake as a way to take over Juke Limited.
Imala Bootstamp contacted Lem Jukes, so he met Imala and Victor Delgado at the botanical gardens in the Old City to hear their offer. Lem started the conversation by issuing a legal warning to Victor, which made the beginning of the conversation bitter. Eventually, Imala got to the point and Victor and Imala explained Victor's plan to disguise a shuttle as debris in order to get close to the Formic scout ship and destroy it from the inside. Lem liked the plan and decided to fully fund it and provide facilities as long as his father was not attached. As Imala was leaving, Lem asked her to give him all the information she uncovered about the tax scandal, so he could repay all of his father's unpaid taxes.
Lem found an explosive device himself and brought it to Victor. Unfortunately, Lem did not know the range of the detonator as he did not know the composition of the Formic ship. He left as Imala suggested that she should go on the mission with Victor. Lem was fine with whatever they did as long as it would allow for the most success.
Lem arranged a meeting with Norja Ramdakan and confronted him about illegal activities with the Lunar Trade Department. Norja denied Lem's to the extent that he was personally involved, but acknowledged the scandal. Lem then asked Norja if the Juke Limited was paying off the debt, which was not possible at the moment due to a recent loss of finances, so Lem offered to pay the first tenth of the debt out of his personal fortune to help keep the company's name clean. Lem was also using the scandal as a way to climb the company's ladder and place his name as a rumor for replacing his father's position as CEO of Juke Limited.
After his meeting with Norja Ramdakan, Lem surprised his father at the factor where the vanguards and glasers were being prepared for the assault on the Formic scout ship. By surprising his father, he was able to tour the facility and witness how far they were from being ready for the assault. During that time, Lem argued with his father about whether or not they should use the glaser, as accidentally firing the glaser at Earth could risk the lives of billions, but his father refused to listen, and Lem left to see Victor and Imala's progress on the shuttle.
Victor, Imala, Benyawe, and Dublin were only a few hours away from completing the project, so Lem ordered the to start their mission as soon as possible. Lem then called Simona to ask how soon the vanguards would be complete and discovered it would take five days, which gave Victor and Imala enough time to complete the mission. Lem then stayed to watch as the decoy was placed on the shuttle and Lem and Imala left for the mission.
Lem had an interview with Unna, who asked him questions about his experience with the Formics. During the interview Lem criticized China, but Simona said the criticism would need to be edited out due to business relationships with the country. Lem then received a message from Benyawe, forcing him to quickly leave and cancel his next interview with a celebrity out of Helsinki.
When Victor and Imala arrived at the Formic scout ship, Lem decided to tell Dr. Benyawe about the impending attack that Ukko was planning against the scout ship. Benyawe criticized Lem for allowing Victor and Imala to go on the mission with such a deadly risk and apparently putting his corporate interest in front of their lives. Lem then went to investigate the factory where the vanguards and glasers were being manufactured to discover that the vanguard fleet had already been launched. Lem then interrupted his father's meeting with a U.S. State Department representative in order to discuss saving Victor and Imala's lives. Ukko did not care about their sacrifice, as more lives were at risk on Earth and dismissed Lem's plea, telling him not to warn the two as it would be better for them not to know they were going to die.
Lem decided to take Despoina, one of his father's secretaries on a date to find out information. He discovered that the Americans were trying to buy a fleet from Ukko, who asked for a high price resulting in the Americans refusing. After eating dinner with Despoina, Lem spent the night at her apartment and woke up slightly before her to check the news, where he learned that after his father attacked the Formics that they sent reinforcements to China. Despoina then woke up, offering Lem homemade hot chocolate before having a discussion about Lem's name. The two then left her apartment at separate times to get back to work.
After taking a shower, Lem noticed he had several missed calls from Benyawe and Simona, which he ignored. Simona found Lem at the launching bay of his father's headquarters later that morning, and she proceeded to take him to a skimmer, so they could go to an undisclosed location.
Simona made Lem sign a nondisclosure agreement before taking him to a room with his father. Ukko proceeded to tell Lem about the Parallax Telescopes, which Juke Limited had been using to collect information. Ukko then revealed that the WU-HU corporate ship from the attack in the Kuiper belt survived, meaning that some of Victor's family was still alive. Ukko agreed to follow through with Lem's ideas for taking on the Formics, as he had been more successful.
Lem decided to go to lunch with Norja Ramdakan in an attempt to influence him. During the meal, Norja explained his disagreement with Ukko's reckless decision to attack the Formic scout ship due to their plummeting stocks. Lem agreed and explained to him a method in which the company could make money by essentially renting out Juke Limited ships such as the Makarhu as a defensive shield for various countries. Norja saw the possible profit in Lem's idea and decided to propose it to the board. Before leaving, Norja also warned Lem against any play in overtaking the company due to several board members opposing him and the thought of Lem being seen as a shadow of his father.
Lem then went back to see Benyawe, who had made progress developing the shatter boxes and displayed a working test of the devices to Lem. Lem decided that the shatter boxes should be used the arm the defensive shield he proposed to Norja and told Benyawe to begin development on the shatter boxes quickly. Lem then held a private conversation with Benyawe to discuss Victor and Imala. Benyawe expressed her opinion of how they should have acted, which made Lem question his actions before leaving.
Lem then went back to his apartment. While reading a message from Despoina, who wanted him to come over for lemon chicken for dinner, Lem was ambushed by Victor, who had a gun. Victor directed Lem to sit on the sofa in the other room where Imala was. Victor and Imala questioned Lem about the Vanguard attack and Lem's lack of communication. Lem then asked if he could question Victor and Imala about the Formics, and discovered that Victor had formulated a new plan to destroy the Formic scout ship. Lem tried to convince Victor that he was trustworthy enough to finance the second mission since he was their best option. Since he was unsuccessful in convincing Victor that he was trustworthy, Lem told Victor that his mother was alive. 
When Victor discovered that his mother was aboard the salvaging ship Gagak, Lem and Imala had to comfort Victor's fears that the Somalians his mother was with were bad people. Lem then used his resources to learn that the Gagak was located near the asteroid Themis. Lem helped Victor set up an account and paid for the laserline access, so Victor could e-mail his mother.
Lem was looking for mercenary options in case the Mobile Operations Police did not agree to help them attack the Formic ship. Despoina disagreed with him, believing the MOPs were the only option as they were honorable. Despite wanting to break up with Despoina, Lem kissed her during their conversation right before Imala entered the room to tell him that Wit O'Toole had called in. Lem then left, but as he was leaving Despoina told him to be nice to her when they broke up.
Lem then went to the call with Wit where he told the MOPs about Victor and Imala's plan to attack the Formic ship, by using cocoon-shaped ships which would be disguised. Lem then said that they could provide passage to Luna for the MOPs without a problem if they decided to come. Wit agreed that the idea was good but could not affirm that the MOPs would agree to help them until his unit had debated over the issue.
After Lem recieved confirmation that the MOPs accepted the mission, he told everyone who was working at the workshop. Everyone then celebrated for a short period of time before getting back to work. Lem then contacted Despoina and told her to meet him for dinner at an Italian restaurant.
Lem then had a meeting with Norja Ramdakan. Norja warned Lem about the board's concerns in preserving the technology on the Formic scout ship. Norja also told Lem that they were worried about Imala and Victor consulting with lawyers over the rights of what they would find on the ship. Lem dismissed Ramdakan's worries through jokes.
Lem then encountered Simona, who had a camera crew with her to film the facilities. Lem was angry and told Simona they could not film there, and Simona agreed. Simona then gave Lem information that informed him that Despoina had been spying on Lem while they were dating. Lem was infuriated and planned on contacting the police to pin Despoina for a crime. He then programmed a message that would be sent to Despoina two days later, when she was hopefully sent back to Earth.
When the MOPs arrived on Luna, Lem and Victor greeted them and introduced them to the workers who prepared the equipment for a mission. Lem and Victor then took the MOPs to some lawyers, so Juke Limited would not be responsible if any of the MOPs were harmed. After Ukko addressed the MOPs, they then went to the Valas, where Victor explained the mission and prepared the MOPs over the next several days.
Lem watched the infilitration of the Formic ship from the Valas, while ZZ, Bolshakov, and Cocktail died. A technician then informed Lem that the Formics were retreating to the Formic landers on Earth. Lem and the technician noted that the Formics started retreating as soon as the scout ship was neutralized. At this moment, Lem realized that Victor's theories were right about the Formics communicating mind to mind. Lem was then notified that some of the Formic transports were headed to space toward the Formic scout ship. Lem then ordered the defensive shield of Juke ships to not allow a single ship pass. He headed for his own fighter.
While fighting the Formics above Earth, Lem realized he was not a great shot and had only survived because he was a smaller threat, but he still took out several fighters with the shatter boxes. One Formic fighter that was on his tail for a while was killed by Chubs in the Makarhu, saving Lem's life.
Lem contacted Victor to warn them that the Formic landers were headed back to the ship, and the defensive shield of ships were dealing no damage. Lem had by that point called in all shield defense ships and any other ships near Luna that wanted to help in the fight. When the Formics started releasing transports and skimmers from the second lander after the first one was destroyed, Lem offered everyone 5 million credits for who ever destroyed the most ships. During the second wave of attack, Lem watched as the Makarhu was destroyed.
Lem visited Victor in the infirmary after the battle and offered him a job working with Benyawe. Victor declined, as he wanted to work with his family. Lem also notified Victor that all charges on him and Imala had been dropped. Victor asked if Imala would be hired, but Lem said no as his father had offered her a job earlier. During the conversation, Imala entered and Lem left shortly thereafter, telling Imala to talk some sense into Victor.
Lem then went to see his father after he discovered vids of him planning and fighting against the Formics. When he saw Ukko, Lem learned that Simona had been fired and replaced because she had been in love with Lem. Ukko revealed to Lem that Despoina had not actually betrayed him and that was a trap he set to reveal Simona's loyalties. Lem was furious. Ukko then revealed to Lem that he was giving the company to Lem, and Lem understood why once Secretary General Silva announced that his father would become the first Hegemon. After the announcement to Earth about the International Fleet, Lem confirmed that he was willing to become the new CEO of Juke Limited as it became a ship manufacturer.
Lem sent a final apology to Victor through holomessage, informing Victor and Imala that he had provided them with all the materials necessary to outfit the Gagak to be a mining vessel.
Three years later, Lem was in a meeting with the other executives of Juke Limited. Lem listened as Serge spoke about an ongoing dispute with the European Ironworks Union. Lem then embarrassed Serge by pointing out a way he should have solved the problem, causing Serge to admit that he should not have mentioned the dispute at the meeting. Lem then listened as several other directors made their presentations before telling Koshimi to sit down in the middle of his presentation. Lem then addressed the board on the destruction of Copernicus, which had been built by Juke Limited. Lem believed that Juke Limited had to come up with the solutions to problems such as Copernicus before the problem presented itself with no solution. After the meeting, Ramdakan approached Lem because Lem had scared all the executives and embarrassed Serge, and the company could not lose any more board members. Lem and Norja agreed that Lem should find a way to elevate Serge back to a respectful light in the mind of the other board members.
Lem then went to go see Serge, giving him the task to find information on why Ukko Jukes had been recruiting scientists from Juke Limited for the Hegemony. Serge agreed to the task, and before Lem left, Serge sincerely told Lem that he believed it was Juke Limited's role to win the war for the International Fleet by creating technology.
Lem then went to a daily holo meeting with Dr. Dublin, who again reported that his team had no success in breaching the hull of the Formic scout ship. Dublin then suggested that Lem should release all of Juke Limited's information on the hull in order to allow people on Earth to come up with a solution despite competitors like Gungsu Industries being able to use the information. After his meeting with Dublin, Lem visited Dr. Benyawe who had been working on a structural integrity problem for a ship in The Belt. Lem and Benyawe discussed the hull of the Formic ship, as Lem saw it as a failure. Lem and Benyawe finally decided on offering an overtime reward for whoever discovered an effective weapon against the Formics and to fire anyone who was not willing to help. Lem also decided to take Dublin's suggestion and give the world access to information on the Formic hull.
Lem went to the Experimental Defense Division several days later to discover that Benyawe had hired nearly 300 new employees, all of which came from Earth. However, Benyawe convinced Lem that the cost of the employees was worth it because her division made the company the most money with the smallest amount of resources. Benyawe then showed Lem a new technology called the NanoCloud. The concept of the NanoCloud impressed Lem, as it would breach Formic ships by making use of openings that were already present.
After meeting with Benyawe, Lem received an e-mail from Victor about Asteroid 2030CT, which revealed that the Formics were already in the solar system. Lem immediately went to his father's penthouse in the Old Town in order to give him the information. Lem gave his father all the information that Victor gave him about the asteroid before his father tried to dismiss him. Lem interrupted him, asking for a simple conversation that ended with Lem speculating about the existence of an instantaneous communications system.
Later, Lem met with Serge in an abandoned warehouse in Imbrium. Serge gave Lem the information he had found out about the Ansible, a device that instantaneously transmitted communication across any distance. Lem was wary due to his father's threat of capital punishment if he inquired into it. Serge continued to inform Lem on the inner workings of the Ansible device, its history, and how he had discovered the information. Lem was furious at Serge's methods of obtaining the information, but they were interrupted by an International Fleet SWAT team pouring through the warehouse's doors. A woman from the team handcuffed Serge and announced that he had been drafted into the International Fleet, taking him away.
Ukko Jukes entered the warehouse, informing Lem that his angry response to Serge's methods saved him from being drafted into the Fleet. He gave Lem a warning not to spread any information on the Ansible, saying that he would be immediately drafted if he even mentioned the device. Lem asked if he would have been drafted regardless if he wasn't Ukko's son, but the Hegemon did not answer and left Lem there.
During a lunch meeting with some dignitaries, Lem received a message on his wrist pad, which wasn't supposed to alert him unless the message was of importance. Ignoring it for the time being, Lem discussed the financial management of the Hegemony and Juke Limited with the various officials at the meeting. However as soon as they began to talk about the failure of the Gravity Disruptor from Gungsu Industries, Lem's wrist pad alerted him again, prompting him leave for a moment. Checking his wrist pad, he saw that the message was from his father, informing him ahead of an official announcement that all seven of the remaining Parallax Telescopes had been destroyed at the same time.
After realizing the depth of this attack, Lem composed himself and returned to the lunch table, asking to talk with Norja Ramdakan for a moment. While discussing the recent development, Lem realized that the only thing the Fleet could do was conduct a preemptive strike on the Formic warships. He discussed this with Norja, who after awhile decided to return to the lunch meeting. Lem left the building and returned to his office, where he was greeted by his assistant who alerted him of a message from Captain Franz Nikula. Lem watched the holo, which explained that after traveling to the location of the asteroid, they saw that the KBO was not there. The crew of the Gungnir investigated the area, finding smaller fragments of the rock and concluded that the asteroid had been blown apart two weeks prior to their arrival with explosives.
Checking his email, Lem discovered a message from Edimar Querales, who introduced herself and informed him that Victor had been conscripted into the International Fleet, making it impossible for him to share information with people outside of the I.F. She provided him with a link to a site with information on what Victor had found during his exploration of Asteroid 2030CT, asking him to pass it along to Ukko and the press.
While reading the email, Mazer Rackham entered his office along with Prem Chamrajnagar, and introduced her to the CEO. Mazer showed Lem a 3D model of a suit that Victor had designed, asking Juke Limited to develop it. Lem agreed to produce the suits for the asteroid strike team.
Lem sent an e-mail to Victor Delgado, congratulating Victor on his recent marriage. Lem also informed Victor about Ukko Juke's plan to divide the International Fleet above and below the epileptic in order to attack the Formics, while leaving a majority of the fleet behind to protect Earth. In the e-mail, Lem discussed the fact that the Formic asteroids were easy to destroy, due to the hydrogen and oxygen atmosphere. However, the Formic microorganisms could recreate the shell that surrounded the asteroid within days.
Once a follow-up to the original NanoCloud had been created, Lem and Benyawe headed to the Formic Scout Ship from the First Formic War to test the second iteration. Lem tried being friendly with Benyawe, who did not enjoy his humor. Benyawe then described the science behind the NanoCloud by stating that the NanoCloud would essentially unwind the fibers that make up the Formic hull.
A day and a half later, the shuttle approached the Formic Scout ship. Aboard the ship, Dublin introduced Lem to Wilasanee Saowaluk, who inspired the current theory for how the Formic ship hull was formed. Dublin proceeded to take Lem, Benyawe, and Wila to the testing location, where they would test the NanoCloud 2.0. The group then had to enter a safety area to test the nano technology, which did not work because the silicon casing around the nanobots prevented the signal from activating them. After creating a new temporary solution for launching the nanobots, the scientists tried once again to test the new iteration of the technology. At first the nanobots did not appear to work, but after waiting a little longer than expected the nanobots effectively tore apart the hull of the Formic ship.
When Lem was first introduced, he was a selfish and egotistical man who thought of himself as better than other people. However, as the story progressed he gradually became more mature and caring. On multiple instances, he put his own safety and security at risk for the lives of his crew and friends. Other people like Victor Delgado noticed this change and trusted him more as a result. He is also shown to be quite relaxed in his way of speaking. He jokes around with his remarks and quips quite often, but is serious when needed.
- Known email addresses:
- His unnamed mother is mentioned twice:
- Earth Afire p. 42: "Mother had always said that were he not the heir to the largest astroid-mining fortune in the solar system, he could have had a career on stage. Lem found that amusing; Mother was always thinking so small. The stage was for the pretentious and unattractive, all those who didn't have a face for the vids.”
- Earth Unaware p. 262-263: "Lem paused at the door. 'I'm not a monster, Victor. I know I may appear that way to you after everything I've done, but I'm trying to make things right here. Besides, I have a mother, too, you know.' Lem laughed sadly. 'I haven't spoken to her since I was five years old. She abandoned me and my father. She's a despicable person. I can't stand the thought of her. But I see what you feel for your mother, and I envy that."
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Earth Awakens
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Earth Unaware
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Earth Afire
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 The Swarm