|Books character||TV character|
Josephus "Joe" Aloisus Miller, known primarily by his last name, is a detective working on the Ceres station security firm, Star Helix Security.
Miller has a "sad basset hound face" and was rarely seen without his porkpie hat.
Miller is a Belter born on Ceres, where he lived in an apartment on the eighth level; he had only been off the station four times in his life. He had an ex-wife named Candace; they had been divorced for about two and a half years. He was a Methodist many years ago, but in his later years he mostly drank.
The first time Miller killed anyone was in his third year working security. He'd been twenty-two, just married, talking about having kids. The call had been from an illegal restaurant almost at the mass center. It happened fast. The perp had come out of the hole with a gun in one hand, dragging a woman by the hair with the other. Miller's partner, a ten year veteran named Carson, had shouted out the warning. The perp had turned, swinging the gun out at arms length like a stuntman in a video. Killing another human was supposed to be hard. The gun came around; the gunman dropped the woman and shouted. It turned out that, for Miller at least, it wasn't that hard.
Years ago, Miller and Sematimba of Eros, coordinated a particular ugly case. A smuggler with cargo of designer euphorics had broken with his supplier. Three people on Ceres had been caught in the crossfire, and the smuggler had shipped out for Eros. The traditional competitiveness and insularity of the stations' respective security forces had almost let the perp slip away. Only Miller and Sematimba had been willing to coordinate outside the corporate channels.
Eros incident EditMiller's primary assignment on Ceres station was looking into the
disappearances of the local organized crime such as the Golden Bough's, Sohiro's crew, and Loca Greiga. Additionally, when Ariadne and Jules-Pierre Mao wanted to find their estranged daughter Julie Mao, who was last known to live on Ceres Station, they turned to Star Helix Security, where Jules-Pierre owned shares. Captain Shaddid of Star Helix gave Miller the task of tracking down Julie and shipping her home to Luna as an off-the-record kidnap job.
Later, Miller is called by the barman of the Blue Frog, Hasini. Dimitri Havelock, Miller's partner was seemingly looking for a fight. Miller arrives at the bar and after a conversation with Dimitri the two make their way to another bar, The Blue Frog. The partners joined with their coworkers and began having a good night when Captain Shaddid contacted all of the security officers in the bar and briefed them on the message James Holden released after the Canterbury's destruction.
Afraid that the OPA agents on Ceres would seize the opportunity to incite a riot, Star Helix set armed forces to patrol the station, armed with SWAT gear because the riot gear was mysteriously missing. Miller got command of the second team to cover sectors thirteen through twenty-four on port level, where he successfully broke up a mob by ordering his team to shoot the instigator in the legs.
While investigating the Julie Mao case, Miller looked through her private correspondence in her empty apartment and discovered that her parents seemed to be aware of the coming hostilities in the Belt before it happened. Although Captain Shaddid told him to ignore this, Miller found it suspicious. He also found evidence that Julie had joined the OPA. When another unrelated case seemed to implicate the OPA in taking over the missing crime syndicates' business, Miller stopped by the OPA pub and talked to Anderson Dawes, who claimed the OPA was not involved in the criminal shakedowns.
Miller became obsessed with the Julie Mao case, and even started imagining having conversations with her while investigating her case. Julie had been on an OPA mission on the Scopuli, the ship that was used as bait for the Canterbury when it was destroyed, Miller was even more intrigued, but Dawes told him to stay off the case. Shaddid also told him to drop the case when he confronted her with the new leads. When he ignored that, he was reprimanded by his captain and Dawes together, revealing that the OPA and Shaddid were in league. After the meeting, his new partner Octavia Muss told Miller that he was the station's joke, and that he'd been given the Mao case to keep him busy. Miller started drinking more heavily.
When the Martian ship the Donnager was destroyed, the United Nations withdrew from governing Ceres, assuming the Belt was the culprit. Shaddid, now responsible of keeping the peace while the local government transferred its power to the OPA, felt she couldn't trust Miller, and fired him. Dawes had, however, divulged the fact that Holden had been on the Donnager and survived. Before Miller lost his access codes, he managed to query the docking logs for ships that plausibly could have escaped the Donnager, looking for the ship that had carried Holden off.
Holden and his crew of the Rocinante had in the meantime been invited to the safety of the OPA's headquarters on Tycho Station by Fred Johnson. While there, Johnson received a distress call from Eros, originating from a crewmember of the Scopuli. The Rocinante was disguised as a gas freighter and sent to Eros to investigate. With the help of his former partner Havelock, Miller tracked the ship there and, still set to find Julie, spent some of his last money to get to Eros.
Miller arrived on Eros before Holden and his crew, and followed them to the flophouse from which the distress signal had been sent. There, a death squad ambushed Holden, but with the help of Miller they held them off. Thanks to his old friend Sematimba, Miller and the crew of the Roci were able to avoid going to jail. Together they found the mutated body of Julie Mao, who had written down the location of the asteroid where the ship that attracted the Scopuli was. Meanwhile, a nuclear explosion on Eros put the station in lockdown. The new security force who had taken over Eros from Protogen not long before, Carne Por la Machina, started ushering the population to radiation shelters. Miller recognized one of the security officers as a former criminal on Ceres, and deduced that they were carrying the riot gear that had been stolen from Star Helix.
Miller and Holden decided to investigate the situation while the rest of the crew hid. Forcing a CPM security officer to open one of the already full radiation shelters, they discovered that all the refugees had been gassed unconscious, and that there was heavy radiation inside, but not before they both got dosed by a heavy dose of radiation themselves. With only hours to live, they managed to shoot their way through the security forces and the infected people from the radiation shelters who were turning into "vomit zombies", and escape to the Rocinante. With radiation sickness, a gunshot wound and a broken arm, Miller barely survived, lying in the sick bay with Holden for several days while the Rocinante travelled to the location of the asteroid Julie had written down.
En route, the crew discovered that data they brought from the Donnager implicated Earth ships in its destruction. Holden immediately broadcast the data to the public, like he had done with the information about the Canterbury's destruction. This led to a disagreement between Holden and Miller, the former believing that information should be free so the public could draw its own conclusions, while the latter believed that the public is bound to reach incorrect conclusions and that detective work is needed in order to not broadcast potentially false and disastrous accusations.
Arriving at asteroid BA834024112, the crew of the Roci found the Anubis, the Protogen ship that had boarded the Scopuli. Aboard the ship they found the bodies of the crew in a late stage of protomolecule-infection, a video of Antony Dresden explaining Protogen's plans, and communication logs. Upon returning to the Roci, Miller attributes UN ships destroying MCRN ships above Mars to Holden's releasing of the information of the origin of the stealth ships being from Earth. On their trip back to Tycho, Naomi theorizes that the protomolecule wasn't "smart" enough and needed more biomass.
Arriving at Tycho, Holden and Miller meet with Fred. Fred goes over their after action report and they discuss that the only way to stop Protogen is to find their research lab and to kill them. Again, with his former partner Havelock's help from inside Protogen, used the communication logs to find the location of Protogen's secret laboratory Thoth Station. Miller calls another meeting with Holden, Naomi, and Fred. Before Miller gives over the coordinates to Thoth, he wants to ensure Fred has the ability to see the mission done correctly. After some interrogation it is revealed to Miller that Fred is Fred Anderson the Butcher of Anderson Station. After demanding to be put on the assault team he hands over the coordinates.
Miller was part of the OPA assault crew on the Guy Molinari during the battle at Thoth station. Miller befriends a young OPA soldier, Diogo, and with the rest of the assault team are able to fight their way to ops. Once their Miller meets Dresden and calls Fred to meet him. Once Fred and the crew of the Rocinate arrive, Dresden begins to explain the Protomolecule and Protogen's involvement. Miller eventually hears enough of Dresden and shoots him in the head much to everyone's surprise. Holden begins yelling at Miller, telling him to find his own way home. Only Fred shows no reaction. Miller latter helps with the occupation and control phase of Thoth Station due to his experience with crowd control.
Miller returns to Tycho and stays with Diogo. There he tries to stretch his money as much as possible even after having been paid by Fred for his time on Thoth. His tenth day back he goes to a bar and meets one of Diogo's friends. He shows Miller the feed of Eros and what the protomolecule is doing. Later he sees Naomi and Amos at a bar and buys them drinks much to their discomfort. Once Naomi leaves, Amos tells him that Holden doesn't trust him anymore due to Miller killing too many people too quickly without talking things over first. Miller later shows up at Holden's cabin. He explains to Holden why he shot Dresden, he thought he would get way with it. Dresden was beginning to convince Miller and he couldn't be allowed to get out of it with he and Protogen being too powerful. Holden tells him that he can't trust Miller to be around the people he cares about and Miller leaves.
In need of a job Miller interviews for a security guard position at Tycho, but he is turned down for being overqualified. He is asked why he didn't put his last job on his resume which to Miller's surprise he realizes was the OPA. He then goes to Fred Johnson who after much thought hires him as an independent security consultant. They discuss how to handle the Eros situation. Miller advises to crash the Nauvoo into Eros hard enough to knock the station into the sun. The next day Fred calls Holden and Naomi to his office where Miller briefs them on their plan to destroy Eros. The Roci will defend Eros while engineers will attach five freighters to explode on the surface to deter anyone from landing while the Nauvoo makes it's way to crash it into the sun. With Holden and the Roci going back into combat Fred demands that he turn over the protomolecule sample he has. Holden refuses and when Fred presses the issue Holden calls Amos and tells him if he doesn't contact him in an hour to take the Roci and leave shooting his way out if he has to. Under Miller's advisement, Fred relents.
Once on Eros, Miller supervises the attaching of the ships to the station. Once complete, Miller alerts Diogo that he is staying with the station until the end. He then goes to one of the ships turned bomb and falls asleep waiting on the Nauvoo. After he wakes up he leaves the ship and stands atop the docking bay waiting to watch the Nauvoo to hit. As he waits he hears the station yell "DON'T YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME" shortly before the station dodges the incoming ship.
Afterwards Holden contacts him where Holden learns he's still on the station. Miller then decides to proceed into the station with the bombs and detonate them himself, destroying whatever is coordinating the ship. Amos and Naomi then send him a dead man's switch in the event something happens to him. Before entering the station, he contacts Holden, who had been working on a way to get him off, for what they think will be the last time. The two finally reconcile before Miller entering the abyss.
Traveling through Eros, Miller realizes that station is getting its information from somewhere such as the location of Earth. He realizes after hearing the station talk about the Razorback that the protomolecule is using Julie Mao. He then opens up a channel to Holden. He tells Holden to call off the UN nukes and that he can negotiate with Julie and convince her to not attack Earth. Holden refuses but agrees to attempt to stall them long enough for Miller to find her.
After searching for thirty-three hours, Miller finally finds Julie. Her body had changed dramatically from the protomolecule but her face stayed somewhat the same and she was still breathing. Miller shakes her gently to wake her up. Realizing they've never actually met Miller introduces himself. He is able to convince her to change course to Venus at Holden's suggestion. As they talk Miller takes off his suit and gives himself to Julie and the protomolecule telling her they'll be fine.
- See also: The Investigator
Following the Eros Incident, an element of the protomolecule seeking to establish a connection with the Ring network creates an artificial intelligence tool to investigate why it cannot connect. This appears to Jim Holden in the form of Miller as a hallucination only he can see. The Miller/investigator construct communicates to Holden through inert protomolecule crystals left by the Ganymede hybrid on the Roci. After the Slow Zone Incident, The Investigator is better able to communicate to Holden, insisting they explore the newly found solar systems in The Ring Network to discover the truth about what happened to the protomolecules creators.
At Ilus / New Terra, one of the many habitable worlds now accessible through the Ring Network, the Investigator eventually convinces Holden to go explore an alien complex on the world, seeking out the "magic bullet" that apparently destroyed his long-dead masters, a stretch of nothingness that blocks out The Investigator's probing and makes the protomolecule-made things he throws at it inert or dead. It turns out to be a sphere of black with a sharp, radiating edge, that is visually indetectable to Miller and other automatons of the protomolecule, and can only be sensed by being a dark absence in the vast, hive-mind network. With the help of Elvi Okoye, a biologist from an Earth-based land-claim mission sent to Ilus, The Investigator is able to both probe the "bullet" and disable Ilus' planetary defenses that came online with the arrival of colonists and threatened to kill every human that came to the planet.
After Ilus, Holden, now free of the hallucinations but still uneasy with having bits of the protomolecule on his ship, resolves to finding the small part left behind by the hybrid in the Cargo hold of the Roci. Sealing the remaining scrape of the protomolecule in a probe and launching it at Ilus' sun, he gives a heartfelt farewell to Miller.
- Miller is based on a RPG character who was also a detective on Ceres Station played by Daniel Abraham in a RPG game run by Ty Franck.