Warehouse of the Wondrous and the Weird
Doctor Lain Rester
Haunted Robot Programmer
Aesthetic: 20XX Robotics
Axioms: Automata 4, Epikrato 1, Exilexi 3
Wonders: Protopad, Polymer Gauntlet, “Rock”
Intelligence 5 | Strength 1 | Presence 2
Wits 2 | Dexterity 2 | Manipulation 2
Resolve 3 | Stamina 3 | Composure 3
Skills: Academics 2, Computer (AI) 4, Crafts 2, Investigation 2, Medicine (Pharmaceuticals) 5, Science 1, Firearms 1, Larceny 1, Stealth 3, Survival 2, Empathy (Cognitive Behavioural) 4, Persuasion 2
Merits: Resources 2 (Freelance Work), Laboratory Equipment 2
Health 8, Willpower 6 (Virtue: Patience, Vice: Envy), Inspiration 2, Mania 12 (Maximum 2 mania per turn), Obligation 5 (Depression), Jabir -1, Size 5, Speed 8, Defense 2, Initiative 5
Act I – The Good Doctor
Albert and Lain Rester were the top of their field in robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Houston. Albert, the elder brother, focused on improving the physical abilities of robots through mechanical upgrades, using a technique he called Pneumatic Muscle Mapping. Lain was focused on the ideas and intelligence side of robotics. For years, they worked together trying to build the perfect robots. Although they were talented, they lacked the necessary equipment and funding to build the perfect machine. However, in 1999, they finally caught the break that they were looking for: a lucrative government contract and tech demo with a schedule set for the new millennium. Albert and Lain worked together in an abandoned warehouse, attempting to meet the deadline. However, as they descended into the depths of the uncanny valley, they realized that it would be impossible to create machines of the quality the contract demanded; unless, of course, the brothers Rester strayed outside the boundaries of sane science.
Act II – Father of Death
The brothers Rester each pursued a way to create the perfect machine. Albert abandoned the limits of human mechanics, pursuing technology that would allow the robots to greatly surpass their human creators in strength and speed. Lain pursued a way to increase the intellect of the robots. If he could develop true artificial intelligence, the robots would need no masters, they would complete tasks of their own volition. In order to develop this consciousness in the machines, Lain began to study the chemical reactions in the human brain, converting them into code. However, neither brother was able to complete their research before the manufacturing deadline. Tensions rose between the brothers, each convinced that the other would be unable to complete their work. In the end, Albert’s half-finished prototypes would have Lain’s programming. However, Albert never knew how Lain was able to finish the programming. In the dark of the night before the deadline, Lain converted his own consciousness into code. He never knew his mind could be so dangerous. Finally, the deadline arrived. Of twenty robots, eleven failed to activate. Eight of the lethal machines activated. The robot masters immediately set about destroying their sleeping siblings, and their creators. As the robots pursued their Due Vendetta, Lain ran, seizing the twentieth robot. He fled the carnage in horror at what his mind had wrought.
Act III – Exile (Vilify)
Lain went underground. He went over the codes repeatedly, trying to find the error in the conversion, all while trying to cope with the loss of his brother. Eventually, he had a horrible realization. The coding was perfect; it was his mind that was flawed. Now he understood the flaws in his programming. The only way to create the perfect artificial consciousness was to perfect his own mind. Therapy, pharmaceuticals, and increased study into cognitive behavioural psychology Led Lain to become even more talented at A.I. programming, as well as influencing human behaviour. He returned to the warehouse to look for any remnants of the old project. What he found terrified him. His creations had been seized by Lemurians, to be sold to the highest paying mastermind as robot soldiers. Even worse, Lain finally learned of his brother’s fate. Albert had survived that night, thoroughly augmenting his body with robotic equipment, becoming the cruel leader of the Robot Masters. He fled the warehouse, seeking refuge in the Peerage. They kept him and the final robot hidden from the world, preparing its code, perfecting his mind, until such a time as it would be ready to Light Up the Night. He was able to find a community for his revolutionary ideas of neurochemical conversion coding within a sub-strata of the Progenitors, the Gear-breeders. Only now, more than a decade after the most horrible night of his life, was Lain able to re-integrate with society.
His goal: Destroy the Robot Masters for which his own twisted mind was responsible.
His tools: The last robot, and his perfectly coded mind.