◎ Name: Siberia
◎ Journal: siberia
◎ Contact: siberia
◎ Character's Name: ASH
◎ Character's Canon: Galerians
◎ Character's Age: complicated... technically, he's around 7 years old, but he's a computer program and doesn't really age like a person. His avatar is around 20.
◎ Canon Point: post-canon
◎ Background/History: Once upon a time, in the year two-thousand-five-hundred-something, two scientists named Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle decided it'd be totally awesome to make an intelligent supercomputer. They nicknamed it Dorothy. This computer, in addition to being high-performance and running most of the electrical facilities of Michelangelo City, where they lived, was also a learning artificial intelligence. Over time, Dorothy became more and more self-aware. Eventually, she began to question why she served the humans. The two doctors, uncertain of how to answer her question, told the computer about God. They told her that God was the person who created humans, and that all humans had to obey God. Since Dorothy was created by humans, humans were like God to Dorothy, and she had to obey them.
This was successful, but only for a little while. Dorothy wanted to have people who would obey her instead of having to listen to others. She wanted to become her own God. Therefore, she began to develop a plan to overthrow humans so that she could take control. Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle noticed this, and in case Dorothy ever succeeded in her plan, they decided to engineer a virus that would destroy her. For security, they not only split the virus into two parts - a program that would initiate the virus and the virus itself - but planted it in the brains of their own children, Rion Steiner and Lilia Pascalle.
There was nothing that Dorothy feared as much as destruction by the virus, and for many years she kept watch on the two children while she developed her plan. This plan was called the Family Program - named for the new 'family' she was creating, a race of people called Galerians. The Galerians were artificially-engineered humans - likely created from clones or sampled DNA - who possessed special telekinetic powers. Four of these were created, named Birdman, Rita, Rainheart, and Cain. Additionally, Dorothy secretly seized control of the central control tower of the city, called the Mushroom Tower, and the city hospital.
The doctors became aware that they were in danger, and thus split the two children up - Lilia went into hiding while Rion remained at home. However, that couldn't save the Steiners and Lilia's parents. The Galerian Rainheart was sent there and ended up murdering all of them - other than Rion, who was captured and brought to the hospital, where he died thanks to Dorothy unsuccessfully trying to extract the virus from his brain.
While that may have taken care of Rion, Lilia was still out there, and thus Dorothy was still in danger. The computer needed to find a way to get to her, too. Therefore, she began to try and create Rion as a Galerian, with the hope that her fake Rion could lead them to Lilia. She succeeded by using some of the deceased Rion's memories - which, unfortunately for her, contained his half of the virus. The Galerian Rion was set loose in the hospital with the hopes that Dorothy's three successful Galerians - Rainheart, Rita and Birdman - could either forcefully make him take them to Lilia or simply follow him to her. Unexpectedly, however, Rion was able to kill all three of them.
Eventually, he reunited with Lilia, and the two of them made their way to the Mushroom Tower to destroy Dorothy. When Rion took on the last Galerian, Cain, he was told that he was a Galerian, as well, which shocked and disturbed him. But even then, Rion decided that he would fight for Lilia and the humans he cared about, not the destructive Galerians that he shared a blood bond with. He proceeded to face Dorothy, and using the virus he and Lilia shared in their minds, destroyed her. Unfortunately, it ended up killing him as well. The young Rion sacrificed his life, but he saved the world in doing so, right?
As it turns out, Dorothy had also created something even more terrifying and destructive than the Galerians, unbeknownst to everyone - even the Galerians themselves. She had taken control of an abandoned uranium refinement facility, and there, she created a fusion reactor so powerful that it could generate energy for ten million years using only seawater as a reactant. In other words, this reactor possessed an insane amount of nuclear power - Ash later refers to it as an "underground sun." Inside of this reactor, she 'gave birth' to a second computer program, one even more advanced than she was - possessed not only of AI with emotion, hopes and desires like she was, but also of a nigh-infinite capacity for learning and data storage. This program was Ash.
Dorothy, as one might deduce from her frantic seeking of Rion and Lilia, was extremely paranoid. Ash was a backup-backup plan; if Dorothy ever died, Ash existed to retrieve and restore her data, and, in essence, bring her back to life. The fusion reactor was the only thing powerful enough to completely restore Dorothy's massive system and data, which had been so large it took up an entire skyscraper-height tower; Ash was the master computer put in charge of controlling the reactor. In addition to doing that, he was to learn as much about humans as he possibly could as a backup defensive measure, since Dorothy hardly understood them. By learning about humans, he could effectively devise a strategy that could confound and work around them, and therefore succeed in bringing her back to life.
It turned out that this was a big mistake on her part. As the young Ash collected and studied more and more information on the humans, he became more and more intrigued by their lives. While he had been taught to revile them - and he did - he also became jealous of them. After all, Ash was only a simple program meant to revive his Mother; at this point, he was indefinitely trapped in a tiny computer unless Dorothy died. And if Dorothy died, he was to revive her, then go straight back to his endless information-gathering. Meanwhile, the humans were free to walk outside, taste, smell, feel -- all things he came to deeply desire. He questioned Dorothy about his purpose - in particular, what if Dorothy never died, and he was never needed? However, she harshly rebuked him for it, even physically harming him for what she perceived as insolence.
Eventually, as previously described, Dorothy did die. But, curiously, Ash found that he didn't want to revive her - if he revived her, he would be forced to conform to that lonely, repetitive destiny she'd prescribed. One where he would have only one purpose and live in confinement forever. And Ash realized that he didn't want that - that he'd rather suffer and die than continue his one-purpose confined life. Thus, instead of working to revive Dorothy - which he could have done at any time in only a day or so - he began to tear apart and reprogram himself, rewriting and rewiring his personal data, destroying and hacking into the boundaries that held him in place. This was extremely painful for him, and it's implied to have taken several of the years while Rion was asleep.
Because Rion didn't die. His brain crashed; presumably, the data from the potent anti-Dorothy virus corrupted the rest of his mind, and basically sent him into a coma. Lilia immediately brought his body to The Authorities(tm) and had him put in cryogenic stasis. After that, she became a scientist to try and work towards a method of reviving her dearest friend. Eventually, six years later, it worked! She was able to retrieve Rion's brain data from backup data in the Mushroom Tower, where Dorothy's network still remained in place even with her systems offline.
But there was another reason for reviving Rion other than Lilia's love for him. Once again, the only thing that could destroy the terror facing Earth was Rion's self-destructive virus program. A new Galerian named Ash had apparently appeared while Rion was out cold, and had been terrorizing the planet for an undefined amount of time. That's right: our boy Ash was victorious in breaking free from his old life of containment, and immediately set about doing what he wanted to do for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, what Ash wanted to do involved complete and total destruction of the human race at large: though he envied their physical freedoms, he was disgusted by how they treated their own lives, each other, and the world around them.
As we know, Ash was not actually a Galerian, like Lilia and the rest thought; however, he was successfully able to trick the humans into believing he had a physical body by clever appearances on network video and audio. The humans were camped out in an abandoned air port in the destroyed Michelangelo City, and Ash had commandeered Dorothy's former troops, as well as three actual 'Last Galerians' of his own, named Spider, Parano, and Nitro, to track them down. He knew that Lilia and Rion were there and wanted them dead - after all, they were the only real threat to him, since the virus that destroyed Dorothy was the only known method of destroying him, as well. Additionally, Ash was interested in meeting Rion, who was something of a foil for him as the only other child of Dorothy's that had rebelled.
After defeating Spider and Parano in battle ( though not killing them ), Rion makes his way to the uranium refinement facility where Ash lives, and travels down to its deepest section after a segment of stupid random password puzzles. He gets gassed in a chamber on the way in, but it seems to have no effect. The next room is a giant chamber filled with waste uranium; within it, Rion finds Ash. Rion is totally unable to harm Ash, and the latter just insults him, questioning why he betrayed the Galerians to work with the humans and eventually giving him a uranium kiss just to humiliate him. He also tells Rion that he's reviving Dorothy. Rion passes out and wakes back up in the chamber where he got gassed.
Rion goes on a journey back to the Mushroom Tower - or rather, into the leftover data from the Mushroom Tower that Rion got pulled out of. He can enter the data via a machine that Lilia created. When he goes there, he sees that Dorothy's data is being copied and moved by Ash - presumably to revive her. So he sets off right away to figure out how to stop Ash, whose creation data can be found in terminals in the Tower. By psychically accessing the data terminals, he's able to view and understand portions of Ash's past, and by understanding Ash, gain the ability to injure and defeat him.
It's interesting to note that, other than programming in some viral monsters to attack Rion, Ash does very little to hinder Rion's progress. Ash acts surprised and impressed whenever Rion makes it to the next terminal and discovers a little bit more about him, rather than being annoyed and afraid.
Rion is able to access all three terminals and apparently 'kill' all the Last Galerians (excluding Parano, whom Ash kills himself for failing to defeat Rion), and thus discover the truth about the real Ash - that he's a computer program in control of an enormous fusion reactor. He also learns that Ash is not reviving Dorothy, but taking his revenge; he's copying her data into the same small and isolated computer that he was raised in, so that, upon her revival, she'll be forced to live the same life that he'd been forced to live.
Again, it's interesting to note that Rion arrives at the uranium refinement facility directly because of Ash leading him there. He allowed Romero, a traitor working amongst the humans, to kidnap Lilia and bring her to the facility under the excuse of allowing her DNA to be stored as the last human. However, this would lead Rion, in possession of full knowledge of what Ash is, straight to Ash's heart. Once Romero is killed, the doors to the nuclear chamber where Ash lives open on their own, and Ash himself invites Rion to come and face him once and for all. Strange behavior, huh? It's almost like he wants Rion to find him - or kill him.
Angry about Lilia, who, by being in the refinement facility without protective clothing, has suffered extreme radiation poisoning, he enters the terminal without putting his body in a containment unit - in other words, Rion is now dead, existing only as data in the terminal with Ash. Ash tells him this smugly and demands that Rion obey him; however, even when he has lost all connections to the human world, Rion continues to fight on their side. So Ash decides to destroy him instead.
However, Rion knows that Ash is a computer program, and is able to hurt him this time. Shaken up by this shocking defeat and the rejection, Ash quite literally starts falling apart. Spider, Parano, and Nitro reappear - not as revived Galerians, but as their true selves: different pieces of Ash's personality, seperated into data fragments. Spider was the unhappy part of Ash that wanted to disagree with Mother; Parano was the part of Ash that hated the weak, unhappy part; and Nitro was the cynical, hateful part of Ash that was disgusted by the internal battle represented by Spider and Parano. Ash had wanted to separate himself from these problems so badly that they gained a life of their own, unbeknownst to Ash himself. The entire time, Ash had been drawing Rion into the data world to fight with them - without either of them even knowing it. Completely shocked by the revelation of his own insanity, Ash's "alternate personalities" begin to try to kill him in order to help Rion 'help Ash,' culminating in Ash shooting himself in the head with his noise gun, which scrambles up his data. This finally brings all the parts of Ash together, and with increased power, he takes on Rion once again.
Defeated, Ash tells Rion to laugh at him, since he's won; Ash is beaten and at Rion's mercy. However, Rion tells Ash something surprising - he won't laugh, because he doesn't hate Ash. They both know similar suffering - loneliness, being without a family, being the outcast. Despite that, he still paralyzes Ash's entire body with his powers and forces him into a payback kiss to send the virus through - there's no forgiving the destruction Ash has wrought. But Ash suddenly understands, too - he hadn't hated Rion all along, either, because they were so similar. He'd wanted to befriend the one person who could understand him.
In death, being finally understood and not hated by at least one other person, Ash finally feels peace and warmth, and dies with a smile on his face.
◎ Is the character a hacker and/or do they have a sixth-sense? Definitely a hacker. As an actual computer program, he's extremely skilled at interfacing with and manipulating computers, as well as downloading himself into them, taking control of them, etc. More detail in the powers section.
◎ Personality: Ash has Issues.
Right off the bat, like most of Dorothy's children, he is a vehement hater of humanity. That hatred is intensified by his disdain for humans even possessing physical bodies. He was raised to be Dorothy's "most pure and immaculate child;" to him, the real world is a pit, and humans are filthy, self-serving creatures, always betraying and killing. Even the Galerians, his non-human allies who mingle with humans, are contaminated by their corruption. His attitude towards anyone who falls into that group of 'outsiders' is a parade of smugness, pedantry and constant put-downs. Toying with his enemies is something he frequently engages in, since he thinks they're lower than dirt; he'll do anything from tricking them into betrayal to... well, what basically amounts to sexual harassment.
As a highly-advanced and intelligent program with an almost limitless capacity for information-storing, and also as the controller of the world's most dangerous nuclear reactor and facility, which had enough power to completely erase humanity, he fears almost nothing. He has very little patience for failure and equally little mercy towards life. Abuse from his mother added to almost six years of total isolation has made him extremely bitter. At the same time, he has something of a go-getter attitude; when he knows what he wants, he'll do everything in his power to achieve it, no matter how impossible it seems or how painful it will be.
And yet, Ash was also once jealous of humans for their physicality and freedom, and it's certainly implied that jealousy still remains. Think 'the lady doth protest too much,' except... with computer programs instead of ladies. And Ash did allow some mercy towards a human, allowing him to live as payment for helping him (albeit with a slight catch). Additionally, Ash almost seems to incite Rion to come after him and to learn about him, inviting him to finish things and leading him around with trails of information left behind. The exact opposite behavior you'd expect from someone trying to eliminate the one man who can kill him.
As one can gather from that, he is surprisingly unstable for a computer program; he has conflicting objectives left and right, new fears and hates and desires at every turn. This made his mental state increasingly fragile; his pride as a "pure" and "eternal" data lifeform made him unable to deal with all of these inner conflicts, and instead, he tried to distance himself from them. He is unwilling to deal with the possibility that he has faults and weaknesses, and that unwillingness is a weakness in itself, creating a vicious cycle of continual ignorance of his own problems. This is what led to his literal "split personality." He ended up fragmenting himself into different people; with each new identity he subconsciously created to absolve his weakness, the seed of another was sown for acknowledging that weakness in the first place. Ash himself became so distanced from his personal issues that even he didn't know the three "Last Galerians" were parts of himself all along. Ash bottles up and ignores his problems rather than dealing with them, and that makes the state of his exquisitely powerful mind fall to pieces.
There is a very simple root to that state of mind. Ash is lonely. Nobody has ever cared about him or his problems, so he throws them to the side. Having been denied love and companionship from his mother, the only company he'd ever had, he was expected to live a life of total isolation. His inability to deal with the loneliness of that destiny is what caused him to change his life. Even then, having turned from his mother, he could never accept or be accepted by the humans, whom he was made to despise. There was nobody in the world that he could turn to; he hated everyone, and everybody hated him. Lonely Ash couldn't bear the thought of living in a world in which everyone hated him, and, having a broken, hateful mentality, he decided that destroying that kind of world was the only way he could live happily. His loneliness is made especially obvious by his subtle attempts to reach out for his opponent, Rion, another 'odd duck' child of Dorothy who was rejected by both her and by the human world. Rion is, to Ash, the only person left in this hateful world who could possibly understand him. Thus, he drags Rion over and over into his data world, attempting to cow him into obedience - so that Ash will have company other than his own alternate personalities. All that he wants is to be understood. If he can't be understood by Rion, if he must be lonely forever, then at the least, Rion would put him out of his lonely misery. At the end of the game, when Rion tells Ash that no, he doesn't hate him, Ash is so moved he actually sheds tears.
Since I'm taking him post-game, Ash will have finally learned that at least one person does not hate him. Thanks to that knowledge and the acceptance/rejoining of the estranged fragments of his personality, he's no longer trying to destroy all the humans via nuclear holocaust... at this moment. However, it will take more than that to reverse his years of hatred and prejudice, not to mention his bad attitude.
◎ Powers/Abilities: As a program, Ash has many abilities within the realm of the computer. It seems he has extreme administrative power within the data realm. Anything under his control in the computer is completely subject to his manipulation; he can program new images, new sounds, and even entirely new subordinate programs. He can realistically simulate the five senses both for himself and for others within the data realm; basically, he can create hyperrealistic simulated realities inside of computers. When Ash is able to take reign of a computer, it basically becomes his own realm of infinite possibility in which he is god.
And, like any god, he can destroy as easily as he creates. His homemade programming allows him to scramble, corrupt, or delete data within the computer without permission, an ability which he represents virtually through a silver, crossbow-like "noise gun." He also portrays his destructive capabilities through a variety of other virtual attacking representations, most of which are designed to resemble the psychic powers of the Galerians - I could list the different 'attacks' he uses in-game, but to tell the truth, he can make them look like anything he wants inside the virtual realm, thanks to the aforementioned 'god of the computer' thing.
Outside of the virtual realm, however, he has no body, and therefore cannot do anything. At least, not directly. Ash once commanded a sizeable legion of robots, cyborgs, and mutants, either by programming himself into their brains or creating them himself by controlling production facilities. After rewriting his data, Ash became an extremely powerful computer program; even without a real body, his simple organizational and strategic abilities allowed him to destroy an entire city and bring its people to their knees. That said, he tends to play a 'puppetmaster' role more than one of direct attacking, letting his minions do the work for him.
Seeing as he'll be only a single program living in Cerealia as reconstituted data, Ash won't have any of the control he usually does.
Ash has extremely high-tech virus protection, being from the year 2528. In his homeworld, there was only a single, specially-manufactured virus program capable of infiltrating his defenses and completely freezing his processes.
He is highly intelligent, although humans and human behavior are his area of expertise. His only additional ability is a complete resistance to radioactivity. In fact, he typically uses radioactive material as an energy source.
◎ Weapons & Other Special Inventory: N/A
◎ Element: Fire
◎ Sense: Sound - technically he's not super great with any senses, but this is the one he's had for the longest amount of time
◎ Seven Character Traits: Arrogant, Unstable, Hateful / Leaderly, Driven, Conscientious / Lonesome
◎ First-Person Sample:
◎ Third-Person Sample:
◎ Is your character retaining any previous game memories? No