Charles Ronson was a member of Project Zero Dawn, serving as the Alpha in charge of the ARTEMIS subordinate function. He was an expert ecologist, notable for his deep dedication to his work as well as his passionate temperament.
Only a handful of details are known about Ronson's life before the Faro Plague. He attained a PhD, likely in the field of ecology, and performed postdoctoral research in Johannesburg, South Africa. Presumably, he had become a leading expert in ecology by the time of the Glitch.
Project Zero Dawn
Upon the discovery of the Faro Plague glitch, Ronson was recruited as part of Project Zero Dawn. He was one of the nine individuals selected by Elisabet Sobeck to serve as Alphas, the second-highest rank within the project. Ronson oversaw the development of the ARTEMIS subordinate function, which was responsible for preserving genetic samples of Earth's animal life, and later reintroducing those animals to Earth during GAIA's terraforming.
During the development of ARTEMIS, Ronson and his team mapped out a succession of "pioneer organisms" to make up the rebuilt biosphere of Earth, progressing from microorganisms to larger fauna. Less adaptable organisms would be kept in storage, with their reintroduction being overseen by the future generations of humans produced by ELEUTHIA; Ronson was hopeful that the humans of the future would be responsible conservationists thanks to APOLLO's education. Ronson helped build ARTEMIS' reserves of animal samples by negotiating with various "frozen zoos" to obtain cryogenically preserved samples of extinct species, as well as by dispatching retrieval teams to locations with particularly exotic wildlife. Despite a number of setbacks during sample collection, Ronson remained staunchly confident that life on Earth could be saved.
While working on ARTEMIS, Ronson also developed a romantic relationship with Tom Paech, a biochemist assigned to the ARTEMIS team. The two were both ardent believers in the beauty of nature; Ronson's passionate disposition was in fact one of the main reasons Paech believed ARTEMIS could succeed. As a result of Paech's distaste for life indoors, he opted out of Elysium in favor of medical euthanasia--Ronson consequently promised Paech that he would be with him during his last moments of life.
GAIA PrimeAs the Faro Swarm overran humanity's remaining strongholds, Elisabet Sobeck informed Ronson and the rest of the Alphas that they were to be evacuated to the GAIA Prime facility, where they would spend the rest of their lives perfecting their respective subordinate functions. Due to the swarm's unexpectedly rapid advance, Ronson was forced to choose between preserving several samples of Paradisaea zygotes, or attending Tom Paech's euthanasia as he had promised. Under stress, Ronson chose to save the samples; unfortunately, he failed, and Paech died alone as a result of Ronson's decision. This failure caused Ronson great anguish, much of which he expressed as resentment for himself and the other Alphas.
When one of GAIA Prime's access port seals malfunctioned, risking the facility's exposure to the Faro Swarm, Ronson personally witnessed Elisabet Sobeck sacrifice her life to keep the facility safe. This event affected Ronson most deeply out of the Alphas, due to his reverent admiration for Dr. Sobeck; in the wake of her death, he constructed a holographic sculpture in her memory, comprised of countless roses laid beneath a portrait of Sobeck herself, as well as a recording of Sobeck's final farewell to the Alpha team. Ronson additionally recorded an audio eulogy for Sobeck, in the hopes that these records would impress the importance of Sobeck's legacy on future generations.
While the Alphas grieved Sobeck, Margo Shĕn confided in Ronson that she had been receiving an increasing number of unsolicited messages from Ted Faro, demanding updates on various components of Project Zero Dawn. Ronson assured Shĕn that Faro merely needed to be kept happy, as Sobeck had done before her death, and promised to have a word with Faro on Shĕn's behalf. Some time later, Ronson and the other Alphas were contacted as a group by Faro. They were shocked to learn that Faro had not only locked them out of all the systems, but had erased all copies of the APOLLO archive in an attempt to give the next generation of humanity a "clean slate". Ronson, enraged, began to berate Faro, but was shortly cut off as Faro remotely sealed the room and vented its atmosphere, killing Charles along with the other Alphas.
Ronson's work on ARTEMIS was crucial to the revitalization of Earth, allowing for the creation of a stable and lush biosphere that was able to support human life. Sadly, the destruction of APOLLO meant that future humans were unable to complete Ronson's work and reintroduce more exotic species to the world--the ecosystem of the future was left with only the limited number of species that had been selected as "pioneer organisms".
In the year 3020, a mysterious signal caused ARTEMIS (and GAIA's other subordinate functions) to become a rogue AI, independent from GAIA. ARTEMIS escaped, presumably intending to continue its work, but its whereabouts and activities from this point on are completely unknown.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Emergency Recording
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Log: Charles Ronson (2)
- ↑ ARTEMIS Status
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Log: Charles Ronson (1)
- ↑ Log: Tom Paech
- ↑ Sobeck Journal, 1-15-66 R
- ↑ Elisabet Sobeck Memorial
- ↑ GAIA's Dying Plea