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"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.



Elisabet Sobeck, Ph.D. (born March 11, 2020) was an American scientist, roboticist, and engineer. She was the "mother" of Aloy and the creator of Project Zero Dawn. She was born and raised outside Carson City, Nevada. In her time, she was widely regarded as one of the greatest minds of the 21st century. Elisabet was a firm believer in green robotics, and as a result of clashing beliefs, she and Ted Faro were rivals.

Background

At the age of 6, Elisabet Sobeck accidentally set fire to a pine tree in her back yard while playing with a children's electronics kit. While her mother called the fire department and they contained the situation, the blaze consumed several bird nests. Her mother used this opportunity to teach her daughter a valuable lesson about empathy. She later recounted this story to GAIA.[1]

At age 13, Elisabet enrolled at Stanford University, graduating with a B.S. in Experimental Physics, and another degree in Computer Science three years later. In 2040, she completed her Ph.D. in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Design at Carnegie-Mellon University, and joined Faro Automated Solutions (FAS) as a Junior Scientist. By the age of 22, she quickly rose to the rank of Chief Scientist. For the next eight years, her green robot designs played critical roles in realizing environmental cleanup and detoxification efforts in "The Claw-back" decade.

In 2048, she suddenly resigned from FAS in protest over their products shifting to automated military-technologies, and founded Miriam Technologies a year later, which was dedicated to the design and production of "life-positive" robots, and other similar creations.[2] Miriam then became one of the world's largest suppliers of green-robots, winning numerous awards and accolades such as the 2053 Nobel Prize for Physics, and the 2056 Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Progress.

History

The Glitch

On October 31st, 2064, Elisabet Sobeck met with Ted Faro to discuss an evolving situation. Ted was friendly, had dropped "all eighteen" lawsuits, and did not have any lawyers present during the meeting, something which betrayed to Elisabet that something was wrong. Faro explained that the Chariot line of automated defense systems, called "Peacekeepers," had a glitch, and that a swarm of them had refused to obey commands. Sobeck agreed to look at the data, and accepted Ted Faro's offer for lunch, but refused Ted's companionship.

Record 31 Oct 2064

Elisabet meeting with Faro

On November 1st, 2064, Sobeck reported to a despondent Faro, who stated that the data indicated a major catastrophe, with Faro revealing that the swarm had become fully self-aware. Angered by Ted's nonchalant attitude, Elisabet angrily explained that the situation was apocalyptic, with Faro rebutting Sobeck's words describing the machines. Sobeck further explained that at the current rate of expansion, the machines would strip the Earth of all life within 15 months. Faro, desperate to prevent the truth of his company's actions from going public, begged Sobeck for for a solution, and promised to do anything she said.

On November 3rd, 2064, Elisabet Sobeck presented her solution to Ted Faro, code-named Project Zero Dawn. Horrified by the implications the project presented, Faro asked her for another way, to which she responded that there was "none." Asked to sign the project-proposal, Ted balked, upon which Elisabet responded by informing him that she was en route to U.S. Robot Command to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military. Forced to choose between refusing to sign (and letting everyone know who caused the problem) or signing it (and letting everyone know the world's wealthiest corporation would bankroll it), Faro choose the latter in order to prevent his name from being further shamed.

Project Zero Dawn

Elisabet Sobeck soon brought her findings to the Joint Chiefs. While most of the generals were appalled by her plans, the Chairman, General Aaron Herres, accepted the necessity of Project Zero Dawn, and provided the required resources for the project.

Because the Faro Plague was able to take control of any machine army they could throw at it, General Herres began Operation: Enduring Victory. This called for the mass drafting of civilians into the military in order to buy time for Elisabet and her team to complete Project Zero Dawn. These people believed that Project Zero Dawn was a superweapon that would defeat the Faro robots. However, these were merely lies spread by General Herres to serve as motivation for the people to continue buying time. Elisabet herself didn't seem happy with this, but saw that there was no other choice.

Elisabet had concluded that there was no way to defeat the swarm before it destroyed the biosphere, leaving Earth uninhabitable. Her plan was thus to at least allow life to return to the planet after everything had died. She came up with GAIA, a true AI designed to do just that. After the world had ended, GAIA and her subordinate functions would spend decades cracking the codes of the Faro Swarm and shutting the machines down. Afterwards it would construct "green-robots" that would heal the Earth. Finally, it would use cloning technology to give birth to new animals and humans to populate the planet.

Working with some of the worlds greatest minds in their respective fields, Elisabet was able to complete GAIA. After its birth, Elisabet also established a very close relationship with GAIA. They eventually became so close that she initially rejected Ted Faro's proposal to make a kill-switch for GAIA in case it were to go rogue, though she eventually relented and installed a Master Override.[3]

Death

After the completion of GAIA Prime, Elisabet, along with the other Alphas of Project Zero Dawn, took shelter there after the Faro Swarm had destroyed the biosphere, while Ted Faro took shelter in his own private pyramid-shaped bunker, Thebes. They were able to survive because there was clean air within the facility.

However, a ten-millimeter gap in one of the port seals leading into the facility caused an energy signature to leak out, resulting in the risk of the Faro Swarm becoming aware of its existence. The only way to fix the door and prevent the machines from entering was for someone to go outside and repair it. While the other scientists argued about who should go, Elisabet donned an armored environment suit and went out to begin repairs. Now locked out of the facility, the other scientists wanted to find a way to get her back in. However, Elisabet informed them that there was no time, as the Faro Swarm was already too close. She told everyone that she now just wanted to return home, and said her goodbyes.

Most likely because of her armor's protective shield, Elisabet was able to survive the swarm's attack. She was eventually able to make it back to her childhood home in Carson City, Nevada. There she sat down on a bench, and eventually died, most likely due to her armor no longer being able to protect her from the toxic atmosphere.

Legacy

Immediately after her death, the other lead scientists of Project Zero Dawn grieved over her. Ted Faro was especially shaken by her death. Without Elisabet to calm him, Faro constantly thought of what would happen to the new humanity. After eventually concluding that their knowledge would "taint" the new humanity, Faro deleted APOLLO, which was designed to educate the descendant-race. This spat right on Elisabet's legacy, as not only was she forgotten to the annals of history, but without education, the new humanity ultimately devolved back into a primitive tribal-society.

Mountain that Fell

Memorial to Elisabet created by her team at GAIA Prime

Still, as the brainchild behind Project Zero Dawn, Elisabet Sobeck was the savior of humanity. She was responsible for humankind's continued existence after the Faro Plague and the revival of Earth's biosphere, allowing the planet to become habitable once again. When she sacrificed her life to protect GAIA Prime from being detected by the Faro robots, Sobeck became a martyr for humanity's future.

Her legacy would continue in the form of her "daughter" Aloy, who would one day play a critical role in saving the new world that Sobeck created from HADES when it attempted to create a Second Faro Plague. Ironically Aloy was exactly what she wanted her child to be like if she had one; "curious," "willful," "unstoppable," and "compassionate." Aloy would eventually find Elisabet's corpse near her old home.

Personality

Elisabet was an exceptionally intelligent and compassionate woman who lived her life to better the world that she lived in. A woman who had a intense love for life on Earth, her desire to make a positive change directed her towards a career in developing robots that were environmentally-friendly and helped serve the people. She was against actions that could lead to loss of life, which is why she left Faro Automated Solutions when they decided to move into developing military technology.

Due to this, Elisabet did not have much respect for individuals like Ted Faro, who cared only about self-image and profits at the expense of life. She was intuitive and perceptive, capable of noticing abnormalities in Ted's behavior towards her and deducing what his motivations were.

Elisabet was intractable in her efforts to complete Project Zero Dawn and give humanity a chance to survive. However, the continuing loss of life caused by the Faro Plague was a source of great distress for Elisabet, causing her to question whether her efforts were a fruitless attempt to help humanity survive. It was only through GAIA's reassurances that Elisabet continued on with her work. Elisabet placed a lot of importance in human emotions, particularly empathy, realizing that GAIA needed to learn how to feel and care for others in order to fulfill her role, and began to teach it how to understand human emotions.[4]

Above all, she was selfless and decisive, willing to sacrifice her life without much hesitation in order to seal the gap in one of GAIA Prime's doors, while her colleagues were arguing about who to send out.

Trivia

  • As with the naming of Ted Faro (Pharaoh) and his company's line of robots (Chariot line), Elizabet's name appears to be a reference to ancient Egypt, and also to the Old Testament. Her family name, Sobeck, is a variation on Sobek, who was a crocodile-headed Egyptian god of both fertility and the military. Her given name derives from the Hebrew name, Elisheva. In the Old Testament, Elisheva was the wife of Aaron, brother of Moses and ancestor of the Jewish high priests. After her death, Elisheva was buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs. Adding to the list of apparent references, the company she formed after leaving Faro Automated Solutions appears to be named after Aaron's sister, Miriam.
  • Given that the area the game is set is in Utah and Colorado, Elisabet would have had to walk at least 270 miles to reach her home in Nevada.
  • When asked by GAIA about the prospect of children, Elisabet said she would have liked to have a daughter, who was curious, willful, and compassionate. Elisabet would posthumously gain such a daughter in the form of Aloy.

Gallery

References

  1. Gaia Log: 3 Feb 2065 R
  2. Bio: Elisabet Sobeck
  3. Sobeck Journal, 7-16-65 R
  4. Gaia Log: 27 March 2065
Old Ones Characters
Project Zero Dawn Susanne Alpert - Brad Andac - Patrick Brochard-Klein - Samina Ebadji - Ted Faro - Ron Felder - Christina Hsu-Vhey - Naoto - Ayomide Okilo - Tom Paech - Charles Ronson - Margo Shĕn - Elisabet Sobeck - Travis Tate
Operation Enduring Victory Lana Acosta‏ - Ames Guliyev - Aaron Herres - Bashar Mati - Yana Mills - Fiona Murell - Usizo Wandari
Other Osvald Dalgaard - Wyatt Mahante

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